Abu Dhabi is around 90 miles southwest of Dubai down the famous Sheikh Zayed Road. But what is the most economical way of making the journey?
Unless you’re completely loaded, then your stay in the United Arab Emirates will probably be quite short, so it’s best to make the most of your time there. This time should include a daytrip down the Sheikh Zayed Road to a neighbouring emirate from where you’re staying. If you’re in Dubai, you simply cannot be so close to Abu Dhabi and not visit spectacular attractions such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Yas Island. Likewise, if you are in the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi to begin with, you simply must come to Dubai and experience the wonders of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and have a drink at the Burj Al Arab, the world’s only seven-star hotel.
Below I will guide you through a few of the most realistic options for making the journey between Dubai and Abu Dhabi:
There are no train services between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, nor is it possible to fly (unless you own your own private jet for routes between DWC-AUH airports). That means road transport is the only viable option. Unless of course you want to act like a pilgrim and hop on the back of a camel (if it ever wakes up)!
Both of the main airlines of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad and Emirates, offer bus services from their hub airport to the other one. This is like a second flight, except it will be on a bus for the 90 minute journey down the Sheikh Zayed Road. You can only book these bus services as part of a flight itinerary (I think), so without an air ticket, you will have to use the public buses in the United Arab Emirates, which do not have a great reputation, although they are much cheaper than private taxis.
Private Taxi will probably cost you around 250AED (£50) EACH WAY, so this method of transport is not exactly cheap. However, the taxis in both of these emirates are spotlessly clean and are air-conditioned. The driving standards in Dubai in particular leave a lot to be desired, although taxi drivers are usually very friendly (that said, solo females beware!). Taxis can be flagged down from anywhere in Dubai and when you ask them if they will take you to Abu Dhabi (or vice versa) they will usually oblige, but it’s best to ask BEFORE getting in the vehicle. I used a taxi from Al Rigga Road in Dubai to Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi for 600AED return, and this included a few hours waiting time as I braved the fastest rollercoaster in the world!
The Big Bus Company (I have seen this company operate in London and Hong Kong, among other places) offer a combined tour ticket for Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and this may be the best way to explore both of these interesting emirates, especially if you are likely to be there for tourism. These Big Bus tours offer lots of inclusive treats in the price of the ticket, such as a free abra cruise down the Creek, a free sunrise desert experience, and big discounts on visiting many of Abu Dhabi’s skyscrapers.
Being among the richest and most innovative places on Earth, it should as no surprise that travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi does not have to be done in a bus or a traditional taxi. Instead, there are now electric “superbuses” that can take up to a dozen people at once, with all the luxury amenities onboard as you would expect!
Whatever method of transport you use to make this 90 minute journey between the emirates, make sure you have a safe and thrilling time!