Things to do in Dubai

A comprehensive guide to Dubai airport transfers

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Dubai, embracing the future like no one else and bearing pride in its traditional culture, writes its own narrative. Popularly called the city of superlatives for the ‘fastest’, ‘biggest’, ‘tallest’, ‘largest’ and ‘highest’ records it keeps breaking, Dubai has made it to the UNESCO list of creative cities of design. The unbelievable architecture of modern buildings and structures, peculiar palm-shaped islands, exquisite shopping experiences at theme-based mega malls, irresistible bargains, sizzling beach parties and shisha lounges, adrenaline-pumping desert safaris and rich cultural exposure are some of the attractions awaiting you as you prepare to explore this Middle Eastern jewel!

The first step to an amazing time in Dubai is to figure out your airport transfers to your hotel. The state-of-the-art international airport at Dubai, fortunately, has many options to suit all budgets. Let’s go through them in detail.

Dubai Airports

Dubai Airport Transfers - Dubai International Airport

Dubai International Airport (DXB) is a dynamic airport handling huge international passenger traffic, and is equipped with world-class facilities and modern amenities. Situated in the Al Garhoud district, it has three terminals with Terminal 3 being the world's largest airport terminal. Terminals 1 and 3 are connected while Terminal 2 can be reached by way of shuttles.

Dubai Airport Transfers - Al Maktoum Airport

Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC), the second airport in Dubai, is also a futuristic world-class airport facility located in Jebel Ali, 37 kilometres southwest of Dubai. However, passenger flights are presently limited in Al Maktoum International airport.

Dubai Airport Transfers: By Road

Dubai Airport enjoys excellent connectivity with nearby regions. D89 road, also known as Airport Road/Al Maktoum Road, or Al Khawaneej Road connects the airport to the rest of Dubai. It is one of the longest intra-city roads beginning at the Deira Corniche and perpendicular to D 85 (Baniyas Road), heading south-eastward towards Dubai International Airport. It is very easy and comfortable to use any of the following modes of transports by road for airport transfers in Dubai:

Dubai Airport Transfer Via Mini-bus/Van/Private vehicle

While most people may want to travel by cab, it is an expensive proposition. On the other hand, shared transport comes across as quite reasonable as well as comfortable choice. There are a number of completely safe shared-ride options from Dubai airport like Minibuses, vans, luxury limousines etc. You’ll find the driver standing at the arrival gate with the announcement board so that you can easily identify your vehicle. These vehicles have nice comfortable seats with ample room for luggage. They drop you right in front of your hotel/airport. They are not only way cheaper than private cabs but also save you time and rids you of hassles associated with public transport.

Useful Tip

Many online sites like Headout offer great options for airport transfers to suit your budget and availability of time in hand. Things always work out better and more convenient with advance bookings.

Dubai Airport Transfers Via Taxi

Dubai International Airport, one of the world’s busiest airports, is equipped with modern technology and infrastructure. The ground transportation network is exhaustive and hence connectivity to/from the airport is amazingly good. Taxis are easily available from the airport and certainly are very convenient. However, when compared to public or shared transports, they turn out to be quite expensive.

Luckily, there is hardly any fluctuation in cab fares as all taxi companies in Dubai are generally franchised by the government of UAE. The fares are calculated using 7€ initial airport fee, 0.45€/km distance fare, and 0.15€/km waiting fare. Dubai airport taxi rides to the Downtown district cost about 15€ (62.50 AED) and it takes about 15 minutes to get there on an average.

Useful Tip

It is not a bad idea to book your cab in advance with a well-known taxi service provider as the rates would not vary a lot. You can have additional conveniences like an English-speaking driver, zero wait-time, and better service.

Dubai Airport Transfers Via RTA Bus

The Roads and Transport Authority of Dubai handles an efficient and convenient public transport system in Dubai. It operates a fleet of modern, air-conditioned buses that offer an economical mode of transport to passengers. Their fare starts from about $2 per journey to the city centre (and higher for more remote areas). Buses arrive and leave from stands opposite Terminal 1, 2, and 3. To use public bus services in Dubai, you must have a prepaid NOL card. Cash is not accepted.

These cards can be bought at any metro station, or from the machine at Dubai airport arrival terminals. The Dubai Bus fleet has over 1500 buses and the average waiting time is about 7 minutes during the day and 20 minutes in the night. Bus No. 401 and 402 take you to the city. Children below 5 years of age and below 90cm (Metro) travel for free.

Useful Tip

The RTA bus service in Dubai is certainly a very economical way for airport transfers but be sure to check the distance of your hotel to the bus station. It is more suited though for those travelling light and without small children. There also is a risk of getting caught in traffic jams.

Dubai Airport Transfers: By Train/Metro

Dubai has a good train/metro connectivity from the airport to the city. It is definitely convenient to use metro for airport transfers as they are fast, reliable, have dedicated spaces for luggage, and stops near most major landmarks and popular hotels. Here’s some vital information about Dubai metro:

  1. It takes about 40 minutes to reach the city centre from the airport by metro.
  2. The frequency is every 5 to 7 minutes depending on the time of the day.
  3. The cost of a one-way ticket is $1.6-2 (5.8-7 AED).
  4. The red-line of Dubai Metro has stops at terminals 1 & 3.
  5. Red-line cuts through Dubai Downtown, JLT/DMCC, Dubai Marina/DAMAC, and Jebel Ali. Currently, due to metro extension work, the Red Line concludes at JLT/DMCC.
  6. Tickets are available at ticket machines and ticket counters at the station.
  7. The timings are from 05:50 to 00:00 (on Friday - from 13:00 to 01:00)
  8. The NOL card is multi-purpose and can be used for the metro and buses.
Dubai Airport Transfers Guide - Metro

Dubai Metro

More Dubai Guides

For more Dubai information, here are some helpful quick links!