Convenient and affordable, Dubai Taxi Corporation’s fleet is instantly recognisable thanks to the vehicles’ brightly coloured rooftops. The cars can be flagged down on the street or booked in advance via the Roads & Transport Authority’s call centre or app. Taxis are metered and rough journey costs can be calculated prior to booking on the Dubai Taxi website. A journey from Dubai Marina to Dubai World Trade Centre, for instance, would cost around AED80 (US$22). There are specific taxis assigned to picking up new arrivals at the airport. Extra spacious taxis for women and families are identifiable due to their pink rooftop. Dubai Taxis are also available for daily hire, so to help make a busy day of meetings easier, book one taxi that will even take you into another emirate if required.
Contact: Dubai Taxi, +971 4 2080808 / dubaitaxi.ae
Uber and Careem
The sharing economy is thriving in Dubai, with global brand Uber and local launch Careem both in operation. Many people will already have the Uber app registered, so you can simply start using it as you would at home. Fares are normally 10-20 percent more expensive than a taxi, but arguably worthwhile for the comfort and convenience. Be careful in peak periods, however, when fares can double. If you will be in Dubai for some time, download the Careem app too. It functions just as Uber does but also lets you book RTA vehicles, offering more choice of drivers. Pick-up is normally within 10-minutes of requesting the driver, and advance bookings are available via email for airport collections too. Many hotels also offer luxurious transport or limousine options for their guests, as does Dubai Transport.
Download: Uber and Careem from the app store.
Clean and modern with air-conditioning and Wi-Fi, Dubai Metro has fast become a popular mode of transport. The driverless, fully automated metro rail network currently operates two lines (Red and Green) and is extremely easy to navigate. The route network stretches from Jebel Ali along Sheikh Zayed Road and around Dubai Creek, connecting Dubai International Airport and carrying onwards to Al Rashidiya and Al Qusais. There are special carriages for women and children. To travel, visitors need to purchase a Nol Card or Nol Ticket, which is used to tap in and out so the fare is automatically deducted. Prices start from AED1.80 (US$0.49) and peak at AED14 (US$ 3.81) for a full day’s travel. Trains run from 6am to 11pm Saturday to Thursday and 2pm to midnight on Fridays.
Car and bus hire
For confident drivers, car hire can be an effective means of transport. The market is competitive with key players including AVIS, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty Car Rental.
For something larger, City Sightseeing’s open-top buses are popular and cater well to group bookings. For a more luxurious option, hire a Stretch Hummer for that special event arrival.
Contact: City Sightseeing, city-sightseeing.com
Launched in November 2014, Dubai Tram was introduced to help serve densely populated areas and to provide an alternative means of transport to the new developments springing up in and around the emirate. Phase 1 runs from Dubai Marina through to Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai Knowledge Village, Dubai Media City and Dubai Internet City, ending its journey at Al Sufouh.On weekdays, the first tram departs at 6:30am and services stop at around 1:30am the next day. Trams run at six-minute intervals and payment can be made by Nol Card.
On the water
There are a number of marine transport options to help visitors navigate the waterways. Dubai Ferry operates sightseeing packages such as the ‘Evening Tea’ trip that takes in some of the city’s best landmarks. Each boat can take up to 100 passengers and the boats can also be hired for private use on hourly rental charter packages. Also try the electrical abra that tours Burj Khalifa Lake, weaving in between Dubai Fountain, every evening from 5:45pm to 11:30pm.
Contact: Dubai Ferry, 800 9090 / dubai-ferry.com