Air-conditioned buses connect most areas within each emirate and inter-emirates. They operate according to schedule.
Public buses are operated by:
Refer to the respective entity for schedules and fares.
In some emirates, special cards are used for payment. They are:
For more information, refer to the following links:
Taxis can be hailed from the roadside or can be booked in advance. There are special taxis for women and children, families and for people of determination.
To book a taxi in:
- Abu Dhabi, call TransAD on 600535353 or book via the Abu Dhabi Taxi app available for both iOS and Android platforms
- Dubai, call RTA on 04-2080808 or use the Smart taxi app available of iOS and Android
- Sharjah, call on 600525252 or request online
- Ajman, call on 600599997.
Booking charges apply and differ from emirate to emirate, type of taxi booked and time of the day.
In Abu Dhabi city, daytime starting fare for regular taxi is AED 3.50.
In Dubai city, daytime starting fare for regular taxi is AED 8.
In Sharjah city, the minimum fee of the trip in regular taxi is AED 11.50.
For updated fares, refer to the respective transport authority.
Passengers are required to pay an additional charge of AED 4 when passing through toll gates in Dubai and 20 AED for trips between Dubai and the northern emirates.
You can carpool legally only after registering with local transport authorities. To carpool in Abu Dhabi, register with Department of Transport for their Darb programme and in Dubai, register with Roads and Transport Authority for their Sharekni programme.
Unauthorised carpooling could attract heavy fines.
Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai offers the smart car rental service through which you can rent a car for not more than six hours.
Steps to smart renting
- Download the ekar or Udrive apps and register yourself.
- You will receive a Personal Identification Number (PIN), after which you can book a car.
- Locate the car parked in RTA parking lots.
- Open the door by clicking an icon in the app.
- Enter the PIN in the device fitted in the vehicle and turn the engine on.
- The bill will be dispatched to customers via the e-system.
Fares range from 40 to 50 fils per minute i.e. Dh24 to Dh30 per hour and vary according to the location of returning the vehicle.
Vehicles are deployed at over 45 locations including the following metro stations: Rashidiya, Burjuman, Ibn Battuta, Union and Business Bay.
Public parking facilities
Local transport authorities govern public parking areas in respective emirates. Parking fees differ in each emirate depending on the location, type and duration of parking. Parking is free on Fridays and public holidays. People with special needs are entitled to park free of charge.
Parking fees can be paid by:
- official currency coins
- credit card
- text message
- UAE Government transportation apps
- prepaid/rechargeable parking card
- seasonal parking card
- Nol card.
Information about the parking timings, fees and modes of payment are indicated on the payment booths in the parking areas.
Violating parking rules could attract fine/s.
Read more about how to obtain prepaid and rechargeable parking cards in:
Find out more about parking zones, timings, fees and fines in different emirates on the websites of:
Driving and traffic laws
Motorists in the UAE drive on the right side of the road. Drivers must adhere to traffic laws for their own safety and for that of others.
In case of a violation, local transport authority or police will impose penalty in the form of fine, black points and/or confiscation of vehicle depending on the nature and severity of the violation.
In severe cases, fines and other punishments such as a jail term and/or deportation are decided by court.
Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or similar substances is taken very seriously and the punishment for this is decided by court. Some of the other offences that attract penalty/ies are:
- driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or similar substances
- failure to fasten seat belt while driving
- allowing children under 10 years old to sit in the front seat of a vehicle
- jumping a red light
- using hand-held mobile phone while driving.
Read more about the traffic rules and fines.
Find list of traffic offences and violations (PDF, 300 KB).
Getting a driving licence
In order to be able to drive in the UAE, you need a valid driving licence.
UAE citizens and residents who wish to obtain a driving licence for vehicles (light/heavy) or motorcycles, need to:
- Open an application file in the licensing authority in the respective emirate
- Open a training file in an authorised driving school
- Take theoretical and practical training
- Pass the driving tests.
Citizens of these countries can convert their driving licence issued in their home country to UAE licence without having to take a driving test.
Check on RTA website the possibility of converting foreign driving license into Dubai driving license.
Starting from 01 July 2017, new drivers of all ages will get a two-year driving licence, according to new traffic rules issued by Lt. General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.
Driving licences will subsequently be renewed for 10 years, renewable for similar periods for citizens, while expatriates will be entitled to renew their licences for five years, renewable for similar periods.
The minimum age requirement to obtain a driving licence depends on the vehicle you are obtaining the licence for. It is:
- 17 years old for motorcycles and for vehicles for people with special needs
- 18 years old for cars and light vehicles
- 20 years old for heavy vehicles and Tractors
- 21 years for buses
Registering a vehicle
When you buy a vehicle from an agency or an authorised dealer, they will register the vehicle on your behalf. In other cases, you need to register it. To register a vehicle, these are general requirements:
- Get your vehicle tested at one of the authorised testing centres; the result should be positive
- Buy insurance
- Clear fines, if any
- Apply for registration either through an agent or by calling the call centre or by doing it online
- Pay the fees.
You will receive the registration card and a sticker with the month until which your car registration is valid.
Refer to the eFlyer explaining the process to register a vehicle.
Updated on 24 Jul 2018