Getting Around in Abu Dhabi by Public Bus

Public Transport Bus Service in Abu Dhabi

Public Transport Bus Service in Abu Dhabi

I was in the airport yesterday to send off my partner for his most awaited vacation in Philippines. Luckily, we managed to check in a total of 36 kilos of luggage. It was 16 more kilos than the allowed weight. It was really great because we escaped paying additional fee.

Anyway after he left for the immigration section, I started walking out of the airport while mulling over for my transportation back to the city. The Abu Dhabi International Airport is approximately 30 minutes drive from the city proper and the taxi fare ranges between AED 80 – AED 100 per way. We already paid AED 80 on our way to the airport and honestly, I was not keen to spend another AED 80 on my way back home.

So, I asked around if there was any bus station where I could catch a public bus. Luckily, it was just few steps away from the main entrance of the airport though I had a hunch that the waiting period would be long. Indeed my hunch didn’t fail me. I waited for almost 40 minutes but my patience was paid off.

Anyway, I was off and not in a hurry to go home.

The bus fare was only AED 3. It was a nice long trip, approximately 30-45 minutes drive with stops in between.

The public transport bus service was launched only last year. Prior to that, there were only public taxis and in 2007, new private taxis in silver color were launched too. The latter is operated by private franchisees and will soon replace all the old taxis.

The new taxis are more expensive and the meter starts at AED 3 with AED 0.75 for every succeeding kilometer.

The public bus with its routes within the city costs AED 1 only. It is indeed a substantial savings and I am looking forward to commuting through public bus next month. I am still taking taxis on my daily route to the office because it is summer. I personally cannot stand waiting for 20-30 minutes during summer where the temperature ranges between 30-40 °C.

These days the scorching summer heat starts to cool down already and I can’t wait next month when it will be chilly. Then I don’t mind waiting for the bus with such pleasant weather.

I have a quite strange attachment to buses especially for long journeys. Perhaps it reminds me a lot about my childhood when I and my family travelled for hours or days for summer vacation to my Grandpa’s place, and my college days where I used to travel 12-15 hours by bus during summer, semestral break or Christmas occasions to go home.

So I find delight taking public bus for transport as long as I am not in a hurry and the weather is pleasant.

A great way to be frugal, right?!

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2 Responses to Getting Around in Abu Dhabi by Public Bus

  1. charm says:

    hello, i’m staying in dubai for almost 3 years and i’m planning to meet my college friend in abu dhabi marina mall actually he suggested it, and i really dont know how to reach their taking the bus from dubai? hope you can help me since your in dubai.


    • Frugal Expat says:

      @ Charm: Sorry for the late reply. You can take a bus (from Bur Dubai Bus Station). Once you reach the Abu Dhabi Bus Station, just take a taxi and ask the driver to drop you in Marina Mall. For your convenience, I suggest that you better meet your friend in Al Wahda Mall because it is just a walking distance from Abu Dhabi Bus Station.

      Hope it helps!


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