Transportation in the
United Arab Emirates is mainly possible by means of cars.
Cars take up the largest portion of transportation in the
UAE, which is followed by buses and then motorcycles.
In order to own a car, the only requirement is for you to
have a UAE residence visa. Brand new cars can cost between
Dhs. 40,000 ($ 11,000) and 200,000 ($ 55,000), while second
hand cars can start as low as Dhs. 8,000 ($ 2,200). The list
of new car dealers can be found at UAE
Car Agents and Dealers, while a list of second hand car
dealers can be found here.
If you don't have a car of your own, then the best means
of getting round in the UAE is by taxi. Taxis will take you
within an emirate or from emirate to emirate, if you have
the money. In the UAE, taxis are only allowed to take you
from the emirate their vehicle is registered in, to any destination
you wish to go but by law cant bring you back. For example's
sake, a cab registered in Dubai, can take you from Dubai to
Sharjah but cant pick you up in Sharjah and bring you to Dubai.
I am not saying that taxis wouldn't do it, but by law they
are not supposed to and if they are caught they will pay a
large fine and most likely have they're taxi taken away from
them for sometime. It is a strange system, as taxis have to
go back to their emirate empty after they drop someone somewhere.
The main disadvantage is for the customers, as the taxi fares
would be much less if taxis could take people from anywhere
Taxis in the UAE charge by law of the emirate
or by meter. Meter taxis are widely used in Dubai while taxis
in the other emirates charge according to the official price
issued by the emirate. The table below contains official taxi
fare prices for the emirates of Ajman and Sharjah.
| Within Ajman - Dhs. 3 - 5
To Sharjah - Dhs. 7 - 15
To Dubai - Dhs. 20 - 35
| Within Sharjah - Dhs. 5 - 10
To Ajman - Dhs. 10
To Dubai - Dhs. 15 - 30
Many individuals prefer to bundle together
in taxis to reduce the price per person. Most emirates will
have a taxi stand, where people come to share a cab to either
go to another emirate or else to a far away area of the same
The most popular taxi stand in Dubai is the Deira
taxi stand and it has buses that travel to nearly every
emirate in the UAE at particular hourly or half-hourly
intervals (or else when the bus fills). This Inter-Emirates
bus system is run by the Dubai government's transportation
system, Dubai Transport Corporation (DTC). Dubai Transport
took over the taxi stand in 1997, which was previously
being run by station-wagon cabs that were not very clean
or comfortable. Dubai Transport buses are clean, spacious,
air-conditioned, and economical. The travel rates are
|Sharjah - Dhs. 5
||Ras Al Khaymah - Dhs. 20
|Ajman - Dhs. 7
||Fujairah - Dhs. 25
|Umm Al Quwain - Dhs. 10
||Khorfakhan - Dhs. 30
|Dhaid Dhs. - 15
|| Al Ain - Dhs. 30
|Masafi - Dhs. 20
||Abu Dhabi - Dhs. 15
Dubai Transport started a new Dubai
to Sharjah taxi stand in the central market place of
Deira on the 7th of August 2002. The taxi stand has
53 new 30-seater buses provided by Al Futtaim Motors.
Sharjah Taxi Stands
There are no official taxi stands in Sharjah, but
there are areas where taxis come when individuals want
to travel to or from Sharjah. The main taxi area in
Sharjah is in Rolla. Rolla is the central part of Sharjah
that contains a large retail shopping area, and a number
of banks and hotels. Individuals from Ajman who are
heading to Dubai will normally stop in Rolla to change
cabs to continue on to Dubai. Similarly some individuals
from Dubai heading to Ajman, will stop in Rolla to change
cabs to continue on to Ajman. It costs Dhs. 5/person
to travel from Rolla to Dubai and Dhs. 2/person to travel
from Rolla to Ajman. Other than Rolla, you can catch
a cab to Dubai from the Al Khan round-about for Dhs.
3/person. It costs less than it does from Rolla because
these cabs are 7 or 8 seat station-wagons, while in
Rolla the cabs are regular 4 seat sedan.
As of January 10th 2004, the Sharjah-to-Dubai inter-emirate bus service has started with the building of bus stands in Rolla
(Al Arouba Road) and Al Wahda street (opposite
Sharjah City Centre). Initially the buses used are Dubai Transport Corporation buses, which have been returning to Dubai empty. Ticket prices are Dhs. 5 and buses travel to
Deira and Bur Dubai, and Sharjah Transport plans to
expand the service to other popular areas, including
the beginning of Ajman.
Sharjah Transport has taken a set forward
and plans to begin a new taxi transportation system
in June 2004 (Gulf
News). They have taken over the regular taxi system
and started using metered taxis under the company banner
of, Citi Taxis. Unfortunately, due to the new
meter system, cost of transport within the emirate and
to other emirates have doubled.
Ajman Taxi Stands
Similar to Sharjah, there aren't any dedicated taxi
stand areas but there are a few locations where taxis
will come to take people. The main area for taxi sharing
in Ajman is Al Manama Street (the official name is Sheikh
Rashid Street). You can catch a shared taxi anywhere
along this street, which runs from the beach road (corniche)
to the last round-about of Ajman. The reason why Al
Manama Street is the taxi area is because it is the
same street that Rolla is on. It cost Dhs. 2/person
to travel from Ajman to Rolla. It is possible to travel
to Dubai from Ajman but only in the morning. It can
be done from the Ajman traffic police station round-about
and costs Dhs. 5/person.
Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain have public bus transportation
system. In Dubai, it costs between 1
and 4 dirhams to get on the bus and the buses are air-conditioned,
with a separate area for women and men. The bus system has
been handled by the Dubai Municipality since 1995 and has
continuously been improving. The bus
routing map provided by the Dubai Municipality unfortunately
is very unorganized. It doesn't indicate the bus routes through
Deira and Bur Dubai, which are the main two areas of Dubai.
It would be nice to be able to select a bus route number and
have the route clearly shown. The Dubai Municipality has recently
announced that it plans to improve inter-emirate bus services,
and has already expanded its current public bus system (Gulf
News). Other than public transport, buses are used to
transport children to school or workers to work.
Inter-Emirate Bus Services
As indicated above, Dubai Transport Corporation (DTC) has been leading the UAE regarding luxury and cheap bus transportation between emirates. After setting up bus stations to take passengers in Sharjah during January 2004, they have stepped forward and setup a bus station in Ajman in December 2004 (Khaleej Times). The Dubai and Abu Dhabi Municipalities have also jumped into the ring launching a Dubai-to-Abu Dhabi inter-emirate bus service known as Emirates Express in March 2005, which only costs Dhs. 15 for a one-way trip which leaves every 45 minutes (Gulf News). DTC also has slashed their prices for their Dubai-to-Abu Dhabi inter-emirate bus service to Dhs. 15, but unfortunately they are only a one-way service (Gulf News).
Motorcycles are very rarely used, as it is very dangerous
to ride a motorcycle here in the UAE. Motorcycles are mainly
used by carrier services, as motorcycles have no problems
getting through traffic jams to insure fast delivery. Individuals
who can't afford a car also use motorcycles, as motorcycles
can cost as low as Dhs. 3,000.
Other means of transportation are not used,
as the temperature in the United Arab Emirates is quite hot
all year long. Similar to the motorcycle, riding a bike isn't
safe and riding on the sidewalks is not allowed.