Page update - Dec 20, 2022
How to get from the Dubai International Airport (DXB) to your hotel in the city? What is the cheapest, fastest, most convenient option? How to get to other emirates? Read in this review about the prices of cab rides, transfers, features of rides in the local subway.
The prices, timetables and other information on this page were updated in December 2022. Starting December 20, 2022, the timetables for some airport buses (from Terminal 2) have changed. Find the current timetables below on this page.
The Emirate of Dubai has two international airports: Dubai International Airport (DXB) in the east of the city and Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) in the west. We will only talk about Dubai International Airport (DXB) on this page.
For how to get from Al Maktoum Airport (DWC), see our page "How to get from Al Maktoum Airport to the city".
Also! You'll need a NOL transport card to take public transport. Read more about these cards in our review "NOL Card in Dubai".
There are two stations of Dubai Metro inside the Dubai Airport - Airport Terminal 1 and Airport Terminal 3, both on the red (first) line. Simply take the metro to the station nearest to your hotel. For a subway map, fares, and rules, read our detailed review "Dubai Metro".
There is just one important nuance, which will need to be explained in detail next on this page.
Dubai Metro rules allow passengers to carry luggage, but only to or from the airport. This is exactly our case.
Note that the rules state that "large luggage is prohibited". However, since 2010 there has been an exception to these rules for those going to and from the airport. Ramadan Mohammed Abdullah (RTA Director of Rail Transportation) made the this announcement in 2010.
Attention! Taxi drivers and transfer companies employees often lie arriving tourists that luggage is not allowed in the subway. Naturally, they lie to urge tourists using their services and not to go to the subway. Do NOT believe them.
Allowable luggage sizes are equal to the luggage allowance for The Emirates Airlines economy class passengers. These are two bags (suitcases):
- The first one measuring up to 810x580x300 mm (2.65x1.9x0.98 feet);
- The second one measuring up to 550x380x200 mm (1.8x1.24x0.65 feet);
- The weight of your luggage does not matter;
- The luggage can be carried at any time of subway operation;
- The luggage carrying is free of charge.
There are special places in the metro cars for luggage accommodation - platforms along the wall, limited by special railings on the sides and a small curb in front. You will immediately recognize them, they cannot be confused with anything else.
Attention! Baggage must be placed in such an area, but do not stand on it. If caught by the inspectors, there will be a fine of 100 dirhams. For current exchange rates, see our page "Money in the UAE".
And another important point! If you put the luggage outside this area, you should not interfere with the movement of passengers. The fine for this is the same - 100 dirhams.
Find your flight
Terminal 2 serves mostly low-cost airlines. FlyDubai flights arrive there. Unfortunately, there are metro stations only in Terminals 1 and 3, but NOT in Terminal 2.
It would be logical to walk between terminals to take the subway. But that won't work, because Terminal 2 and Terminals 1 and 3 are on opposite sides of the airfield, 8 kilometers (5 miles) between them!
It would make sense to take a shuttle bus between terminals. And there is such a shuttle bus at the airport, but it only works for transit passengers. And it doesn't work that way.
So you have to take a bus to the nearest metro station. The bus stop is at the exit of Terminal 2. Read about how to use buses in our review "Buses in UAE".
It is best to take the 31 bus, which will take you to the subway stations: Al Nahda (green line), Dubai Airport Free Zone (green line), or Al Qusais (green line). This bus has a Terminal 2 stop as the starting (terminal), so you can't get the wrong direction.
The 25 bus does not run now (December 2022). It's a pity. It was the most convenient. Moreover, we can't say exactly when it was canceled. It's just that during the regular pages update (in December 2022) we found out that it's gone. Unfortunately, the RTA (Transportation Authority of Dubai) is very resistant to announcing the cancellation of buses, but always "shouts loudly" when new ones appear.
The N30 night bus started running recently (since September 1, 2019). The route runs from 10 pm to 5 am (22-00 to 5-00), the interval - every hour. It can take you to the subway station "Centrepoint" (red line, until August 2021 was called "Al Rashidiya").
The other buses are less convenient because you can get the wrong direction:
The 43 bus takes you to the subway stations: Abu Baker Al Siddique (green), Salah Al Din (green), Abu Hail (green), Al Nahda (green).
The 13B bus takes you to the Gold Souq subway station (green, called Palm Deira until May 2020).
The 20 bus takes you to Stadium subway station (green).
The C26 bus will take you to Max Fashion subway stations (red, called Al Jafiliya until August 2021) and ADBC (red).
Find your hotel
The fares for rides from Dubai Airport are slightly different from the usual. Usually the price of boarding in a cab is 5 dirhams, and at the airport - 25 dirhams. The price per kilometer is 2.2 dirhams. See our page "Taxis in the UAE" for the actual fares.
Dubai Airport is near the Deira district, which is on the east side of the Dubai Creek Canal. If your hotel is located further away - behind the canal, you will have to pay an extra 5 dirhams for a bridge or tunnel crossing the canal.
The table below shows approximate fares to different parts of Dubai:
Attention! These prices are for an honest cab driver, which means he/she will take the direct route and won't look for a long route to 'wind up' the meter. Not all cab drivers are honest, so be prepared that the cost of the trip will be up to 20% higher than estimated.
|Dubai city district
|Estimated cost, dirhams
|30 to 40
|40 to 60
|45 to 90
|70 to 85
|from 140 to 170
|World Expo Dubai (Expocenter)
|from 150 to 180
It should be noted that there are illegal taxi drivers at Dubai Airport. Some man may come up to you and offer you a ride in his cab. Don't be surprised that the car will be an ordinary one, without taxi signs. We don't recommend taking such illegal service. But if you do, you MUST negotiate about the fixed fee in advance, be guided by the prices from the table above.
You can order the transfer on the Internet. However, it does not make much sense. The cost of your trip will be 50-70% higher than by a cab. In this case, you need to book the transfer in advance that is inconvenient. You can always take a cab at the airport. So far, there is no shortage of cabs at the Dubai airport.
Find your transfer
Some smart tourists book a rental car for one day. The price of this service is affordable - about 120 dirhams. Then you can ride by the car from the airport to the hotel, and the car will be at your disposal until the next day.
The next day, you need to give the car back, if you do not want to leave it for the whole vacation. So look for a rental service that has a point of presence close to your hotel. And you need a hotel with free parking.
When it is necessary to drive back to the airport, take a car at the point of presence and give back at the airport.
The way is very profitable and very interesting, but it requires work to find the right rental service on the Internet so that there is a close point of presence. We recommend looking at: hertz.ae ; dubaiairportcarrental.net ; economycarrentals.com .
Near the Terminal 1 there is the stop of the bus routes: C01, 77, N30, 11A, 24, 32C, 33, 64A. Only the C01, 77, N30 bus stop near the Terminal 3.
If any of those buses stop in close proximity to your hotel, then it's an interesting option. In other cases, the subway is much more convenient.
Then read our pages:
- To buy a NOL-card (transport card) you will need local dirhams. You will have to change money. Read our page "Currency exchange in the UAE";
- Cab drivers gladly accept dollars, pounds, euros, but with a bad exchange rate. At the official rate of dollar/dirham 1:3.75 they are counting 1:3.5. And the most insolent at 1:3;
- It is very easy to find a cab park and subway stations in the airport. There are signs all over the airport;
- Stay alert! To avoid being cheated, keep an eye on the taxi meter. It must be on and count the cost of the trip. If there is no meter or it does not work, you are likely to be charged exorbitant amounts of money at the end of the trip;
- If they try to cheat you, call the police, because it is illegal to drive without a meter. The police phone number is "999". To be able to make a call, it is better to visit an Etisalat or DU sales office at the airport and buy a local SIM card. About how to do this and what the prices are, read on the pages "How to call from the UAE" and "Internet in the UAE cheap".
We wish you a comfortable and inexpensive way to travel around the UAE, and read our useful for tourists pages about this country (see list of the pages below).
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