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From Ajman to Dubai and back


Page update - Dec 20, 2022

Despite the fact the Emirate of Ajman is the smallest in the UAE (by territory), the route between Ajman and Dubai is rather busy in both directions. On this page we will look at popular ways of the travel - cabs and buses.

Prices, timetables and other information on this page were updated in December 2022. WARNING! The E400 and E411 bus timetable has changed as of 20 December 2022. Look for the current timetables below on this page.

Why travel from Ajman to Dubai

Tourists in Ajman hotels travel to Dubai to see the main attractions: to go up at the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa, see the Dubai Fountain show, visit the Dubai Mall.

Why travel from Dubai to Ajman

Residents of Dubai travel to Ajman not to see the sights, but for alcohol. The fact is that alcohol is expensive in Dubai. In addition, Dubai still has a liquor license system for residents, despite the amendments of November 8, 2020. The license is paid. Not everyone wants to pay 270 dirhams a year for it.

So they go to Ajman, where the licenses have been abolished and liquor prices are lower. We told all the details about the situation in all seven emirates in the review "Alcohol in the UAE".

Even tourists go for alcohol, if they come to the UAE for a long vacation. It is not possible to bring a lot of alcohol from home or Duty Free, because the import regulations are strict. We wrote about in the review "What and how much you can bring into the UAE".

Distance between Ajman and Dubai

The distance between the western border of Ajman and the eastern border of Dubai is 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) in a straight line, and 9.3 miles (15 kilometers) by road.



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The first way is a cab

It would seem that the cab trip should be cheap, because the distance between the emirates is short. In practice, the cab ride from Ajman to Dubai is expensive.

You have to cross the border of the emirates twice: between Ajman and Sharjah, between Sharjah and Dubai. Therefore, the taxi meter will show +20 dirhams. In addition, if you drive somewhere to the center of Dubai city you will have to pay +5 more dirhams for crossing over the bridge (or tunnel) of Dubai Creek channel.

If you are going from the hotel in Ajman to Dubai Downtown, where all the main attractions are located, the trip will cost 110-140 dirhams. See the current exchange rate of dirham in our review "UAE currency" and the fares in the review "Taxis in the UAE".

To save some money, you can take a cab to Etisalat or Al Qiyadah metro stations. These two stations are closest to the junctions of the E311 (Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed road) and Beirut road, which means that the distance to these stations is minimal. Both stations are in the Deira area of Dubai. The trip in this case will cost 70-90 dirhams. Then travel by subway - it's fast and cheap, read our review "Dubai Metro".

If you need to get from Dubai to Ajman. Take the metro to Etisalat station, where there is a bus station and it's relatively easy to find a cab. The other "outermost" stations on the green line are not as busy, and it's usually hard to find a cab near them. Take a cab straight to where you want to go in Ajman. For example, to the liquor stores Unisat General or Oscars. BE AWARE! Even the Etisalat station is not very busy, and not so many people and cabs there. Sometimes it is hard to find a cab there. It is better to call for a cab using the app. Read our review "Internet in the UAE" for the cheapest ways to get the mobile internet.

You can negotiate with the cab driver for the return journey and you can save up to 50 dirhams. Cab waiting will not cost much, because you will spend 15 minutes in the store, not more.

The second way is to book a transfer

You can easily book a transfer on the Internet. The price of the trip is USD 30, a round trip will be discounted. You can even find a transfer with your native speaking driver.

Transfer and cab are comparable in price.

Transfer is more convenient in some ways. The price is fixed, the driver will not take roundabout ways to get the meter up.

Somehow the transfer is inconvenient, because you can only order it from the hotel, it will not come to the subway station (usually). In addition, you will be strictly tied to time.



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The third way is a bus

There are four bus routes between Ajman and Dubai now (December 2022).

From Ajman, they all leave from Al Musalla bus station. If you are going from Ajman to Dubai, take a cab from your hotel to Al Musalla station, it will cost you 10 dirhams. Then take any of the buses. You can use the idea "take the first one to arrive". BUT, they all go to different places in Dubai.

The buses leave Dubai from different places. You have to think ahead and decide which one you will take.

Travel time in all cases is 50-60 minutes. Could be faster if the roads are free. Could be up to 90 minutes if you get stuck in traffic jams.

The first is the E400.

Runs between Union Square subway station in Dubai and Al Musalla bus station in Ajman. It is owned by the RTA Dubai (Dubai Transport Authority). Accordingly, you have to pay with a Dubai NOL card. Read more about these cards and their features on our page "NOL cards".

The fare is 15 dirhams. The card can be purchased at Al Musalla bus station in Ajman.

The E400 runs from 4:30 am to 11:30 pm (from 4-30 to 23-30) every 20 or 30 minutes. You don't have to keep up with the schedule, you can arrive whenever you want and just wait a bit. With this, the E400 is undoubtedly very convenient.

Download the current (December 2022) E400 schedule.

The second is E411.

The second bus from RTA. It runs between Etisalat subway station in Dubai and Al Musalla bus station in Ajman.

You have to pay with a NOL card, the price is 15 dirhams. But it runs rarely (usually once an hour), and the Etisalat station is at the very end of the green line. Not convenient. Not recommended. The E400 is much better.

Download the current (December 2022) E411 schedule.

The third is the APTC DXB1.

It runs between the Centerpoint subway station (called Al Rashidiya until August 2021) in Dubai and Al Musalla bus station in Ajman.

Nominally, the bus has a route number "DXB1". But these buses do not have this designation often or just a sign "Dubai". It happens in different ways. As this bus looks like, see the photo above, click on the photo to enlarge.

This route belongs to APTC (Ajman Transport Authority). Accordingly, you have to pay for it with the Ajman MASAAR card. The card can be purchased at Al Musalla Bus Station in Ajman.

The price is 15 dirhams for MASAAR card and 19 dirhams for cash.

Ajman-Dubai schedule. Every 30 minutes from 5-15am to 15-45pm in the afternoon (i.e. the bus leaves at the 15th and 45th minute of each hour). Then there is a break from 15-45 to 16-30. Then every 30 minutes from 4:30 pm to 9:00 pm (that is, the bus leaves at the 0th and 30th minutes of each hour).

Dubai-Adjman schedule. Every 30 minutes from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm (that is, the bus leaves at the 0th and 30th minutes of each hour). Then there is a break from 5pm to 5-45pm. Then every 30 minutes from 5:45 pm to 10:15 pm (i.e. the bus leaves on the 15th and 45th minutes of each hour).



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Ajman buses are the most comfortable, they have padded seats, free Wi-Fi, each seat has an LCD screen and you can watch movies. In 2017, the authorities of the Ajman Emirate purchased new ultra-high comfort buses for this route. Each such bus cost $1 million!

The fourth is the APTC Dubai International Airport.

It runs between Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Al Musalla bus station in Ajman.

The Ajman-Dubai Airport schedule is 3-15am, 6-15am, 10-15am, 16-15pm, 20-45pm, 22-45pm.

The schedule of these buses changes periodically. If you decide to use this bus, it is VERY advisable to check the schedule on the official APTC website. The address is https://ta.gov.ae/en/bus-schedules

An important tip about alcohol!

If you're going to Ajman for alcohol, be sure to pack bottles in a bag on the way back so that they cannot be seen. It is better to take a bag that closes with a zipper. On your way back (from Ajman to Dubai) you will pass through Sharjah Emirate. As a reminder, alcohol remains illegal in Sharjah, despite the November 8, 2020 amendments. Police are unlikely to look into your bag, but if the bottle is on display, you may be detained and fined. Read our review of "UAE laws for tourists".

Along the way, there are even scammer groups operating in the Emirate of Sharjah. They lie in wait for people in Ajman liquor stores, then have a little accident on the road. Then, as if by accident, they see alcohol in the car and threaten to call the police and demand money. Fortunately, they rarely track down tourists in cabs, more often the victims are expat workers in cars.

What else you need to know

- Choose a working day (Monday through Thursday) for travel to Dubai. As of January 3, 2022, the work week has changed in the UAE. Weekends are now Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday. On weekends, transportation is usually crowded and there are traffic jams. Read more in our review "Friday and Weekends in the UAE".

- The E400, E411 and APTC buses only pay in dirhams. Read our review "Where and how to change currency in the UAE";

- On buses E400 and E411 you will have to pay with a NOL card which you will have to buy at the bus station for 25 dirhams (19 of them are in the account). Then you can use the card to pay for the subway and buses in Dubai. Read more about rates and features of its work in the review "NOL Cards".

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