Transportation from Dubai Airport to Downtown Dubai

Dubai Airport (DXB)Transportation

Transit Options from Dubai Airport to Downtown Dubai

DXB Airport is well-connected to the city center. Thus, passengers who want to travel from Dubai Airport to downtown Dubai can make their pick among various transit options. It goes without saying that airport taxis and private airport transfers are the most convenient ways to reach the heart of Dubai, especially when taking into consideration the often unbearable Dubai heat, whereas Dubai airport car rentals are ideal for DIY types of travelers. Alternatively, the fast and effective subway is a far more affordable option. Finally, various bus lines link the airport to the city center. Still, their journeys are indirect and time-consuming.


OptionsPrice (AED)Price (€)Price ($)Duration
Taxi60 AED15€15$20 min
Bus5 AED1.26€1.26$70 min
Subway5 AED1.26€1.26$25 min

Dubai Airport to Downtown Dubai by Taxi

If you want to enjoy a hassle-free ride from Dubai Airport to downtown Dubai, you should catch a taxi from one of the airport taxi ranks, lying just outside each of the DXB terminals. Please note that Dubai taxis are cream-colored. Still, the fleet of each taxi company has a unique color on the vehicles’ roof. Moreover, the vehicles with the pink roofs are operated by women and can be exclusively used by women and children.

Fortunately, the vast majority of taxi drivers speak English adequately. Still, Dubai streets have names but no numbers. Therefore, it is always recommended to have the exact address written down on a piece of paper, as well as a nearby site or attraction.

As far as fares are concerned, they are all regulated by the government. Thus, the cost of the taxi rides is calculated by the taximeter based on the distance to the final destination and the traveling time. Overall, the journey from Dubai Airport to downtown Dubai usually lasts around 20 minutes and is priced at about 60 AED(15€/15$). Expectantly, when roads are congested, the duration of the ride, as well as its cost, is higher. Moreover, you’ll also be charged with toll fees. Payments are accepted in cash and via bank cards.

We selected one of the best, most trustworthy and convenient 5-star airport taxi companies for your transfer from Dubai Airport based on user reviews across various platforms such as Google, Tripadvisor and Trustpilot. Welcome Pickups offers a great experience and safety to its travelers.

  • Local English-speaking drivers
  • Flat, pre-paid fee
  • Flight monitoring for delays
  • 24/7 Customer support + free cancellation

Dubai Airport to Downtown Dubai by Bus

If you are looking for a low-cost way to get from Dubai Airport to downtown, you can opt for a bus ride from DXB. Still, you should keep in mind that bus journeys to the city center are time-consuming and entail a significant amount of hassle. Verily, you should expect a 70-80-minute ride to your destination (depending on your terminal). However, during rush hours, rides usually get longer. In any case, your journey won’t be direct, but you’ll have to change between bus lines.

If your arrival terminal is terminal 1, you should reach the bus stop, which lies just outside the exit doors, and catch the Local Bus 33. After 14 minutes, you’ll alight at City Center Metro Bus Stop 1 and hop on Bus 27, which will take you to Dubai Mall in about 28 minutes.

Should you arrive at terminal 2, you’ll have to get on Bus 20, disembark at NMC Hospital 2, and catch Bus X22 to the city center. You should expect a 70-minute ride to the heart of the city. Finally, from terminal 3, you’ll take the CBD (Central Business District) Bus C01 and reach Dnata 2. You’ll walk to Dnata 1 and catch Bus 27 to downtown Dubai. The total duration of your ride will be around 75 minutes.

Buses run from 04:00 am to 01:00 am. Moreover, there are luggage size restrictions.

Our Tip: You’ll find other bus lines traveling from Dubai Airport to the city center. Still, none of them provides a direct connection to the heart of the city.

How Much you’ll Pay for your Bus Ride from Dubai Airport to Downtown

To begin with, you’ll have to buy a Nol Card to pay for your bus fare. Nol Cards are available from the automatic machines at the Arrivals area of each terminal and the airport subway stations. You’ll have to make up your mind concerning the type of card you are going to buy, and consequently, top it with money (up to 7.5 AED(1.88€/1.88$). 

Your first option is to purchase a Red Ticket. It is a contactless paper card that costs 2 AED(0.50€/0.50$) and can be loaded with 10 single tickets or 5 daily passes. The Red Ticket can be used in trains, buses, and the Dubai subway. However, you can use only one means of transit at a time. If you opt for a Red Ticket, you’ll have to pay 6 AED(1.50€/1.50$) for your bus ride from Dubai Airport to downtown Dubai.

Alternatively, you can settle on a Silver Card. Silver Cards are valid almost everywhere (train, bus, tram, sea bus, subway, taxi, parking). Still, they allow free journeys within a 30-minute time interval. Even though they cost 25 AED(6.28€/6.28$), the 19 AED(4.77€/4.77$) are actually credits for onward rides. With a Silver Card, the cost of your bus ride will be even cheaper, as you’ll have to pay just 5 AED(1.26€/1.26$). Last but not least, Gold Cards are also priced at 25 AED(6.28€/6.28$), but they can be used for rides at Dubai trains’ Gold Class.

Children younger than 5 travel for free.

Dubai Airport to Downtown Dubai by Subway

If you are in search of a cheap but also comfortable way to get from Dubai Airport to downtown, you should catch the clean and efficient Dubai subway. You’ll find two airport subway stations: one at terminal 1 and one at terminal 3. The Red Subway Line stops at both stations and travels to the city center on a 4-7-minute frequency. Overall, it runs from 05:00 am to midnight. Still, on Fridays, it operates from 05:00 am to 01:00 am, and on Sundays from 08:00 am to midnight. The ride from DXB Airport to Burj Khalifa – Dubai Mall Metro Station lasts around 25 minutes.

You’ll also need a Nol Card to pay for your subway ticket. Hence, if you buy a Red Ticket, you’ll pay 6 AED(1.50€/1.50$), while if you settle on a Silver Card, your ticket will cost 5 AED(1.26€/1.26$). In any case, children younger than 5 are out of charge. 

Our Tip: There are subway luggage restrictions. Thus, you are allowed to carry only one piece of luggage and one hand baggage.

Car Rental from Dubai Airport to Downtown Dubai

Dubai airport car rentals are the ideal way to travel from Dubai Airport to the city center if you are also planning on exploring areas outside the city limits. Verily, there’s nothing more convenient than traveling in your own car, hence planning the journey in your own way. You’ll find various car hire providers at DXB International Airport. As a matter of fact, if you book your rental car well in advance, you’ll definitely ferret out not-to-be-missed deals and a wide variety of available car models.

You should expect a 20-minute journey from Dubai Airport to downtown. However, if the traffic levels are high, the duration of your ride may be longer. Once you reach the heart of the city, you’ll have to park your Dubai car rental. You’ll find several car parks, whereas street parking is also an option, yet the parking spots are limited. On the other hand, free parking is almost out of the question (except for nights, Fridays, and public holidays).

Private Airport Transfers from Dubai Airport to Downtown Dubai

The most comfortable way to travel from Dubai Airport to the city center is, without a doubt, via a Dubai airport transfer. Welcome services at the airport, fast, reliable, and safe rides, as well as many side amenities, are some of the reasons why private airport transfers are widely preferred by travelers who are in for luxurious transfers. On the other hand, if you are concerned about the cost of your ride from Dubai Airport to downtown Dubai, you should bear in mind that various private transfer companies are present at DXB. Therefore, prices tend to be competitive.


How far is it from Dubai Airport to Downtown Dubai?

Dubai International Airport is located 14km/8.6 miles from Dubai downtown. Thus, Dubai city center is only a 20-minute drive from the airport, while metro rides from DXB, lying in Dubai transport zone 5, to downtown (to the adjacent city zone 6) last 25 minutes.

How do I get from the airport to Downtown Dubai?

Passengers landing at DXB Airport can choose among the comfortable airport taxis or the efficient and cheap Dubai subway for their transfer from Dubai Airport to downtown. Dubai Airport is connected to downtown via public buses as well. However, the journey by bus is really time-consuming and tiring, as a change of line is required.

Is there a bus from Dubai Airport to Downtown?

There are several bus lines linking Dubai Airport to downtown Dubai. Verily, various buses depart from each terminal, heading to the city center. Still, their journeys are time-consuming and entail a lot of hassle, as they require a change of lines.

How much is a taxi from Dubai Airport to Downtown?

Dubai’s taxis are metered. In any case, the 15-20-minute ride from Dubai Airport to downtown usually costs about 60 AED(15€/15$). Payments can be made both in cash and via bank cards.