Shuttles and Buses from and to Dubai Airport
Dubai buses, operated by RTA (Roads & Transport Authority), offer efficient services via modern, comfy, and air-conditioned vehicles, covering almost all of the Dubai city area. All buses have dedicated seats for women and children. Divided into 4 categories, the express buses are known for their fewer stops, while the regular local buses make a lot of intermediate stops connecting every part of the city. On the other hand, Feeder buses (F) (blue and white, while all the other Dubai buses are red and white) have a metro station as their departure point and aim at linking the metro network to the city’s districts not served by the subway system. Lastly, central buses (C) handle transfers from Dubai’s Central Business Center (basically the Deira and Bur Dubai areas) to the other Dubai transport zones.
DXB Airport is connected to Dubai via local and central buses as well as an express bus route. Overall, although the bus routes are frequent -almost around the clock- and effective, the city bus network is vast and complicated. Thus, bus rides to the exact location of their accommodation often trouble visitors unfamiliar with the city. What’s more, massive pieces of luggage are not allowed inside the RTA buses.
You won’t find a bus line directly linking Dubai Airport to Downtown Dubai.
Dubai Airport Local Bus Lines
The bus stops are to be found outside every DXB terminal. Hence, following the airport’s signs from the baggage claim area, you will easily locate the bus stands right opposite the exit doors of the terminals’ 1, 2, and 3 Arrival levels. However, each terminal is served by different bus lines. Thus:
Dubai International Airport Terminal 1
Terminal 1 is connected to Dubai via the following local bus lines:
- Bus 11A: Gold Souq Bus Station-Al Awir
- Bus 24: Al Nahda 2- International City
- Bus 32C: Al Qusais Bus Station-Al Satwa Bus Station
- Bus 33: Al Ghubaiba Bus Station-Al Qusais Bus Station
- Bus 64A: Gold Souq Bus Station-Ras Al Khor Samari Residence
- Bus 77: Baniyas Square MS- Al Garhoud, RTA HQ
Dubai International Airport Terminal 2
The remote Dubai airport terminal 2 is also linked to Dubai city via numerous local bus routes:
- Bus 20: Al Nahda Terminus-Al Warsan 3
- Bus 31: DXB Terminal 2-Oud Al Mateena
- Bus 43: Gold Souq Bus Station- Al Qusais Ind’l Area 2
Dubai International Airport Terminal 3
Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport, the Emirates terminal, has only one local bus connection:
- Bus 77: Baniyas Square MS-DXB Terminal 3
Our Tip 1: The Night Bus N30 calls at the three airport terminals from 09:00 pm to 05:00 am. The bus has hourly routes connecting DXB Airport to Dragon Mart 2 and International City Bus Station.
Our Tip 2: DXB passengers can also take the Express Bus 13B from terminal 2. The bus departs from Al Qusais Bus Station and reaches Gold Souq Bus Station passing by Dubai airport terminal 2 and making limited stops on its way.
The CBD Buses from Dubai Airport
CBD (Central Business District) buses connect Dubai International Airport to the business district of Dubai. The buses stand out from the local routes as they have the letter “C” before their route number. Thus, the C01 bus passes by terminals 1 and 3. The bus starts its route from DXB terminal 3 and ends at Al Satwa Bus Station. On the other hand, the Central Business District Bus C26 stops at terminal 2, departing from Al Qusais Ind’l Area and heading to Al Wasl Park.
Important Note: Please keep in mind that all Dubai buses run from 04:00 am to 01:00 am, whereas CBD CO1 operates around the clock.
Intercity Buses from DXB Airport
Apart from the buses linking the airport to the urban area of Dubai, the E700 intercity bus also provides transfer services to DXB passengers wishing to reach Fujairah Bus Station in the capital of the Fujairah UAE Emirate.
Dubai Airport Bus Tickets
To begin with, you should always keep in mind that buying your ticket from the bus driver once entering the bus is not an option in Dubai. Conversely, you’ll have to purchase a rechargeable Nol Card before your bus ride and load it with money (the card must be topped up with at least 7.5 AED(1.88€/1.88$). Nol Cards are available at the airport metro stations or the automatic machines lying at the Arrivals of DXB terminals. Furthermore, you can load your card using either cash or bank cards. As Dubai is divided into 7 transport zones, the price of the bus tickets varies according to the number of traversed zones during the entire journey. Depending on your needs, you can choose among the following card types:
- The Red Ticket: the cheapest option, the Red ticket, is a paper rechargeable card, which can be filled with 10 tickets for single trips or 5 daily passes. The card is valid for train, metro, and bus journeys within 90 days from the date of purchase and costs 2 AED(0.50€/0.50$). However, with a Red ticket, you can use only one transport mean per trip. For transfers around 1 city zone, the ticket price is 4 AED(1€/1$), while journeys from one zone to an adjacent one are priced at 6 AED(1.50€/1.50$). Hence, if you wish to transfer from DXB to Union Metro Station, you’ll have to pay 4 AED(1€/1$), whereas to Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall Station 6 AED(1.50€/1.50$). On the other hand, multi-zone bus rides cost 8.5 AED(2.14€/2.14$).
- The Silver Card: this is probably the best value-for-money option. Valid for all transportation means (trains, subway, buses, taxis, sea buses) and even for some parking lots, the Silver Card costs 25 AED(6.28€/6.28$) but offers a 19 AED(4.77€/4.77$) credit for following rides. With a Silver Card, you will have to pay only 3 AED(0.75€/0.75$) for 1-zone rides, 5 AED(1.26€/1.26$) for journeys between adjacent zones, and 7.5AED(1.88€/1.88$) for more-than-2-zone transfers. Nevertheless, please keep in mind that if you don’t manage to change from one transportation means to the other in 30 minutes, you will have to pay for two trips.
- The Gold Card: the Gold Card is the same price as the silver one. Still, the Gold Class tickets for Dubai trains can be purchased only with that type of NOL Card.
- The Personal Card: this card is addressed to Dubai locals or travelers who visit Dubai regularly.
Our Tip 1: Regardless of the card type, the charge for one trip is applied for up to 3 transfers and up to 180 minutes rides.
Our Tip 2: Children up to 5 years travel for free.
Is bus service available in Dubai?
Dubai has a large fleet of public buses connecting every part of the city. From local bus lines to express buses, and from feeder buses serving metro stations to CBD bus routes, from and to Dubai Business District, the Dubai bus network is vast and efficient. Still, it can be rather complicated for newcomers.
How do you pay for buses in Dubai?
You can’t buy your ticket from the bus driver in Dubai. Firstly, you have to buy a contactless Nol Card and load it with money. Afterward, you can enter the bus and swipe the card through the automatic machines lying at the vehicle’s entrance.