Is there a Dubai to Abu Dhabi Metro?

by Dubai Travel Planner

At present, there is no Metro or train service that passengers can take all the way from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.

We can, however, guide you to exactly how you CAN transit between the UAE’s two largest cities.

How to Get Between Dubai and Abu Dhabi

There are five primary ways to transit between the two cities:

  • Public Bus
  • Taxi
  • Private Car (self-hire or driver)
  • Tour group
  • Airline Bus

Dubai to Abu Dhabi Distance

This all depends on where you start and end your journey, but as a general guide:

  • The distance from Downtown Dubai (Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa) to Abu Dhabi Central Station (Al Wadha Mall) is 140 kms.
  • From Dubai Airport (DBX) to the Abu Dhabi Corniche is 160 kms.
  • From Dubai Marina area to Yas Island or Abu Dhabi Airport is less than 100 kms.

By private car or small van, you can move at high speed along the E11 Freeway between the two cities making the journey a little over an hour, whereas public transport from opposite sides of each city can take 2+ hours.

Dubai to Abu Dhabi Bus

Rather than a Metro or train line, the Intercity Bus is the only public transport between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The Intercity Bus Service now operates three routes from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.

  • Route 100 – Al Ghubaiba Bus Station (connects to Dubai Green Metro)) in Bur Dubai to Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station [Every 20-35 minutes, approx 2.15-hour journey]
  • Route 101 – Ibn Battuta Bus Station (connects to Red Line Metro) to Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station [every 20-35 minutes, approx 1.5-hour journey]
  • Route 102 – Ibn Battuta Mall to Mussafah Shabiya Bus Station, via Zayed International Airport Terminal A [every hour, approx 2 hour journey]

All these routes also run in reverse from Abu Dhabi back to Dubai and cost 25 AED one-way.

You can see our complete guide on how the public bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi works here.

The Dubai Metro will not get you all the way to Abu Dhabi, we explain your transport choices.

Connecting to Abu Dhabi from Dubai International Airport DXB

You can connect from Dubai Airport to Abu Dhabi in a few ways.

From Dubai Airport, there are both Metro and Bus options to get you to Al Ghubaiba Station to switch to the Intercity bus to Abu Dhabi.

From Al Ghubaiba Bus Station, you can connect to DXB by:

  • From Terminal 1, take Bus 33 or 42
  • Terminal 2 take bus 31
  • From Terminal 3, take the Red Line Metro to Burjuman, then switch to the Green Line for Al Ghubaiaba metro stop.
  • Catch a taxi – approx 30 AED

Connecting to Zayed International Airport AUH from Dubai

If you take the public bus from either Ibn Battuta or Al Ghubaiba Bus Station to Abu Dhabi Central Station, you must head back on yourself to connect to Abu Dhabi International Airport (now called Zayed International Airport) AUH, which sits “off-island”.

From Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station to AUH:

  • Take the 2A bus, which leaves every 40 minutes, 4 AED
  • Take a taxi – approx 30 minutes and costs approx 40-50 AED

Or, head to the last stop on the Red Line Metro at Jebal Ali. From here, take a taxi over the border directly to Abu Dhabi airport. This should only cost around 170-200 AED rather than 300 AED+ from deeper in Dubai.

You can also now take the AUH express shuttle bus service from Ibn Battuta station (Red Line Metro) – 35 AED per person one way, which gives you the convenience of dropping you at the airport door.

We’ve found it’s cheaper to pre-book your seat on the AUH Express from Ibn Battuta; but tickets can be bought at Ibn Battuta station in cash or with Nol (or vice versa, from AUH airport back to Dubai)

The AUH Express runs on the hour, every hour from Ibn Battuta Station 24 hours a day.

Another less-publicised option for AUH airport passengers is to take the Intercity Bus 102 from Ibn Battuta. It’s a slightly slower journey than the express coach but now makes a stop at the new Terminal A Zayed International Airport and only costs 25 AED.

the E102 Bus Service from Ibn Battuta to Abu Dhabi shopping a stop At Zayed International Airport
Schedule for the 102 Bus at Ibn Battuta, a cheaper alternative way to get from Dubai to Zayed International Airport in Abu Dhabi

Free transport option to AUH

If you are flying with Etihad, you can book your ticket to start from the Etihad Travel Mall office in Downtown Dubai to include a seat on their luxury coach to AUH.

As long as you pre-book (your journey will therefore start at XNB airport code), this transfer is included in your ticket price and is by far the most cost-effective method of getting to AUH for Etihad passengers starting in Dubai.

You can learn more about free airline buses in the UAE here

Will there ever be a direct train line between Dubai and Abu Dhabi?

We live in hope!

Etihad Rail looks promisingly close to opening. However, current plans look like the passenger service for Abu Dhabi will terminate on the city’s outskirts, meaning you’d still need a bus or taxi to complete your journey into Abu Dhabi city or airport.

Watch this space, though. There’s sure to be some time savings offered by this new rail service in the very near future.

What about the Hyperloop? It was all the rage a few years ago, but things have gone quiet since the developments in Etihad Rail. You can learn more about the Dubai Hyperloop project here.

Learn all about how to get around in Dubai and the UAE here in our complete Dubai Transport guide


Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai

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Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE and transit passengers self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our recommendation links.

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