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 5 primary ways to transit between the two cities:
- Public Bus
- Private Car (self-hire or driver)
- Tour group
- Airline Bus
PLEASE NOTE: At present, the domestic border between Dubai emirate and Abu Dhabi Emirate is closed unless you present a valid, negative COVID-19 test result. This guide sets out all the current rules for Dubai-Abu Dhabi border crossing.
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 140kms.
- From Dubai Airport (DBX) to the Abu Dhabi Corniche is 160kms.
- From Dubai Marina area to Yas Island or Abu Dhabi Airport is less than 100kms.
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 only public transport that exists between Dubai and Abu Dhabi is the Intercity Bus.
The Intercity Bus Service now operates three routes from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.
- Route 100 – Al Ghubaiba Bus Station (Dubai Greenline) in Bur Dubai to Abu Dhabi Central Bus station [Every 20 minutes, approx 2.15 hour journey]
- Route 101 – Ibn Battuta Mall to Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station [every 30 minutes, approx 1.5 hour journey]
- Route 102 – Ibn Battuta Mall to Mussafah Shabiya Bus Station [every hour, approx 1.45 hour journey]
All these routes also run in reverse from Abu Dhabi back to Dubai. and cost 25AED one-way.
Connecting to Abu Dhabi from Dubai International Airport DXB
From Dubai airport, there are both Metro and Bus options to get you to Al Ghubaiba Station in order 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 30AED
Connecting to Abu Dhabi 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 then need to head back on yourself to connect to Abu Dhabi International Airport AUH which sits “off-island”.
From Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station to AUH:
- Take the 1A bus to terminal 1&3, leaves every 40 minutes, 4AED
- Take a taxi – approx 30 minutes and costs approx 50AED
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 170-200AED rather than 300AED+ from deeper in Dubai.
Free transport option to AUH
If you are flying with Etihad, you can book your ticket to start from the Etihad office in Downtown Dubai to include a seat on their luxury coach to AUH. As long as you pre-book, this transfer is included in your ticket price and by far makes it the most cost-effective method of getting to AUH.
Will there ever be a direct train line between Dubai and Abu Dhabi?
We live in hope! But the more likely reality at this point is the development of a hyperloop. You can learn more about the Dubai Hyperloop project here.