Ferrari World on Yas Island Abu Dhabi

Dubai to Yas Island Theme Parks Day Trip Guide for 2023

by Dubai Travel Planner

Looking to take a day trip down to Abu Dhabi for the fabulous theme parks of Yas Island?

Although in an entirely different city, the Yas Island theme parks in Abu Dhabi are surprisingly easy to access from Dubai.

Yas Island sits on the eastern outskirts of Abu Dhabi, near the Abu Dhabi International Airport, making it one of the first Abu Dhabi destinations you reach from Dubai.

What are the Yas Island Theme Parks?

Currently, three major theme parks make up the Yas Island experience; these are:

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is expected to join this trio later in 2023.

NB opening times can vary over the Holy Month of Ramadan and during public holidays and special events.

(Yas Waterworld shuts for annual maintenance in January. Reopen date for 2023 is scheduled for February 11, just in time for the local school half-term break!)

Dubai to Yas Island FREE Shuttle

When you book your tickets to any of the Yas Theme Parks, you can take advantage of the FREE shuttle bus service from Dubai to Yas Island.

You will need evidence of an e-ticket for any of the theme parks, then it works on a first-come-first-served basis. There are two two designated starting points in Dubai (pre-pandemic, there used to be five shuttle pick-up points, take note of the new timetable!)

The Dubai shuttle buses leave at 11:00 AM daily from:

  • Y6 Route Deira City Centre (entrance beside Aloft Hotel) – approximately 2 hours
  • Y7 Route Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates – approximately 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yas Island Ferrari World Entrance Yas Express Bus
The Ferrari World shuttle pick up & drop off point, attached to Yas Mall Abu Dhabi

You can find the current Yas Shuttle service timetable here if you are looking to get about the rest of Yas Island beyond the theme parks.

NB COVID border restrictions between Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been lifted, and public places no longer require the presentaion of a Green Al Hosn pass.

Buying Your Yas Island Theme Park Tickets

You can purchase your Yas Theme park tickets in advance, which will include the free shuttle. We highly recommend buying in advance as on-the-door ticket prices are 10% more.

In addition to buying tickets from the parks themselves, there are several ticket resellers and tour operators you may find a better price with or extras thrown in, such as private transfers, for example:

NB, be careful of some city tours offering only a stop at Ferrari World – if it’s only scheduled for less than an hour on the itinerary, it’s almost certainly only a photo stop at the entrance – seriously, not that exciting! Thrill fans, make sure you get what you’re paying for.

  • Dubai Go City Explorer Pass – **Great value for all three parks** Ferrari World, WB World Abu Dhabi, and Yas Waterworld are all included in this Dubai multi-attraction pass. (NB a 3-attraction pass on Go City would cost 669 AED per adult vs. RRP for three parks 920 AED – we explain completely how Go City passes work here)
  • You can get a 3-day, 3-park pass from any of the venues for 545 AED online. This is superb value, but you must use this ticket on three separate dates, valid 14 days from the first use. This may not work on a day/weekend trip from Dubai.

Just after a single park entry without transfers? Some of the best discounts we’ve found for single tickets are on Klook:

Pricing is correct as of January 2023 – please check the savings we’ve described are accurate before booking. Under 3’s are free at all Yas theme parks.

Dubai to Yas Island Transfers

If the timings do not work for you on the Yas Island Shuttle buses, and you already have your theme park tickets, you may prefer to arrange your own transfers; these are options to consider:

  • Use Get Transfer a service that allows users to put in their journey details, and drivers bid for your fare. You set the vehicle size you need and whether you’d like it to be one-way or a return transfer. A good way to get competitive pricing over the regular ride-share service that will set your price for you.
Yas Waterworld, supplied
Yas Waterworld – image supplied

Dubai to Yas Island Public Bus

You can choose to make your own way to Abu Dhabi from Dubai by Intercity Bus, then onwards to the Yas Island theme parks.

It’s not the most direct of routes and takes a long time, but if you plan to see other things in Abu Dhabi, it could be a practical option to consider.

There is a reasonable public transport system in Abu Dhabi, albeit as a smaller city nowhere near as comprehensive as Dubai.  We explain here exactly how to take the public bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi central bus station in Al Wadha.

  • From Abu Dhabi Bus station, you then need to catch a local bus service to Yas Island
  • Local bus 190 leaves once an hour to Ferrari World/Yas Mall, via Saadiyat Island

Your Intercity bus to Abu Dhabi will cost 25 AED plus the local bus fare 6 AED.

Dubai to Yas Island Taxi Fare

If you take a metered taxi from Dubai to Yas Island, you will likely pay the following:

  • From Downtown Dubai 200 AED ($55 USD)
  • From Dubai Airport 230 AED ($63 USD)
  • From JBR/Dubai Marina area 170AED ($46USD)

Taxis from Dubai are allowed to cross into Abu Dhabi Emirate without issue. However, since COVID it has become more common now for taxis to stop at the first ADNOC petrol station after the border and ask passengers to change to a local Abu Dhabi taxi to complete the journey.

Self-drive Dubai to Yas Island

If you have access to a car or wish to rent a car in Dubai, you can easily self-drive to Yas Island:

  • From Dubai, take the E11 Highway (Sheikh Zayed Road)
  • Stay left at Al Shahama for the E10, signposted to Abu Dhabi
  • Take the Yas Island East Exit for the E12 (also marked ‘Yas Leisure Drive‘)
  • Follow the blue signs that say ‘Yas Leisure Drive‘ until you reach the brown tourist signs. Follow each to your final destination – each theme park has its own free car parking.
Yas Waterworld on Yas Island

Transfers from DXB Dubai Airport to Yas Island

There is no direct transfer service that runs from DXB to Yas Island; you would need to:

  • Get yourself from DXB to one of the pickup locations described above for the free shuttle
  • Pay for a taxi door to door
  • Arrange a private transfer driver

Transport on Yas Island

Once you are on Yas Island, there is the Yas Express which runs between the theme parks, Yas Plaza hotels, the Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Bay, and the Yas Marina bars and entertainment area.

You can also catch taxis within the island, but bare in mind the minimum fare you will pay at a 12 AED flat rate.

Yas Island to Dubai Transport

Returning to Dubai from Yas Island, you can take the same free shuttle service back with your ticket as evidence you have been to the parks. 

There are two evening return service that leaves from:

  • Route Y6 back to Deira City Centre from Ferrari World 8:00 PM, Yas Waterworld/Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi 8:10 PM. Arrives DCC 10:00 PM
  • Route Y7 back to Sheraton Mall of the Emirates, from Ferrari World 7:30 PM, Yas Waterworld/Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi 7:40 PM. Arrives MoE 9:10 PM.

If this does not fit your timings, however, then you may need to look at taking a metred taxi back to Dubai from Yas Island, or trying a ride-share service such as Careem. They are available in front of all three venues and will take you door to door.

Outside entrance to Warner Bros World in Abu Dhabi. Shuttle buses depart from the roundabout pictured here on the right hand side

Want to Stay on Yas Island?

There is plenty to keep you busy on Yas Island for a full two days, so it’s a great idea to turn it into at least an overnighter from Dubai. 

Since we first published this guide, The WB Abu Dhabi, Curio Collection by Hilton family hotel has opened, sitting immediately adjacent to the entry of WB World and Yas Waterpark. It is the ideal place to base yourself overnight, especially with the kids they’ll love the themed rooms.

Nearby you’ll find the Yas Plaza hotels. Many offer theme park tickets with your stay, so these can be a great alternative to consider at a cheaper price, just a short shuttle away from the Yas theme parks.

Another brand new five-star opening that would be excellent for a longer stay is the Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, located at the centre of newly opened Yas Bay area – a thriving new nightlife destination with a wonderful pool. They also offer ticket-inclusive packages that can equal great savings.

You can see all Yas Island hotels and nearby accommodation options here.

Make sure you head to our partner site Abu Dhabi Travel Planner, to learn more about Things to do on Yas Island and more ideas for exploring Abu Dhabi.

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

  • Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!!!

Information on shuttle services sourced from Farah Experiences and correct at the time of writing (last updated January 2023). Please always check departure times and availability of service before travelling.

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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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