Did you think commuting across the city of Dubai was only possible through the roads and rail? If travelling on water is something that floats your boat, you need to know about these couple options offering you traffic-free routes around the city – and a fabulous way to take on some of Dubai’s most unique views!
Marine Transport in Dubai
Recent and ongoing developments around the landscape of Dubai has included various man-made canals, along with natural waterways. Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has made it possible to travel across these waterways, and take a more traffic-free route in order to get to your destination. Not only are there more than one modes of marine transport, but they are all very economical, for both residents and tourists.
The traditional wooden Abra boats are most frequently travelled between Dubai Creek, located in the heart of old Dubai, making it a wonderful way to discover the charm of the old city. Also popular with tourists is Dubai Ferry. It’s a modern 100 -passenger capacity ferry cruising around the city’s most breathtaking views from the coastline.
Other ways to travel on the tranquil waterways include the Dubai Water Taxi and Dubai Water Bus. Often mistaken for each other, they are in fact two different services offered by the RTA operating in different parts of the city.
What is Dubai Water Taxi?
Working just as a normal taxi would on the road, the Dubai Water Taxi is designed to help passengers transit between different locations, except that it travels on the city’s waterways. Although enjoying a bit of sightseeing from these mini air-conditioned water taxis is possible, they are generally used more as a way to commute.
Each Water Taxi is able to comfortably seat 10 passengers, complete with personal LCD monitors for all.
Routes for the Dubai Water Taxi
Operating between two zones, there are 44 stations spread across the city, from where you can hop on and off. Zone 1 includes the modern skyline of the cosmopolitan city, which includes Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah. On the other hand, Zone 2 takes you across a heritage route and includes Dubai Creek and the Dubai Water Canal.
For the complete list of all 44 stations, please check the page on the official RTA website, as shown in the map below.
Dubai Water Taxi Cost
Tickets for a Water Taxi can either be booked online through the RTA website or by calling the RTA toll free number – 8009090. The Water taxi will then be available to pick you up from your chosen location.
Depending on how far you wish to travel, tickets can cost between AED 55 – AED 205.
Water Taxis can also be chartered for an hourly rate of AED 400 – a great idea if you have a group and need to get between two points of the city on the water.
Frequency of Dubai Water Taxi
Dubai Water Taxis are flexible running on-demand only from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
What is a Water Bus in Dubai?
Similar to the Water Taxi, Dubai Water Bus is also a modern way to commute across the water, but it only operates in Dubai Marina.
With only short distances between each stop, it is an ideal way to enjoy this traffic-free route between towering high-rise buildings of this fast-paced city. There are plenty of modern landscapes to see on the ride, from rows of private owned yachts to going under bridges.
Make the journey even more memorable and photograph worthy by sailing at sunset or after dark, as you catch lights shimmering from the various buildings and watch cafes along the promenade fill up with people.
Each Water Bus has an enclosed air-conditioned interior and is able to comfortably seat 20 passengers, including people of determination. They are currently updating the fleet from older white and red water buses to modern airconditioned abras.
Dubai Water Bus Routes
The Dubai Water Bus operates in Dubai Marina, between four scenic locations:
- Marina Terrace
- Marina Walk
- Dubai Marina Mall
- Marina Promenade
There are plans underway to extend an additional route to Blue Waters.
Price of Dubai Water Bus
Payment for the Water Bus fare can be made with the Nol cards, where the passengers can swipe their cards at the card reader upon boarding and again when arriving at their final destination. The fares are:
- Dubai Marina Walk – Marina Terrace: AED 3
- Dubai Marina Mall – Marina Promenade: AED 3
- Dubai Marina Walk – Dubai Marina Mall: AED 5
- Marina Promenade – Marine Terrace: AED 11
Top up of the Nol cards can be done at RTA’s Customer Happiness Center, RTA’s App, or at the marine transport stations. You can also book marine tickets on the RTA website.
Frequency of the Dubai Water Bus
Dubai Water Buses travel between the four locations, all within Dubai Marina at 15 – 20 minute intervals. They operate at the following timings:
Saturday to Thursday Dubai Water Bus schedule
- From Marina Mall to Marina Walk: Between 11:00 am – 03:15 pm and 10:15 pm – 10:35 pm
- From Marina Promenade to Marina Walk, via Marina Mall and Marina Terrace: Between 02:05 pm – 04:00 pm
- Full Route: Between 04:00 pm 10:15 pm
Friday Dubai Water Bus Schedule
- From Marina Mall to Marina Walk: Between 12:00 pm – 05:00 pm and 10:35 pm – 11:45 pm
- From Marina Promenade to Marina Walk, via Marina Mall and Marina Terrace: Between 02:05 pm – 04:50 pm
- Full Route: Between 05:05 pm 10:45 pm
If you’d like to learn more about all your public transport options in Dubai, jump back to our Dubai Transport home page
More Dubai Water Options
If you’d rather have something that was more sightseeing and touristy, Dubai has you covered too! There are a lot of different operators out of Dubai Marina who’ll take you beyond the high rises and out onto the open water for spectacular views of Palm Jumeirah and the city skyline.
Try some of these water-based tourist boat options in Dubai:
Dubai Wonder Bus?
Please note that the Dubai Water Bus is different to the Wonder Bus.
The Wonder Bus is a private tour operator with a brightly coloured amphibious vehicle that takes tourists on a 15-minute tour of many of the highlights along Dubai Creek. We are not associated with this company and it is not public transport.
Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Dubai, a handy guide on what to pack and top tips for first-timers on the do’s and don’ts, laws and customs to be aware of.
- Check out this incredible list of 150+ places you should visit when you’re in Dubai.
- Pick up a Dubai Pass to save up to 50% on top Dubai attractions
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!!!
- Discover the best areas to stay in Dubai, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
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