Louvre Abu Dhabi overhead view on Saadiyat Island with the city of Abu Dhabi in the background

How to Get to Louvre Abu Dhabi From Dubai

by Dubai Travel Planner

Louvre Abu Dhabi is undoubtedly one of the UAE’s most spectacular museums, well worthy of making a day trip from Dubai, but did you know you can actually get from Dubai to Louvre Abu Dhabi for FREE to see this cultural wonder?

Cultural Express – Free Shuttle From Dubai To Abu Dhabi

Incorporating not just one but two spectacular Abu Dhabi sites that can be seen on a single-day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, the Cultural Express is a free daily service that runs visitors in an air-conditioned coach from Sheraton, Mall of the Emirates to:

Timing of the Free Cultural Express Dubai to Abu Dhabi

Route C1 operates daily at the following times:

  • Departs Sheraton, Mall of the Emirates, 9:00 AM
  • Arrives at Louvre Abu Dhabi 10:35 AM
  • Leaves Louvre Abu Dhabi at 13:00 AM
  • Arrives at Qasr Al Watan 13:35 PM
  • Leaves Qasr al Watan at 6:00 PM
  • Arrives/Departs Louvre at 6:35 PM
  • Returns to Sheraton, Mall of the Emirates 8:10 PM

Important Things to Note Using the Cultural Express

  • It is first come, first served. No reservation is needed, though equally, if the bus is already full, you’ll need to find alternative transport.
  • The Louvre is shut on Mondays; service will run only to Qasr Al Watan.
  • The shuttle service is free, but both Louvre Abu Dhabi and Qasr Al Watan have entry fees; these differ whether you are going in self-guided or wish to add a guided tour.
  • There is no stop timed in at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – you’d have to find a way to visit 3rd and vital Abu Dhabi attraction another way

Tickets To Louvre Abu Dhabi

Tickets to Louvre Abu Dhabi are needed for all guests over 18 years old

  • Adults AED 63
  • Concessions AED 31.50 (military, teachers, young adults)
  • Under 18, people of determination, Louvre Art Club members, free

Tickets to Qasr Al Watan

Tickets to Qasr Al Watan should be purchased in advance, though they may have some availability at the gate if you visit on a quiet day – avoid disappointment and book ahead!

  • Adults AED 65
  • Kids AED 30
  • Under 3’s and people of determination free
  • Add on a one-hour tour AED 20
Exterior view of Qasr Al Watan - Supplied

Other Ways to Get From Dubai to Abu Dhabi

If these timings don’t quite fit your needs, there are other ways to get from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, though they’ll obviously cost you a lot more, including:

  • A taxi or Uber/Careem both directions
  • Taking public transport from Dubai to Abu Dhabi – Intercity buses 100, & 101 will get you to Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station, where you can transfer to local services to Saadiyat Island or Qasr Al Watan
  • Using a driving service such as Get Transfer where you can set your exact itinerary, and drivers bid to take your journey
  • Hiring a car and self driving – make sure you understand UAE driving and subtle differences between the Emirates
  • Join a private or open tour group from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.

You can find our complete Dubai to Abu Dhabi transport guide setting each of these options out in detail over here

More Frequently Asked Questions on the Cultural Express

Do I need a ticket to use the Cultural Express to Abu Dhabi?

It would be handy to have your tickets pre-booked for the Abu Dhabi cultural attractions you wish to visit in advance, though we see nothing in their terms that says the ticket must be pre-purchased. It will certainly save you queuing time though, if you have your attraction tickets ready.

Can you see everything at the Louvre in 2.5 hours?

Yes, unless you wish to study every display in fine detail, 2.5 hours should be sufficient to tour the main displays, enjoy the outdoor areas and boutique, and grab lunch from the cafe before boarding the bus for the next stop. If you wish to enjoy fine dining too, it may not be enough time for the sit-down meal service.

Are there places to eat?

Yes, both Louvre Abu Dhabi and Qasr al Watan have casual eateries and fine dining options.

Can I catch the Cultural Express just one way?

Yes, as the coach runs first come, not on reservations, it’s OK if you only want to take the coach one way, as long as there are enough seats.

Do I need 4 .5 hours at Qasr Al Watan?

No, this timing is quite generous; you simply won’t need that long to explore Qasr Al Watan; we’d allow 1.5 hours.

If the weather is not too hot, you can explore on foot the neighboring Emirates Palace, the Founders Memorial, and surrounding hotels such as the Conrad and the Observation Deck at 300. As long as you’re back to the coach pick up point at Qasr Al Watan by 6:00 PM.

Alternatively, explore elsewhere in town, and get back to Louvre Abu Dhabi by 6:35 PM for your return journey to Dubai.

Does the Cultural Express stop at the Grand Mosque?

No, surprisingly, the trio of top cultural attractions in Abu Dhabi are not all connected with this free service. You could, however, organise your own taxi or Careem whilst in Abu Dhabi and squeeze in a mid-afternoon visit (it’s less crowded than the mornings) and still make it back to one of the departure points in time for the return trip to Dubai.

Allow around AED 50 in a metered taxi to get there from Qasr Al Watan, and about the same back to Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Can I use Nol card in Abu Dhabi?

You can use Nol (the Dubai public transport ticketing system) on the intercity bus from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, but not on other forms of public transport in Dubai. If you want to catch a bus in Abu Dhabi to get around, you’ll need a Hafilat Card available from the central bus station – Abu Dhabi transport is discussed in more detail here.


We hope this handy advice on how to use the Cultural Express for a free journey from Dubai to Abu Dhabi will help you fit in some of the best cultural highlights of the UAE on a trip to Dubai AND help save you some of your precious Dubai spending money!


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

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