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  • Writer's pictureEverton Silva

How to Travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi by Bus

In my last trip to the UAE, I went on a one day trip to Abu Dhabi departing from Dubai. Abu Dhabi is the biggest of the 7 Emirates and the capital of the country, so it is definitely worth the visit, even if your going for just one day.

This article is going to be the best guide for you to learn how to go from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in the most cheap and comfortable way within just a few hours.

The buses that operate this route are very modern, with air conditioning and super comfy seats.


RTA Bus Services

There are two different bus lines that depart from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and vice versa. They operate daily in a large schedule which makes it possible for you to choose the best time to visit. The first line is the E100 and the second is the E101. Both are operated by RTA which is a sole public transportation service provider which includes the Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram, Abras, Dubai Bus, Dubai Water Bus, Water Taxi and its authorized taxi companies. In other words, there's no way to escape RTA unless you rent a car or hire an Uber.


- Line E100: Al Ghubaiba Bus Station to Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station

- Line E101: Ibn Battuta Bus Station to Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station


The line E100 Al Ghubaiba station will be a perfect choice for those staying near the Dubai Creek and Old Dubai. The bus terminal is next to the Green Line Metro Station that bears the same name.


The Ibn Battuta which is the one that the E101 line departs from, is right at the Red Line Metro Station (main metro line in Dubai) which also bears the same name. This will be the perfect option for those staying in the surroundings of the red line, which is the modern part of the city known as New Dubai.


Both lines are heading to the exact same destination, the Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station. This is without doubt the cheapest way to go from one city to another, and is also a service highly used by the locals who eventually live in one of the Emirates and work in the other.


Here is the timetable schedule of the buses:

E100 Line - departs every 20 minutes:

Days

First Bus

Last Bus

Monday to Friday

04:20

23:50

Saturday and Sunday

04:20

00:20

The distance between the Al Ghubaiba Terminal and the Abu Dhabi Central Station is approximately 150km and the journey takes nearly 2h30m.


E101 Line - departs every 20 minutes:

Days

First Bus

Last Bus

Monday to Friday

04:20

23:50

Saturday and Sunday

05:20

00:20

The distance between the Ibn Battuta Station and the Abu Dhabi Central Station is of 115km and the journey takes approximately 2h00m.


Times may change during Ramadan and a few other festive holidays during the year, and it might cause some delays on the buses. But there will always be signs indicating the changes placed even in the Metro Stations.


Bus Fares

Note that if you buy a RTA single ride ticket, it will cost you 25 AED, but it will only be worth it for those who will use only one ride and do not intend to return to Dubai. In case you want to make your journey as cheap as it can be for a round trip, you should definitely use the Silver NOL card, which is the transportation credit card used in Dubai. It will cost you around 75 AED, and you will be able to use its credit starting from the metro that you will use to get to one of the two Bus Line stations, in the RTA Bus that will take you to and from Abu Dhabi and finally in the metro again to head to your hotel. This was exactly what I did and my card still had a remaining balance which allowed me to even take a local bus from the metro to my hotel.

In case you decide to buy the single ride ticket in the Abu Dhabi Central Station, be aware that they will only accept your payment in cash.


It is not possible to buy tickets in advance, but it won't be a problem at all. None of the buses that usually depart every 20 minutes from each station will be full.



 

Additional Trasport Alternatives between Dubai and Abu Dhabi

First of all it is important to know that there are no flights available between both Emirates. Because they are very close to each other.


1 Day Tours

If you prefer a hassle-free experience with pick-up and drop-off services from your hotel, along with guided visits to specific landmarks in Abu Dhabi, you can, you can choose to buy a One Day Tour which will also provide you a guide.


Taxi and Rideshare Cars


They both circulate between the two emirates, and even though it is very comfortable, it's by far the most expensive choice you can make. Not to mention the fact that these service providers are not usually trustworthy and there are a lot of stories saying they impose unexpected fees before the passenger leaves the car.


Car Rental

If you're feeling more like a free traveler and you are comfortable enough to drive on the arid roads in the middle of the desert, you may consider renting a car. I don't recommend it for those who are not familiar with driving on this type of roads and are not aware of the extremely strict traffic laws in the United Arab Emirates. An alternative to avoid too much trouble would be to rent a car for a day from the rental agency at the bus station, solely for the purpose of moving around Abu Dhabi with more convenience and freedom, as the city is vast and the tourist attractions are quite far apart from each other.

Shuttle Emirates


If you're flying with Emirates from the DXB Dubai Airport, you can rely on their shuttle service which connects both Emirates. You can find all the details of this service which requires advance booking through this link of the Emirates official website. If you purchase your ticket directly from the Emirates website, you can use Abu Dhabi as your final destination and the confirmation email will guide you through the appointment process.

The same service is offered by Etihad for those who are arriving from Abu Dhabi and intend to stay in Dubai.




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