By land, Abu Dhabi is accessible from border crossings with Saudi Arabia and Oman via freeways. There is no passenger service available yet for sea travellers to Abu Dhabi ports. However, luxury cruise boats can dock at the neighbouring emirate of Dubai.
The Dubai-Abu Dhabi Highway is a long stretch of highway that links the 2 largest cities of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, together. The project was proposed by the Sheikhs of Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Sheikh Zayed. In 1971, the project was approved and construction began. The highway was completed in 1980, 9 years after it was started. The highway starts near Maqta Bridge, Abu Dhabi and intern becomes Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai.
Currently, the highway is the most widely used highway in the Arab World. This may be because Dubai and Abu Dhabi are twin cities, and people frequently move between them. The Highway has 6 lanes sometimes, 4 lanes sometimes on either side, and has 27 petrol stations. The highway also has been the scene of many accidents. more than 25 accidents happen on the highway in a month. This has led to installation of radar systems to stop speeding. The maximum speed limit on the Highway is 120 km/h.
Beside the standard ban or restrictions on certain items imposed on travellers, such as highly inflammable material, pornography or illegal drugs, there are additional ban on several drugs that may be sold with or without prescription in other countries, including all cough syrups containing codeine (For a full list on banned or restricted material, please refer to Abu Dhabi International Airport website or consult the nearest UAE embassy or travel agent). There are no vaccine requirements for travellers to Abu Dhabi. Holders of Israeli passports are banned from entering Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi Municipality operates scheduled regional and intercity bus and taxi services. Abu Dhabi is also taking extended efforts to ensure that timetables and route information are easily accessible to first time travelers. Over the years the government has steadily invested in buying modern fleet of air-conditioned buses keeping in mind travelers’ comfort and budget. Bus routes to Baniyas, Habashan and Al Ain are usually busy and fares rarely go above AED 6 per person. There is also a shuttle service offered by Abu Dhabi Municipality to Marina Mall via Hamdan Street.
For those who wish to tour around the city in larger groups, they have the option to hire private mini-buses or coasters. Conveniently parked near the main bus station in Abu Dhabi they offer a seating capacity for up to 14 people.
Bus Services, Routes and Fares
Interval between Service
|Abu Dhabi Transport||+971 2 443 1500||Abu Dhabi – Al Ain||Hazza in Defense Road||30 min||AED 10|
|Al Ghazal Transport||+971 2 443 0309||Abu Dhabi – Dubai – Sharjah||Taxi Stand, Defense Road||15 min||Dubai: AED 20
Sharjah: AED 25
|Emirates Express||+971 800 9090||Abu Dhabi – Dubai||Taxi Stand, Defense Road||40 min||AED 15|
|Emirates Transport||+971 2 555 4575||Mostly Intercity||–||–||–|
Renting a car in Abu Dhabi is a convenient and inexpensive way to explore the emirate. There is a wide choice of car rental companies to choose from, in both Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Major international car rental agencies such as Hertz, Europcar and Avis, are present in Abu Dhabi while a large number of local car rental companies also provide quality services. Many operate offices at Abu Dhabi International Airport and Al Ain International Airport, allowing visitors to arrange their car rentals upon arrival. Those visitors who want to hire a car from other agencies not present at the airport can, alternatively, travel to their hotel by taxi or other means of transport, and conveniently collect their rental car there.
Increasingly, car rental companies require a valid credit card upon collection of the car, that is either photocopied or the rental amount is blocked. Some companies will accept a valid passport to be left as a deposit.
Some car rental companies retain the visitor’s valid passport as a deposit upon collection of the car. However, the majority of companies have now shifted to credit card payments in line with international practices and, alternatively require a credit card photocopy or the rental amount to be blocked on the credit card. Copies of the driver’s international license and passport are also required.
In order to rent a car, drivers must have a valid international driving license issued by the country from which they’ve obtained their driver’s license. Additionally, most companies require drivers to be above 21 years of age and to hold a national license valid for over one year. Some car rental companies may charge drivers under the age of 25 additional fees.
Visitors are advised to take out damage and personal insurance on the rental car. Collision Damage Waiver insurance will waive any damage costs arising from an accident when the insured driver is at fault, while Personal Accident Insurance will provide compensation for any physical injuries or deaths that may occur to vehicle passengers.
Only the person renting the car, and named in the insurance policies, is authorized to drive the rental car. The insurance policies become void if another person drives the car and causes an accident. If another person intends to drive the rental car, it is advisable to pay a nominal fee of Dhs 30 to add their name to the rental agreement and consequently, to the insurance policies.
In case of an accident, a police report is obligatory, regardless of which driver caused the accident. Drivers are advised to dial 999 for the police and provide them with clear information on the location of the accident, as well as inform them if there are any injuries requiring urgent medical care. After assessing the accident site, the police will issue a report citing the driver at fault for the accident and authorizing repair of any damages to one or both cars. Drivers involved in an accident are also advised to contact their car rental company.
A more convenient option to get around Abu Dhabi city and neighbouring regions or emirates is by hiring a taxi. Minimum taxi fare in Abu Dhabi is at AED 3, where an additional AED 0.75 is charged for every succeeding kilometre of a journey. Presently, there are plenty (about 7,000) of taxis operating in the emirate, which can be hailed from almost any area at any time. Some operators (e.g. Al Ghazal and NTC) also accept advanced booking for their services.
|Taxi Service||Abu Dhabi||Al Ain|
|Al Ghazal (Lemousine)||+971 2 444 5885||+971 3 766 2020|
|Al Ghazal Taxis||+971 2 444 7787||+971 3 751 6565|
|National Transport Company (NTC)||+971 2 622 3300|
|Al Arabia Taxi||+971 2 558 8099|
|Cars Taxi||+971 2 551 6164|
Tawasul Transport LLC
|+971 2 555 2212
+971 2 673 4444
|+971 3 782 5553|
|Epic Rent Acar||+971 2 674 5851||
Taxis that travel long distances – say from Abu Dhabi to Dubai – are available near the main bus station in Hazza Bin Zayed Road. Fares typically cost Dhs 150 from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain or Dubai, and slightly higher going to Sharjah. Shared taxis also ply these routes, costing around Dhs 50 per person. A taxi ride from the airport to the Abu Dhabi town centre costs approximately Dhs 65 and takes about 35 minutes.
Most drivers in Abu Dhabi speak good English. They are, however, more familiar with landmarks than street names hence, it always helps to mention parks, banks, shopping malls or hotel names when giving directions to your desired destination.
Offered by Al Ghazal and NTC, these stretch limousines are driven by courteous and professional chauffeurs. They are commonly parked in front of hotels and can be booked in advance at your hotel’s reception desk.
Distances between Abu Dhabi and other emirates/cities
The United Arab Emirates spans a land area of 83,600 square kilometres. The relatively small size of the country and a modern network of highways allow travellers to cross the country from one end to the other in less than three hours.
|Khor Fakkan||Fujeirah||Ras Al Khaimah||Umm Al Quwain||Ajman||Sharjah||Dubai||Al-Ain|
|Umm Al Quwain||140||120||60||0|
|Ras Al Khaimah||130||110||0|