Whether you are planning your arrival in Dubai or need directions on how to get around in and around the city, in this section we have collected the most suitable, cheapest or fastest means of getting around, as well as tips on how to save money on public transport.
Despite being more than 4000 km away from our country, getting to Dubai is very easy. There are plenty of options and alternatives, of course getting there by land is a no-brainer because of some difficult borders to cross in the surrounding area.
Getting to Dubai by plane is, on the other hand, easy and on average cheap thanks to three factors: firstly, the cost of fuel in this area is among the lowest in the world, and therefore airlines have an advantage by landing in Dubai or in the UAE because of the lower cost of refuelling.
As if that were not enough, Dubai International Airport ‘s expansion policy provides for very low taxation and operating costs, so airlines are even more enticed to land there.
The low costs incurred by airlines choosing to fly to Dubai mean that there are so many of them, which introduces the third reason why flights to Dubai cost less than to other equidistant destinations: competition.
Reaching Dubai is a matter of little more than five to six hours by direct flight, but in the event that prices are too high, it is possible to opt for flights with stopovers. Given that all European and Middle Eastern flag carriers fly to Dubai anyway, the choices available will be many, and the choice will therefore depend solely on price, the level of service of the chosen airline, and the duration of the stopover.
In case for one reason or another you choose not to land at Dubai International Airport, there are some interesting alternatives. For example, it is possible to land in Abu Dhabi; the two airports are just over 100 kilometres apart and much of the journey is made by motorway.
One can reach Dubai from Abu Dhabi by rented car, by taxi (although due to the distance the prices of this solution are rather high) or by scheduled buses connecting the two cities.
Another alternative stopover is Sharjah, the city that practically represents the northern extension of Dubai. Sharjah airport is just over 15 km from the Deira district, and landing there could be a good alternative if an attractive offer is found.
There are a couple of very interesting alternatives to get to Dubai. The first one is to get there by land from Oman, a beautiful land that is becoming more and more popular with travellers in recent years, thanks also to its excellent infrastructure and high-level services.
It is possible, for example, to combine a cultural tour of Oman with a few days discovering Dubai: Muscat, the capital of Oman, is only a four-hour drive from Dubai (although an extra hour is needed to cross the border).
Otherwise, it is possible to discover Dubai by cruise. The emirate is one of the most popular destinations for cruise lines around the world, and a cruise to Dubai often includes a one- or two-day stopover to give passengers time to savour the city with a longer-than-normal stopover.
Dubai is a huge city, and has little in common with the European cities we are used to. It has no historical centre, no pedestrian zone proper, and above all, it stretches more than 40 kilometres along the Persian Gulf coastline.
So walking around Dubai makes no sense, is not feasible, and allows you to see practically nothing.
Even attractions that look ‘close’ to the metro stop on the map are in reality far away: for example, the Dubai Mall metro stop is about 1 km walk from the entrance to the mall.
Dubai is therefore a city to visit by public transport (metro, bus or taxi) or with a hire car: fortunately, transport in Dubai is very efficient, frequent, well signposted and rather cheap.
In Dubai there are two metro lines, buses (especially in the Deira area), trams (in the Dubai Marina area), sea taxis (on the Creek and in Dubai Marina), a monorail (which runs along the artificial island of Palm Jumeirah), but even with all this wealth of public transport it can often take hours to get from one part of the city to another.
This is why it is a good idea to opt for taxis: they are clean, very cheap and well regulated. They are often the only solution to visit an attraction unless you decide to walk for hours between one attraction and another in the city, which by the way is difficult to do because it is not always advisable to cross busy boulevards at any time of day or night.
City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.