Two cities, both alike in dignity…

Following a phone conversation with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), What’s On was able to confirm that the E101 intercity bus service between Dubai and Abu Dhabi has resumed.

The route had been on hold since 2020 in accordance with public health policy relating to the global pandemic. But now the city-to-city cruiser is back, ferrying folk between the two largest emirates.

Where can I catch the bus from?

The RTA’s E101 bus service operates between Dubai’s Ibn Batuta Mall bus station and Abu Dhabi’s Central Bus Station (next to Al Wahda Mall). There are two stops on the way, at Samha (about halfway along the trip) and Shahamah (both locations are in the emirate of Abu Dhabi).

Busses start at around 5.20am and the last departure is around 1am, with roughly one bus leaving every hour. You can find the full timetable on the RTA website.

How much is it?

You can jump on board for just Dhs25 when you use your nol card, making it a highly affordable way of residents from Dubai and Abu Dhabi seeing just how green the grass is on the oposite side of the Ghantoot border.

How long does it take?

This of course depends on when you’re travelling, and the level of traffic involved but average journey times between each of the termini is around 100 minutes. Perfect podcast digesting duration.

What about PCR tests?

if you’re travelling from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, there is no requirement to show any form of PCR test, but bear in mind that if you’re travelling back to Abu Dhabi you will have to follow the rules below.

For travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi a PCR test will be required. The current rules state that those people that have been double vaccinated with a UAE approved vaccine more than 28 days ago, will need to have received a negative PCR test within seven days (and an active an ‘E’ or ‘Star’ showing in their Alhosn app) to cross the border. You will have to show the ‘Negative Since’ status in the Alhosn app to cross the border, paper test certificates will not be accepted.

As of September 20, there will be an additional requirement for those who have had a double dose of the Sinopharm jab more than six months ago. To retain their classification as ‘vaccinated’ they will need to have had a third booster shot.

Unvaccinated individuals will have 48 hours from receiving a negative test certificate, to cross the border. The result will still have to be shown via the Alhosn app, and the current rules of Abu Dhabi’s Green Pass system mean that you have to be vaccinated to enter all public spaces (excluding some supermarkets and pharmacies only).

What can I do when I get there?

This is literally what we do, so keep your eyes locked on this page for useful inspo — it’d be impossible to list all the many and varied fun activities you can do in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, here in the article that is otherwise very ‘bussy’  but, for a quick overview on up coming events either side of the border, please see below.

This month in Abu Dhabi — comedy legend Russell Peters will be hitting Etihad Arena for a one night only stand-up spectacular; next month there’s all the fun of the UFC and Showdown Week, and Mark Ronson will be performing a DJ set as part of a design festival; also still to come in Q4 is the ADNOC Marathon, F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, all the National Day celebrations and more exciting things that we’re not allowed to talk about at the moment, but honestly… Strap in.

This month in Dubai, we’ve got Mama Mia at the Dubai Opera, Brit comedian Russell Kane will drop gags there at the end of the month — whilst fellow UK comic alumni Rob Beckett is headed to the World Trade Centre in October. It’s highly likely that Rugby 7s will go ahead this year and the potential list of other events that ‘might just’ happen is extremely exciting.

We’re certainly excited to bussit once more.

Images: What’s On Archive