How to get a bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi…

Ahh, the humble bus, chariot of the people — an enduringly popular way to travel largely because its typically an affordable, comfortable ride with an agreed upon and qualified designated driver, with minimal concentration on the route required so you can sleep, tune out, chat or work depending on your needs hierarchy and position on the extroversion scale. And because this is the UAE, the bus options here are usually fairly luxurious, fitted with modern conveniences and capable of some impressively curt travel times.

And with a full roster of upcoming sporting, entertainment, festival and nightlife events on either side of the Dubai and Abu Dhabi border – using the money you would have spent on petrol to spend at on gigs, just makes sound financial sense. Both girl and boy maths can prove you’re saving money here. Plus you can have a nap on the way back home, there’s wifi on most of the services, it’s nothing but win.

These are just some of the best ways to get from point A(bu Dhabi) to point (Du)B(ai) without breaking the bank.

How much does the bus from Abu Dhabi to Dubai cost..?

Route 101

The OG RTA service, E101 will take you from Abu Dhabi to Ibn Battuta bus station (or E100 for the Dubai to Abu Dhabi service) at a cost of just Dhs25, your journey time averages out at about 100 minutes. You can get a lift to the other end of town, Al Ghubaiba (Al Shindagha) direct from Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station with the E100 for the same price (Dhs25) — which takes about 135 minutes in total. They start at about 4am, with the last bus at roughly 1am, with around two departures each hour — but you can find the full schedule attached to each of the route numbers above.

AUH to DXB return

Both Etihad and Emirates run shuttles to and from their neighbouring emirate (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) for confirmed passengers on their tickets. You can book the service at the same time as your airfare. You can find timetables for Emirates and Etihad shuttles on their respective websites.

There’s also a separate bus, run by Abu Dhabi Airport, which offers a 24/7 shuttle service between Ibn Battuta station and all terminals of Abu Dhabi International Airport. Departures of the AUH Express are hourly and cost just Dhs35.

How much does the bus from Abu Dhabi to Dubai cost..

A theme develops

There are also free return shuttle bus connections between certain pick up points in Dubai (such as Mall of the Emirates) and the Yas Theme Parks, for park ticket holders.

Place of re:Fuj

You can connect from Dubai to Fujairah using the RTA E700 service, with a total one-way Abu Dhabi to Fairjairah cost of Dhs55. A connection with the E400 gets you to Ajman; and the E306 takes you to Sharjah from Dubai.


Another incredible bus service available to the Abu Dhabi shoe-string jet set is the RAKTA operated direct intercity weekend service between Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah. Yes, the sporty spice of the UAE’s Emirate line-up, with epic hiking adventures, world record breaking zip lines, mountains, wadis, desert camps and more. There a two shuttles a day on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays — the Abu Dhabi Central to RAK – Al Hamra Bus Station fare is Dhs35. The reverse trip is Dhs47. Bookings and timings can be accessed via the RAKBUS website

The future is on track

We’ll have to wait a little while — but the Etihad Rail Passenger service, the train that will link the seven emirates might not be as far away you think — with the recent announcement that lines in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are now connected.

There is no official completion date for the project yet although during a special ‘Projects of the 50’ event held at Expo2020 in December 2021, there were some indicators of intended timeline. It was confirmed that the Rail Passenger Services will be the second phase of the project (after freight) and is expected to carry more than 36.5 million passengers annually, by 2030.

Images: Provided