Flying is certainly the best way to reach Dubai from India. The Dubai International Airport is huge and reputed to be the busiest in UAE. The airport offers numerous conveniences to travellers and receives flights from all over the world. Emirates, Dubai’s official airlines operates flights to more than a 100 destinations throughout the world. The other airlines are FlyDubai and Etihad.
There are several direct flights to Dubai from Indian cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai etc as it is a popular destination. Air India, Spicejet, IndiGo are some of the airlines that fly to Dubai regularly. Apart from Dubai Airport, another option would be to fly into Sharjah International Airport which operates Air Arabia. Sharjah is extremely close to Dubai and you can take a taxi to Dubai for just Dh 50.
Indian citizens have to apply for a visa to visit Dubai and there are certain criteria that need to be met. So do make sure everything is in order before you book your tickets.
Dubai Airport is well-connected to the city and is just 5 kms away. You can choose to take a bus, taxi or the underground Metro. Public transport is easily available but if you are travelling with children, or older people who get tired easily, it’s best to book a taxi because if you use any of the other options, you’ll have to walk a little distance. It might not be easy with little travellers and especially if you have luggage with you.
Dubai Airport bus and Metro are some of the convenient and cost-effective ways to get into the city although Metro is not available at night.
Reaching Dubai by road is only possible through Oman. There’s no need to acquire any permit, except for an exit charge of 3000 Omani Riyal. On your way back, if you need to enter Oman, you will have to show the payment receipt.
Local transport in Dubai is well-planned and offers a number of options to move around locally in the city. Here are some of the best ways to travel locally so that you don’t miss out on seeing key attractions in the city.
One of the most popular and convenient ways to travel around the city is by Metro. Barely ten years since it started services, it has quickly replaced all other forms of transport for several residents and even tourists who understand the conveniences that it offers. The Metro connects the city across different lines and it’s fast and comfortable. However, the drawback is that you will probably need to take a taxi to the nearest Metro in order to make your journey. Metro lines are connected directly to some of the famed spots such as the Dubai Mall etc.
People rely on the water buses to take them from Dubai to Deira or vice versa as it is safe, convenient and economical. These are air-conditioned, comfortable and safe but are also known to be quite noisy.
Palm Jumeirah has its own set of attractions like The Atlantis and if you want to have the best view of these, then take the Palm Monorails, which are elevated driverless trains that connect you from Dubai Marina to Palm Jumeirah. These are privately owned and thus, rather expensive than most other forms of transport.
Taxis can be found everywhere and are still the most convenient way to get around in the city. However, taxis tend to be expensive too. They are well-maintained and have polite and friendly drivers. The computerised system calculates the fare and do remember, you have to pay the fare using cash as you can’t use the NoI cards here. Taxis are safe and convenient even late at night, but the fares can be quite exorbitant.
Buses in Dubai run every 15 minutes and connect travellers to most of the important landmarks and tourist spots of the city. They are comfortable and convenient, although you might need to remember that their frequency is lesser on Fridays. Buses are a great way to see the city and if you choose the special sightseeing buses, you’ll be able to visit several attractions and the live commentary makes it all the more interesting. Some of these include a free Dhow cruise or even admission to the Dubai Museum. The main bus stations are at Al Karama and Al Ghubaiba.
Despite the popularity of other forms of public transport, buses remain popular because of their reach into deeper localities. A good idea would be to get a NoI card which can be used across metros, trams, waterbuses and buses. Some of these can even be used for intercity buses near Dubai. These are available at most major bus stations, online portals and RTA offices and can be purchased for a nominal amount and topped up accordingly. There are four classes for these cards, with varying prices based on your specific requirements. In fact, one can travel on buses only with NoI cards and cash is not allowed.
If you are adventurous enough and don’t have any water sickness, then you can try the Dubai Abra which traverses the Dubai creek in an open boat. It’s likely to be the cheapest transportation in Dubai with fares being as low as AED1.
Relatively new on the public transport scene are the Dubai Trams which can be found in the Dubai Marina districts typically. The trams are slow and not really a good way to get around the city, but more of a way to enjoy the sights.