Getting around Abu Dhabi

Public transport

The Department of Transport (tel: +971 800 88888; operates bus services throughout the emirate. The main bus terminal is on East Road near Al Wahda Mall.

You can either pay a single cash fare or buy a weekly or monthly Ojra bus pass. Pay-as-you-go 'Hafilat' smartcards are gradually being introduced.


Taxis are regulated by TransAD (The Centre for Regulation of Transport by Hire Cars). TransAD oversees all the city's taxi companies, all of which are subject to the same regulations and have the same fares. You can book one through their automated reservation system (tel: +971 6005 35353).

It’s possible to book a family taxi, although there are a limited number of these. They are driven by female drivers and are only for the use of women, couples and families (men can travel in them as long as they're accompanied by their family). There is no extra charge, and these can be flagged down too. You’ll recognise them by the white roofs and 'family taxi' sign on top. Tipping taxi drivers to the nearest Dh5-10 is recommended.


Locals drive fast, aggressively, and often quite recklessly - it's not uncommon to see drivers texting at the wheel for example. Downtown during rush hours (between 1800 and 2100 during the week) is frequently gridlocked, so if you can stay off the roads at these times, do. While driving, bear in mind the farthest left lanes are the fastest-moving (you'll often see people speeding on these) and u-turns are allowed at almost every intersection.

If you're trying to find a space downtown, leave yourself plenty of time to find a spot. Paid parking is managed by Mawaqif - you'll see their ticket machines around most car parks.

Car hire

Avis (tel: +971 2 621 8400; has branches throughout the city, at the airport and at the major hotels. Other providers include Hertz (tel: +971 2 599 8939; and Thrifty (tel: +971 800 701; Chauffeur-driven car hire is also available.

Bicycle hire

Abu Dhabi is not a cyclist-friendly city, although a few people do brave the traffic to get around on two wheels. Cyacle, Al Khalidiya Street (+971 800 292253; hires out bikes at various locations along the Corniche (which has a separate bike path) as well as on Yas Island.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.