Most cities on the Arabic peninsula rarely focus on public transport. In these regions, cars still dominate the transportation system. However, in Abu Dhabi there are plans to make public transportation way more convenient by building a metro. However, this will take some years, so for the moment tourists visiting Abu Dhabi have to rely on the bus system and taxis solely.
The UAE is one of the fast growing countries in the world. The oil boom made most of the Emirates very rich. Another side effect were very low prices for gas in UAE. The prices kept low over the years and are still very low. Due to that, most inhabitants of Abu Dhabi rely on cars. There is no train system at all in Abu Dhabi, not even a train to the neighboring Dubai.
Whoever already traveled to Abu Dhabi may be a little curious after reading that headline. No, there is no metro in Abu Dhabi at the very moment, but the city has plans to build one in the near future. Currently, the project is in a planning phase, but as streets and skyscrapers are built faster in the Emirates than everywhere else, it doesn’t seem any weird to say that there may be a metro system in Abu Dhabi in a few years! The metro system is also supposed to have something like tram feeders.
It’s pretty much unbelievable that a city like Abu Dhabi didn’t have any public transportation system prior the year 2008. However, the bus system grew constantly since then and serves 95 different lines nowadays. With 650 buses and 50 million passengers a year, the bus system of Abu Dhabi became one of the most important ones in Arabia in just a few years. The buses in Abu Dhabi are either blue or white.
The normal bus services (one or two digits) operate 24 hours a day, some even every 10 minutes from 5 am to midnight. The buses are connecting all major hotspots and landmarks of Abu Dhabi with each other and offer air conditioning as well as priority seating for women. You may buy tickets in the bus after boarding at the driver who is usually speaking English.
Remember the number of buses in Abu Dhabi? Well, the 650 are fighting against 10.000 taxis that are registered in Abu Dhabi. Taxis are the most important means of transportation when leaving out private cars. Most taxis in Abu Dhabi are painted silver, but some are black (more expensive). Taxis may be hailed, called or arranged by hotels. Most taxis are modern and convenient and all got taximeters.
There is charge for both, time and kilometers, so you should be aware that traffic jams may cost you a lot of money. It is also worth a mention that some taxi drivers only speak a bit English and aren’t familiar with new street names in the city (they changed most of these a few years ago), so be sure to have a street map, a mobile map or the name of a landmark or hotel you wish to go to.
Moreover, the Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi offers two ferry services. These vehicles and passenger ferries connect Delma Island through Jabab Al Dhana and the Delma Island Port with Abu Dhabi.
As there are two daily rides, one in the morning and one in the evening, passengers may arrange a day trip to Delma Island. Single rides with the ferries cost 20 AED (~ 4.80 Euro / 5.45 US-Dollar) for adults.