Abu Dhabi is a desired destination for many travelers in Dubai. And it is only natural for the guests of the country to want to experience different emirates, compare the ways of life there, and, of course, to see their most praised attractions.

Even though the distance between these emirates is rather short, it is always better to plan the trip in advance and to consider all the available options. In the article, we will discuss how to get from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, compare costs of different means, and share many other useful tips to make the most out of your visit to the UAE. For those who love to discover new places in a car, we suggest our previous article about top places to visit in Dubai

How To Travel From Dubai To Abu Dhabi

Getting from Dubai to Abu Dhabi by Public Transport

When it comes to getting from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, there are many means of transport you can choose from. You can rent a car, order a cab, or even take a plane. In this section, we will discuss every option in detail, see how they compare to each other, and highlight their advantages and drawbacks.


Taking a bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is a fairly viable option for tourists. There are three itineraries you can take: E100, E101, and E102. It is worth describing each of them separately, as their routes start from different stations and their operating times may vary.


The first route on the list is perhaps the most convenient, as it is the most regular one. These buses come every fifteen minutes, meaning you won’t need to plan for a specific time in order to travel between the emirates.

It takes off from the Al Ghubaiba Bus Station, and is available from 4:30 AM, while the last bus rides at midnight. The main drawback of the E100 itinerary is the travel time, as it will take you up to three hours to reach the destination.


The second bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is arguably the most optimal choice. Just like E100, the E101 itinerary won’t have you waiting for long: the buses come every twenty minutes. Even though it may take a little bit longer to board, you will definitely save a noticeable amount of time thanks to its shorter route.

The ride starts at Ibn Battuta Bus Station and normally takes under two hours to be completed. On most days of the week, it runs from 4:45 PM to 11:15 PM, but the schedule is different on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, so it is worth planning for it in advance.


The last available route also starts at the Ibn Battuta Bus Station, but unlike E100 and E101, its last stop is the Mussafah Shabiya Bus Station instead of the Central Bus Station.

Its travel time is around two hours, and it also stops at the airport, which might be a benefit, if you need to catch a flight. For a day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, however, the E102 itinerary might not be the best selection, as the buses only take off once an hour.


Unfortunately, you cannot catch a train from Dubai to Abu Dhabi at the moment. The closest option is to use the subway system of the city to get to one of the bus stations we have just mentioned, but there are no direct rides yet. Moreover, it is much easier to get a taxi to the bus stop instead of figuring out how the local metro works.

The silver lining here is that the railroad between eleven major cities of the United Arab Emirates is under active construction right now. Perhaps, you will be able to get a train from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in a couple of years, although no specific announcements on the railroad launch dates have been made yet.

How To Travel From Dubai To Abu Dhabi


Traveling by plane might be an option between different regions in a larger country, but not in the UAE. There are no direct flights from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, so unless you are willing to go for a layover, you will need to stay on the ground for this trip. Needless to say, such a journey will take much longer and will be significantly more costly than other options.

Even if flights from Abu Dhabi to Dubai were launched, it would still be an unfavorable choice for the vast majority of tourists. Driving to the airport, passing the security check and passport control, boarding the plane, and flying will definitely take a lot more time than simply driving to the neighboring emirate.

Car Rental

We have already established that the most efficient option is to drive from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. Now, we are going to add that the most convenient option is to get a rental car to do that.

Public transport might be a great solution if you only need to reach the airport, but when it comes to exploring the country, it is much better to have your own vehicle. First of all, a rental car allows you to be flexible and to build your own route without having to stick to bus schedules or other circumstances. Before renting a vehicle, discover what are the most popular cars in Dubai

Secondly, it will save you time and effort on figuring out how to reach every attraction within Abu Dhabi. It is much simpler to drive to every destination rather than to construct an entire route for bus trips or ordering cabs for every ride. 


Speaking of cabs, you can easily get one to drive from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. Uber and other taxi apps are available in the United Arab Emirates, and there are plenty of local cab drivers that will be happy to make the trip.

Expectedly, a cab ride will take the same time as driving a rental car, which is also faster than taking a bus. It should be noted that cross-emirate trips are usually more expensive, as there is a small additional fee for crossing the border.


For any VIP readers out there, an unconventionally luxury option to travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is to take a private helicopter. There are multiple companies providing this service, but the prices are expectedly high. If you can afford it, it is definitely the fastest option, as the flight only takes around forty or fifty minutes. It is important to know, however, that the trips are normally booked at least two days in advance.

How To Travel From Dubai To Abu Dhabi

How much does it cost to travel by rental car to Abu Dhabi from Dubai?

As we have discussed, car rentals are the most appealing method of getting from Dubai to Abu Dhabi for tourists, but what about the costs? Well, it depends on multiple factors. In general, the rental industry in the emirates is very competitive, and the prices are mostly affordable. The resulting fee will depend on the following factors:

  • vehicle type
  • car brand and model
  • period of rent
  • additional services
  • advanced booking

The minimum price you will find is around $20 per day for sedans, $30 per day for SUVs, and $69 per day for luxury cars. As there are many factors at play, you should estimate the cost based on your specific plans and needs. Thankfully, most rental companies have websites where you can compare different options and even book cars in advance.

Let us also compare the prices between all the available means of travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. Buses are around $10 per ticket, which turns into $20 per person, if we consider return trips. Taxis usually cost between $70 and $80, which is around $150 to go there and back. Lastly, one-way helicopter trips cost between $9,000 and $10,000 per group, which includes up to four people.

Even though buses may seem like a cheaper option, it is only true if you have no attractions to visit in the emirate. Getting cabs from the bus station to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and other sites will quickly ramp up the resulting cost of the journey, while with rental cars, you will only need to add about $5 worth of parking fees and gas fees.

Must see places on the road

Considering the short distance from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and the fact that it is mostly a single highway, you won’t be surprised there aren’t that many interesting places on the road.

The one place we would recommend visiting is called the Last Exit. It is a small drive-in park themed with Mad Max, where you will find decorated cars and other pop-culture installations. There are several food trucks, where you can purchase snacks or refreshing drinks, and there are WC rooms available for visiting.

It is surely not a massive attraction with a ton of cultural significance, but it still makes for a nice stopping point to have a break from the drive. It is located just before the border with Abu Dhabi, and there are multiple signs pointing towards it, so you won’t miss it.

How To Travel From Dubai To Abu Dhabi

Prepare yourself for driving from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

Once again, the distance from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is only around 140 kilometers or around 87 miles. Needless to say, you won’t need much preparation for the trip, and there are only a few useful things we can share here.

First things first, to know how to get to Abu Dhabi from Dubai, you will need to know how to drive. The good news here is that driving rules in the United Arab Emirates are similar to the ones in Europe and in the US, and the signs are always intuitive. Moreover, licenses from most first-world countries are accepted in the UAE, so you will be good to go.

What we recommend researching before venturing out are the parking rules and regulations. If you’re tight on budget, you should know that different parking zones and areas have different fees, and it is always useful to discover how to pay in advance.

No matter which season you’re visiting, it is also always great to have some water with you. The drive is only around two hours, so it won’t become a hazard, but having a couple of bottles will ensure a comfortable experience on the road.


How long is the drive from Dubai to Abu Dhabi?

The drive from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is around one and a half hours by car. With public transport such as buses, the trip may take up to three hours, depending on the itinerary you select.

How to get from Abu Dhabi to Dubai?

The options on how to get from Abu Dhabi to Dubai are the same as the other way around. You can take a bus, order a taxi, get a rental car, or even take a helicopter ride to reach your destination.

What is the best way to travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi?

The best way to travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is to rent a car. It is a fast option to reach the emirate, and in case you are planning on visiting multiple attractions, it will turn out cheaper than ordering taxis.

Do you have any tips on how to get to Abu Dhabi from Dubai faster?

There are no specific tips on how to get from Dubai to Abu Dhabi faster. All you need to do is to follow the highway, and you will reach the destination in about an hour and a half.

How to go to Abu Dhabi from Dubai with a large family?

In case you’re traveling with a large group, the most convenient option would be to rent a vehicle of the corresponding size. Regular buses are not as comfortable for large families, while plus-sized taxis are expectedly more expensive than the ordinary ones.

Are there any driving rules that are unique to Abu Dhabi?

No, general driving regulations are the same across all the United Arab Emirates. You won’t need to learn new rules to take a trip to the city. Additionally, you can read our article about the restrictions on the Dubai roads

Can rental cars be taken to other emirates and other countries?

The rules might vary between different rentals, but the vast majority of companies are fine with their cars being driven to Abu Dhabi or other emirates as long as they are returned on time. Fewer businesses allow for international travel, but there are still such options if you need them.