How to get from Dubai (DXB) International Airport to the City

Lets talk about the Dubai airport before getting to the Dubai Metro Rail system.

Getting from the airport to the city is pretty easy. Lets start with the Airport. The airport consists of 3 terminals. One terminal is for domestic and one is for international. They have one terminal dedicated to Emirates as well.

I landed in the international terminal and walked through customs and immigration. It’s a little intimidating as you meet the Emirate official in traditional Arabian garb. I felt as if I was going get deported back to the United States. I got a stamp without a fuss and proceeded to walk through secondary security as I made my way to the front.

Luckily for me, my partner reserved a car service to take us to our hotel, The Sheraton. We see our driver holding our name and gravitate towards him. He walks us to his vehicle. We could smell the desert air. The air felt dry and hot. The airport is chaotic, like any international airport. However, it is not more chaotic than other airports I’ve been to in The States.

We took the easy way to our hotel. From the airport you can take a taxi, if you wish. Or if you decide, you can also reserve a car to pick you up. However, for people looking for a self-reliant, economical way you can take their Metro rail. There is a station in each terminal. Their rail system, even though there are only two major lines and a smaller tram section, goes everywhere you need to go.

We landed at midnight. After immigrating it was well after 12:30am or so. On Most days, the Metro does not run after midnight… On their weekend, Thursday and Friday it runs until 1 in the morning.

The Dubai Metro Rail System

dubai-metro-station
All metro stations look like a futuristic pod.

There’s a green line and a red line with a smaller tram section. The Green and Red line consist of 49 stations and 7 zones. The zones are important because that’s how you decide how much your rail ticket will cost.

There are three types of tickets. There is a T1, T2 & T3 (it gets more complicated than this but I’ll explain it all in a bit.)

T1 ticket is 3 AED (Emirate Dirham, which is the name of their currency). 3 AED is equal to 81 cents US. A T1 ticket is purchased if you’re traveling from one zone and intend to stay in the same zone.

T2 tickets are 5 AED or $1.36 USD. Buy this ticket is if you are taking the rail line from one zone to an adjacent zone.

T3 tickets are 7.5 zones or $2.04 USD. Buy this ticket if you intend to ride from one zone to a distance that is more than 2 zones away.

Keep in mind that I’m trying to simplify it for you. In Dubai the fares go up according to your need. For example, Dubai Metro rail has a first class car. This means each type of ticket is more expensive if you intend to ride in the first class car.

There is also a women and children only car. The tickets are also a different price for these. Children 5 years and younger ride for free.

There are also day, weekly, monthly and yearly passes available. A day pass is 20 AED ($5.44.) You should also know that each car does not have its own day or weekly pass. I know, its complicated. However, if you’re a tourist like me, this is all the information you will need.

I should mention that the distances are deceiving. I traveled from station 19 to station 36 and it took about an hour. It’s easy to get anywhere in Dubai but the city is way bigger than you think.

dubai metro
A little time-lapse GIF I made for you guys on the Dubai Metro.

The Tram

The tram can take you around the Palm Island area. It’s 3 AED regardless of distance. There are about 20 tram stations in this area.

Let me break it down for you:

Lots of info, I know.

  • Trams or the smaller rail line has about 20 stations for 3 AED or 81 cents US. There is another type of ticket that will charge you 4 AED…
  • A Red and a Green line with a total of 49 stations.
  • T1 ticket: 3 AED or 81 cents US – this ticket travels within one zone
  • T2 ticket: 5 AED or $1.36 USD- this ticket travels from one zone to adjacent zone
  • T3 ticket: 7.5 AED or $2.04 USD- this ticket travels from one zone to 2 or more zones
  • A day pass is about 20 AED or $5.44

I will leave maps here for your use! Happy sightseeing in Dubai!

Dubai Tram Map
Dubai Tram Map… It connects to the Dubai Metro Rail
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