There are a variety of ways that you are able to cost effectively get around Abu Dhabi via the bus using the local services.
24 July 2013| Last updated on 5 June 2017
"It's big, it's noisy and it comes every 10 or so minutes... That's right, it's the bus! Get ready to sing, "the wheels on the bus...."
Smart Cards for Public Buses
The Department of Transport are set to launch its new automated payment system with 'Hafilat' smart cards that are designed to pay public bus fares.
Operating the contactless cards will be simple; commuters just need to pass them over the fare collection devices installed at the entrances of buses. Thus, the new system will offer a smooth and smart bus-fare collection within seconds, as well as helping to reduce potential congestion while boarding or exiting from buses.
The smart card or ticket will deduct the fair of the bus trip directly from cash value stored on the T-Purse. The fare is calculated automatically based on the distance of passengers' journey from the moment they board, until the leave. The launch will also help to reduce quieses before bus drivers, as it will only allow authorised passengers to board buses and will help to eliminate free rides.
Hafilat cards will be able to be recharged using cash or credit card payments via automated payment devices distributed across the Emirate. The smart cards will be divided into several categories, including those that allow senior and differently abled passengers to travel free within the Emirate.
Easing the way you travel
A 14-day paper card can be topped up to a maximum of AED 150
A 7-day card containing a fixed AED 30 to be used within that period and only within the city. It can be renewed only within its validity period.
Permanent cards can be recharged with up to AED 150 at a time. They can be used at a AED 30 per week rate or AED 80 per month. These tariffs are only valid for transport within the city.
Commuters can also opt for personal cards, which will carry a photograph and other information of the user.
Students are eligible for a card at AED 500 per year for transportation within the city and its suburbs. Trips across the Emirate for students will cost AED 150 per year.
The Department of Transport (DOT) have a public transportation service for Abu Dhabi with air-conditioned, handicap-accessible buses operating in Abu Dhabi City and suburbs, Al Ain, and Madinat Zayed.
On Abu Dhabi Island and suburbs the bus service runs daily from 5:00 AM to midnight during the week and until 2:00 AM on the weekend. Various fares make the public transport affordable and comfortable.
The fare for a single trip inside Abu Dhabi is AED 2 which has to be put in the box next to the driver when entering the bus. Frequent passengers can purchase Ojra Bus Passes from any Red Crescent kiosk in Abu Dhabi Island.
The types of Ojra Bus Passes are:
One Trip Ticket
The Ojra Day Pass costs AED 3, whereas the Ojra Monthly Pass for AED 40 allows unlimited travel on any of the DoT city buses for one month from the date of first use. The Red Crescent Kiosks are located at Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi Mall, Carrefour – Airport Road, Al Wahda Mall, Khalifa Hospital, Abu Dhabi Coop – at Abu Dhabi Mall , Al Bateen Br, Khalifa St, Al Meena Br., Dana Plaza Br., Muroor Br, Mushriff Coop, and Bin Al Jesreen Coop, Al Falah Plaza, Madinat Zayed Mall, Khalidiya Mall, Abela Store, Etisalat, Dubai Islamic Bank – at Airport Road, Salam Street and Muroor Road, National Bank of Abu dhabi – Khalifa Street, and Al Ghaith Tower
The seats for female passengers are provided immediately behind the driver in the first three rows, the section for men is at the back.
Inter City Buses
Abu Dhabi Intercity buses start from the central bus station next to Al Wahda Mall and link Abu Dhabi City with Al Ain, Liwa or Ruwais. Also, the buses to Dubai or Sharjah run from here. Comprehensive maps with all bus routes and their timings are provided on Ojra website. The buses stop at the main stations designated to each route, as well as at every lay-by between the main stops, should passengers wish to board or disembark.
The large buses near the taxi stand leave for Dubai, while buses for the rest of the emirate run from the left (south) side of the building. Buses for Liwa leave every hour; you need to change at Tarif for Madinat Zayed where there’s a connection to Liwa.
Buses depart 24 times a day, from 6.20am until 11.40pm, seven days a week.
You might also be interested in...
Bus to Dubai
There's a frequent bus service between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The Dubai-Abu Dhabi Express coach, leaves from the main bus terminal and runs every 30 minutes, it costs 20Dhs. In Dubai the destination is Ghubaiba Bus Station in the Deira area, although it will let people off at the Trade Center roundabout, and some buses also make a stop at Ibn Battuta mall. (Is always best to check with the bus driver when you get onboard).
At the main bus terminal it is also possible to privately hire a ‘shared’ mini bus type transport, usually you will see drivers filling up their small bus or people carrier, you pay 10 or 15 dhs and share the bus with others, these drivers will let you off at any bus stop along the main route to Ghubaiba Bus Station. Considering that Ghubaiba is in Old Dubai, and quite a way outside the main ‘hub’, if you are going there to shop the malls or see the sights, it can take some time to get back the way.
To get back from Dubai to AD, the bus leaves at the bus station at Ghubaiba Bus Station in the Deira area These buses have AC, and have seat belts, they are pretty comfortable they're like the holiday coaches in Europe high buses with comfy seating, there's also plenty of luggage space and have a family section in the front just like the city buses in AD. Pick up a comprehensive bus timetable from the bus station. There is a bus service to Abu Dhabi from Ibn Batutta Mall metro station office, but you should check with the RTA for the timetable and which buses go all the way to Abu Dhabi as some of them only go as far as Mussaffa.
Distances from Abu Dhabi:
Ajman 186 km
Al Ain 160 km
Dubai 166 km
Fujairah 292 km
Khor Fakkan 310 km
Ras Al Khaimah 256 km
Sharjah 176 km
Umm Al Quwain 206 km