Living in Dubai but don’t drive? No problem, the city got you covered!

All set for your Dubai trip? Tossed them essentials right into the case, booked a stay, and got all points of interest right on your tips? Great! But how would you be getting around? We ask because it’s entirely a new place for you, right? Oh no don’t panic. Good news; Dubai has not just one but many ways to get around. So if you don’t drive, you can still explore kinda every corner of the golden city. Now how cool is that!

Getting Around In Dubai

Let’s start with something good; Dubai has a great public transport system. And the best part is you get to choose because it’s not like there’s just metro or just bus or just tram or just RTA taxis. Dubai has all 4, and then some. However, Taxi fares in Dubai makes them the most expensive mode of transport.

But wait, here’s another awesome fact – all you need to avail any of these public transports is just an NOL card. Simply put, anyone in Dubai can get an NOL card and use any type of public transport. Essentially, NOL cards are ‘touch and go’, which means just slap it at the POS terminal and get through, provided it has sufficient credit.

Now, there are 4 types of NOL Cards, based on cost and usage.


  • Price – 2 AED
  • Can be used for 10 single trips via any one mode of transport i.e either metro, or bus, or tram.
  • Get it at any ticket vending machine.
  • Recommended for tourists on short trip of few days.


  • Price – AED 25 (out of which AED 19 is usable credit, so the effective price of Silver NOL card is AED 6).
  • Can be loaded with upto AED 5000. Use as you go.
  • Valid for 5 years.
  • Recommended for locals and tourists staying a little longer like for a month or more.


  • Same as Silver NOL card except that the holder gets privileged access to Gold class cabins by paying the premium fare at the POS terminal.


  • Well the Blue type is available only for locals. Students and senior citizens can avail discounts via Blue card, whereas differently-abled ones get to travel for free.

Now that you know about the NOL cards system, let’s talk about the modes of travel. 

Dubai Metro

We’d any day recommend using Dubai Metro for traveling across the city because it’s the most convenient and comfortable way to do so. Dubai Metro connects well to all the major places and malls across the city like Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Batuta Mall and many others. With a total length of more than 50 kms, Dubai city is a 2 Metro line system:

  • Green Line that runs from Etisalat Metro Station to Al Quasais Creek (Al Jaddaf) and comprises 20 stops.
  • Red Line that runs from Rashidiya (near Dubai International Airport) to UAE exchange and comprises 29 stops.
  • You can switch lines at Union or Bur Juman station.


Prefer roads over subways? Dubai has just the right buses for you. And we’re talking about the best, well-maintained, air-conditioned bus system in the world combined with the ease of NOL card payment.

Just like the Metro, RTA has also developed the bus system enough to cover almost 80% of the entire city, including all important places and the major shopping malls.


Currently, Dubai Tram stretches nearly 15 kms along Al Sufouh Road, and allows anyone to travel among Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah and Al Sufouh. Also, it’s world’s 3rd tramway project with ground-based power supply. So just for better view and fun’s sake, ride the Dubai tram; it’s just AED 3 per ride, no matter where you go, payable via NOL card. If you ask us we’d say you take the tram if you’re planning to visit Dubai Marina. 

RTA Taxis

It has been long Dubai authorised and provided RTA Taxi services with NOL payment system. Since then, RTA Taxis are people’s favourite when it comes to a private, hassle-free ride and you don’t mind skipping public transport this one time. These taxis can easily be found across the city but near the major places and points of interest like malls and tourist attractions, you won’t even have to wait. So for this kinda convenience, the high taxi fares sometimes may not even bother you.

Featured Image Credits: Google/bayut

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