Dubai International Airport
The Middle East's busiest airport, glossy Dubai International Airport flies more than 37 million passengers a year from three terminals. The airport is minutes away from Dubai city centre and some 170km (106 miles) from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE.
Public buses run from the airport to the city centre roughly every 15-25 minutes. Bus stations are situated opposite Arrivals at terminals 1 and 2. From Terminal 1, routes 4 and 11 go to the Gold Souk, 33 goes to Bur Dubai, and the 44 to Al Karama. Route C1 travels to Satwa from Terminals 1 and 2, and route 2 goes to Deira from Terminal 2. Destinations and route numbers are displayed at the front of the bus in both English and Arabic. Fares are minimal (AED3), buses are air conditioned and there is separate seating for men and women.
Air-conditioned Dubai International buses with ample baggage-hold serve over 80 hotels in the city centre. In addition, most major hotels provide an airport shuttle service.
The UAE's first railway system opened in September 2009. The Red Line runs largely overground on a viaduct from Dubai International Airport along Sheikh Zayed Road to Jebel Ali. The Green Line travels underground from Dubai Festival City to the airport. The blue and purple lines will eventually link Dubai's two international airports. The advent of these driverless trains has slightly taken the stress away from Dubai's over-extended roads.
Taxi is the transport of choice for most visitors, departing from outside the terminals' Arrivals Halls. Journey time into the city's business centre takes roughly 10 minutes and costs AED25 pick-up plus AED1.75 per kilometre (AED45 is around the right price), while the drive to the resort hotels at Jumeirah Beach can take up to an hour, depending on the time of day, and costs around AED90. Official Dubai Transport Corporation taxis are beige coloured, always metered and well maintained, and fares can generally be paid by credit card.
All major car-hire companies have desks in the Arrivals Halls of Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. The D89 Airport Road leads directly into Dubai city centre, a 10-minute drive.