Which Dubai Tours Are Best?

This post provides a breakdown of the most popular Dubai bus tours, including pricing, discounts, reviews and services such as day trips to Abu Dhabi and desert safaris. 

 

 


Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tours

These bus tours will allow you to jump on at any point and ride around the city of Dubai at your leisure. As you coast through the streets of this city, a helpful guide will provide a lot of information about notable landmarks and historic sites along the way. Each ticket also includes additional activities and attractions for free. This section will provide information about prices, ticket types and additional activities that are included with both services.


Big Bus Tours

This is one of the most popular bus tour companies around the world, and their services in Dubai are no exception. In addition to their main hop-on-hop-off bus tour, each ticket also includes access to at least one cruise and a night bus tour. Tickets can be purchased for 1, 2 or 5 days in a row, providing a great range of access for visitors from around the world.

The Big Bus Dubai Logo. Image Source: Big Bus Tours.Here is a breakdown of the tickets they offer:

Classic Ticket

  • 1-Day Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Night Bus Tour
  • Dhow Cruise
  • 7 Free Museums
  • 4 Free Walking Tours
    • $63.69/Adults | $40.67/Children
    • Purchase or learn more

Premium Ticket

  • 2-Day Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Night Bus Tour
  • Dhow Cruise
  • Marina & Island Lagoon Cruise
  • Half-Day Sharjah Tour
  • 2 Free Walking Tours
    • $73.25/Adults | $47.04/Children
    • Purchase or learn more

Deluxe Ticket

  • 5-Day Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Night Bus Tour
  • Desert Sunset Tour
  • Dhow Cruise
  • Palm Island Drive
  • Flamingo Lagoon Discovery
  • Marina & Island Lagoon Cruise
  • Lost Chambers Aquarium
  • 5 Free Walking Tours
  • 7 Free Museums
    • $87.95/Adults | $54.14/Children
    • Purchase or learn more

Purchase tickets or learn more about Big Bus Tours

Needless to say, some of these tickets could easily be considered combo packages in and of themselves. The deluxe ticket includes so many additional services that it could easily take the place of an attraction pass.

Speaking of which, the classic ticket is actually included for free with both the Go Dubai Card and the Dubai City Pass. This is a great opportunity to combine your bus tour with several additional activities such as a visit to Burj Khalifa’s Observatory or IMG Worlds of Adventure.

Each of these tickets can be used on any day within 6 months of purchase. This means you can make your purchase months ahead of time and potentially take advantage of sales in order to get the best deal. It’s also worth noting that if you need to cancel your ticket, you can get a refund up to 24 hours before you intend to use it.

 

Big Bus Tours offers three routes in Dubai: the City Tour, the Marina Tour and the Beach Tour. Each route will take you to a different part of Dubai, allowing you to explore the area with ease and see everything at your own leisure.

  • City Tour (Red Loop): Stops 1 – 13 | Runs from 8:50 am – 5:50 pm
  • Beach Tour (Green Loop): Stops 14 – 26 | Runs from 9 am – 6 pm
  • Marina Tour (Blue Loop): Stops 15 – 38 | Runs from 9 am – 6 pm

Each loop takes about 1 ½ – 2 hours to complete. These times depend on traffic, as Sheikh Zayed Road and the area around Dubai Walk in the Marina may have heavy traffic at certain hours. The bus frequency at each stop is around once every 30 Minutes.

The minimum amount of time required to complete all the loops without hopping off for sightseeing is 6-7 hours, depending on traffic. As a result, you may want to consider getting at least a deluxe ticket to ensure that you can enjoy all three routes during your trip to Dubai.


City Sightseeing

Much like their competitors, this company also provides hop-on-hop-off bus tours with many of the same additional services. Tickets can be purchased for 1, 3 or 7 days at a time. Their 7-day option is the longest hop-on-hop-off bus ticket available in Dubai. If you’re planning on spending a week in the area, this could be an excellent option. That being said, let’s take a look at the differences between each pass they offer.

1-Day Ticket

  • 1-Day Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Night Bus Tour
  • Dhow Cruise
  • Dubai Museum Ticket
  • B1G1 Free Coffee
    • $72/Adults | $44/Children

3-Day Ticket

  • 3-Day Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Night Bus Tour
  • Dhow Cruise
  • Palm Jumeirah Cruise
  • Dubai Aquarium Ticket
  • Dubai Museum Ticket
  • B1G1 Free Coffee
    • $97/Adults | $69/Children

7-Day Ticket

  • 7-Day Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Night Bus Tour
  • Dhow Cruise
  • Palm Jumeirah Cruise
  • Dubai Aquarium Ticket
  • Flying Cup Ticket
  • Dubai Museum Ticket
  • B1G1 Free Coffee
    • $125/Adults | $97/Children

Purchase tickets or learn more about City Sightseeing bus tours

As you can see, the services offered by City Sightseeing are very similar to their competitor with a few notable differences. Instead of walking tours and a desert sunset tour, their most expensive ticket includes two extra days of service, a Palm Jumeirah cruise and a ticket to the Flying Cup – an attraction which allows up to 16 people to enjoy an incredible view from 40 meters in the air.

Once again, these tickets could be considered combo packages, but you might want to compare and contrast each hop-on-hop-off bus tour company to make sure you get the specific services you want.

The 1-Day ticket from City Sightseeing is included with the Dubai Unlimited pass, the Dubai Flexi pass, the Dubai Select pass and the Dubai Super Saver Pass. All of these attraction passes are a great way to save money on this bus tour.

Each ticket is valid for 3 months after the date of purchase. This is half the amount of time that their competitors offer, but it may still be enough time to make your purchase ahead of time and take advantage of limited offers.

City Sightseeing Dubai logo. Image Source: City Sightseeing Dubai.

City Sightseeing offers a total of five routes with almost 40 different stops across Dubai. Each route will take you to a different part of the city.

  • Red Route: Stops 1-14 | Runs from 9 am – 8 pm
  • Blue Route: Stops 15-22 | Runs from 9 am – 6:30 pm
  • Yellow Route: Stops 23-32 | Runs from 9 am – 8 pm
  • Pink Route: Stops 33-36 | Runs from 11 am – 5:45 pm
  • Orange Route: Stops 38-39 | Runs from 3 pm – 8 pm

Much like their competitors, each loop takes about 1 ½ – 2 hours to complete. While some stops are visited as frequently as once every 30 minutes, others only operate once an hour or less. Needless to say, you should expect traffic to effect the frequency of each stop.

Due to the amount of time required to complete all loops, you may want to consider getting at least a 3-day ticket in order to see everything on this hop-on-hop-off bus tour. It might be possible with a 1-day ticket, but you probably wouldn’t have any time to hop off and explore any of the areas you will visit.

 


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Other Dubai Bus Tours

This section will provide details about bus tours that don’t allow you to hop on and off. In addition to covering what you can expect, we will also include information about prices, tour duration and what you will see on your trip.


Gray Line

This is yet another popular international bus tour company with services in several cities around the world. Although they don’t offer a hop-on-hop-off option in Dubai, they do have a half-day bus tour which will take you to many popular locations in the city. Throughout the duration of your trip, you’ll stay on the same bus and likely keep the same seat. Stops will be made at several notable locations such as the Dubai Mall and Deira City Center.

  • Prices: $38/Adults | $27/Children
  • Availability: Daily from 9 am – 1 pm
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Purchase or learn more

Much like their competition, this company also offers a few additional activities with each ticket.

  • Dubai Museum Ticket
  • ABRAS Boat Ride

These extra attractions may not be as impressive as what you’ll find with Big Bus Tours or City Sightseeing, but if you compare this service with the 1-day tickets from both competitors, you might find that the Gray Line bus tour fits your needs a lot better.

This tour will take you from one end of Dubai to the other. Along the way, you’ll see a variety of sites and locations such as Dubai Creek, Jumairah, Burj Al Arab, Bastakyia, Deira, Zaabeel, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall and more.


Wonder Bus

If you’re looking for a different kind of bus tour, Wonder Bus is certainly worth a look. After taking you around the city to see some of the most notable landmarks and historic sites, this amphibious bus will transform into a boat which will take you through the nearby waters. Combine a bus tour with a cruise and experience both excursions at the same time!

  • Price: $42.20/Adults | $36.75/Children
  • Availability: Daily at 4 pm
  • Duration: 1 ½ hours
  • Purchase or learn more

This is a much more affordable option than the hop-on-hop-off bus tours, but you won’t be allowed to jump off and explore at your leisure. This is an excellent alternative for anyone who wants to see the city and take a cruise without spending a lot of time going all over the place. If you’d rather enjoy a basic rundown of what Dubai has to offer and see the city from the water, this is an excellent choice.

The Wonder Bus tour will take you from the Jumeirah area to the city center and back. Along the way, you’ll see popular locations like the Dubai Zoo, the Etihad Museum, the Jumeirah Mosque, Heritage Village and more. If you want to visit locations such as the Dubai Marina or the Mall of the Emirates, consider a hop-on-hop-off bus tour instead.

TIP: This amphibious bus tour is available with the Dubai Super Saver Pass. If you are looking to combine this outing with any other activities, make sure to check and see if this attraction pass can save you some money!

 


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Abu Dhabi Bus Tours

In the following section, we will provide details about bus tours you can take from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. Each of these tours will require a full day to travel to and from the city. We will cover important details such as prices, what to expect, what you will see on your journey and additional activities that may be included.


Big Bus Tours

In addition to their hop-on-hop-off bus tours in Dubai, this company also provides the same services in Abu Dhabi. If you’re interested in visiting this nearby city, they actually have a combo ticket option which includes a free shuttle transfer to and from Abu Dhabi. This combo package also includes all of the additional activities that you would receive from each individual 1-day ticket.

Dubai & Abu Dhabi Tour Package

  • 1-Day Hop-on-Hop-off Dubai Bus Tour
  • 1-Day Hop-on-Hop-off Abu Dhabi Bus Tour
  • Free Shuttle Service to and from Abu Dhabi
  • Entry to 10 Dubai Museums
  • Entry to Sky Tower
  • Dhow Cruise
  • Night Bus Tour
  • 4 Free Walking Tours

With hop-on-hop-off bus tours in two different cities, free transport between each city and all of the additional benefits included, this is a pretty good deal and a great way to see two of the most beautiful cities in the UAE. You’ll have a total of two days to enjoy both tours, so there won’t be any rush to take advantage of everything included with this package.

Although both the Dubai and Abu Dhabi bus tour are included with the Go Dubai Card, it is important to note that the shuttle service is not a part of that deal. While you could save money on each individual tour by using this attraction pass, you’d have to find your own transport to Abu Dhabi.

Both tickets can be used on any two consecutive days within 6 months of the original purchase date. This means you can buy the ticket package months ahead of time and possibly even save some money by getting it during a sale.

There are 2 routes in Abu Dhabi with a total of 24 different stops. Each route can be finished in under or around 2 hours, so it shouldn’t take more than 4 hours to see everything in the city. This should leave you plenty of time to hop off and enjoy some of the additional activities.


City Sightseeing

As with their competitors, this company also provides a combo ticket which combines a hop-on-hop-off tour of Dubai with a tour in Abu Dhabi. However, the main difference between these two offers is that City Sightseeing only offers a guided city tour of Abu Dhabi instead of a full hop-on-hop-off experience. To make up for it, they include a full 7 day ticket in Dubai and all of the additional activities that come with it.

Twin City Pass

  • 7-Day Dubai Bus Tour Ticket
  • Abu Dhabi City Tour w/ Pick-up & Drop-off
  • Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo Ticket
  • Palm Jumeirah Cruise
  • Dhow Creek Cruise:
  • Dubai Creek Walking Tour
  • Global Village Entry

Although they don’t offer a hop-on-hop-off tour of Abu Dhabi, their guided tour of the city does include stops at locations such as Yas Island, Marina Mall and the vegetable & dates market. The inclusion of a 7-day pass in Dubai is also nice, as this service alone would cost $125. Unlike their competitors, there is no way to purchase the same attractions included with the Twin City Pass on any other tourist passes in Dubai.

When you purchase this combo ticket, you will be asked to pick a preferred date for the Abu Dhabi city tour. You must take the tour within 1 week of redeeming your 7-day hop-on-hop-off bus tour in Dubai. All additional services which are included must also be used within 1 week of 7-day ticket redemption.

For more information on the 7-day ticket, check our hop-on-hop-off bus tours section.


Gray Line

If you’d rather just take a day trip to Abu Dhabi and enjoy a tour of the city, this company offers a pretty interesting option. During this full-day tour, you’ll see sites such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Yas Island and Heritage Village. Entrance to the mosque is included, as are lunch and some free time at the Yas Mall.

  • $97/Adults | $87/Seniors | $68/Children
  • Availability: Sat-Thu at 9 am
  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Purchase or learn more

This is a great option for anyone who wants to see Abu Dhabi without needing a combo ticket from their competitors. If you get your ticket on sale, you might even be able to combine it with one of the hop-on-hop-off bus tours for less.

Pick-up and drop-off service is available from your hotel in Dubai. Customers who decide not to take this bus tour can cancel their tickets up to 24 hours before the tour takes place.

 


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Desert Safaris

If you want to take a ride out into the nearby deserts, there are several desert safaris offered out of Dubai. As a matter of fact, there are far too many companies to list in this post alone. Some outings include additional activities such as:

  • Dinner
  • Camel Rides
  • Sandboarding
  • Falconry
  • BBQ
  • And More!

Most of these services are very well rated and prices typically range from $40-$120 per person. Depending on which activities are included, you can expect each safari to last for between 3-6 hours on average.

For more details or to find the tour that best fits your itinerary, check this list of Desert Safaris in Dubai.

 


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Combo Packages & Discounts

Although each of the hop-on-hop-off bus tours in Dubai offers tickets which are essentially a combo package, there are additional discounts that you may want to consider. This section will provide details about combination deals and attraction passes which can save you money on Dubai bus tours.


Big Bus Tours

In addition to their standard tickets which include walking tours, museum access and cruises, this company also provides a few combo packages you may want to consider. Each deal includes at least a 1-day hop-on-hop-off bus tour in Dubai and everything that comes with it.

Classic Ticket + MotionGate Ticket

  • 1-Day Dubai Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • MotionGate Theme Park Ticket
  • Dubai Bus Night Tour
  • 4 Free Walking Tours
  • 10 Free Museums
  • Dhow Cruise

Dubai & Muscat Combo Ticket

  • 1-Day Dubai Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • 1-Day Muscat Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Free Shuttle Service Between Dubai & Muscat
  • Desert Sunset Tour
  • Sharjah Panoramic Tour
  • Dhow cruises
  • Water Bus
  • Abra Ride
  • 10 Free Museums
  • 5 Free Walking Tours

Dubai, Abu Dhabi & Muscat Combo Ticket

  • 1-Day Dubai Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • 1-Day Abu Dhabi Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • 1-Day Muscat Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Free Shuttle Service to All Locations
  • Desert Sunset Tour
  • Sharjah Panoramic Tour
  • Dhow cruises
  • Water Bus
  • Abra Ride
  • Al Hosn Museum Entry
  • Etihad Gallery Entry
  • Heritage Village Entry
  • Sky Tower Admission
  • 50% Off Etihad Towers Observatory
  • 10 Free Museums
  • 5 Free Walking Tours

City Sightseeing

Much like their competitors, this company also provides several combo packages which include at least a 1-day hop-on-hop-off bus tour in Dubai. In addition to the bus tours, each package also features at least one popular attraction such as Burj Khalifa or Ski Dubai.

Cool Summer Pass

  • 3-Day Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Burj Khalifa ‘At the Top’ Observatory
  • Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
  • Ski Dubai Polar Pass
  • Dubai Museum
  • Night Bus Tour
  • Al Seef Dhow Cruise
  • Palm Jumeirah Cruise
    • Total Value: $301
    • Total Price: $180
    • Total Savings: $121

Dubai Essential Pass

  • 7-Day Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Burj Khalifa ‘At the Top’ Observatory
  • Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
  • Sunset Dinner Safari
  • Flying Cup Ticket
  • Dubai Museum
  • Night Bus Tour
  • Palm Jumeirah Cruise
  • Dhow Cruise
    • Total Value: $337
    • Total Price: $180
    • Total Savings: $157

Fun Summer Pass

  • 3-Day Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Burj Khalifa ‘At the Top’ Observatory
  • Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
  • IMG Worlds of Adventure Ticket
  • Dubai Museum
  • Night Bus Tour
  • Palm Jumeirah Cruise
  • Dhow Cruise
    • Total Value: $305
    • Total Price: $180
    • Total Savings: $125

Splash Summer Pass

  • 3-Day Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Burj Khalifa ‘At the Top’ Observatory
  • Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
  • Aquaventure Waterpark
  • Dubai Museum
  • Night Bus Tour
  • Palm Jumeirah Cruise
  • Dhow Cruise
    • Total Value: $305
    • Total Price: $180
    • Total Savings: $125

If you’re not in the market for a 3 or 7 day ticket, you may also want to consider one of the following options. Each of these packages combines one popular activity with their standard single day hop-on-hop-off service and everything it includes.

1-Day Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour w/ one of the following:

  • Ski Dubai Polar Pass
    • $130/Adults | $101/Children
  • IMG Worlds of Adventure
    • $125/Adults | $91/Children
  • Aquaventure Waterpark
    • $136/Adults | $97/Children
  • Ferrari World
    • $141/Adults | $108/Children
  • Bateaux Cruise
    • $115/Adults | $73/Children

Visit City Sightseeing Dubai to learn more about these combo packages or to make your purchase.


Gray Line

In addition to their standard guided bus tour of Dubai and their day trip to Abu Dhabi, this company also provides a few combo packages you may want to consider. Each of these deals is far less extensive than most of the services offered by their competitors, but they are also much more affordable as a result.

Half-Day Bus Tour + Burj Khalifa

  • 4-Hour Guided Bus Tour
  • Burj Khalifa ‘At the Top’ Observatory
  • Dubai Museum Ticket

Full-Day Bus Tour + Lunch at the Fountains

  • 8-Hour Guided Bus Tour
  • Lunch at the Fountains of Burj Khalifa
  • National Museum Ticket
  • Jumeirah Grand Mosque Visit

Dubai Discount Passes

Both Big Bus Tours and City Sightseeing work with the major attraction passes offered in Dubai to provide their services for a lower price. Each company includes their 1-day hop-on-hop-off bus tour for free via all-inclusive, flex and build your own pass options. Whether you just want to pay one flat price for everything or get a discount on specific activities, this is a great way to save money while on vacation in Dubai.

Read our post about choosing the right Dubai City Pass for more information on this thrifty opportunity.

 


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