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Transportation Between Al Maktoum International Airport and Dubai City

Updated: May 10, 2024
 By Pri

With Dubai growing as an international hub, it makes sense that a new airport has opened up. Al Maktoum International Airport officially opened in 2010 and it welcomed passenger airlines starting in 2013. Currently, the airport welcomes airlines such as fly Dubai, Aeroflot and Wizz Air. In this post, we will discuss the various ways of getting to and from Al Maktoum International Airport.

What is the fastest way to get to the Dubai City from Al Maktoum Airport?


You can hire a taxi straight from the airport to your destination. These taxis are available 24/7.  Riders have a choice between a cream-trimmed taxi, which is available for anyone to hire, or a pink-trimmed taxi, which has a female driver and is available for women and families to use. If you are a fan of ride-sharing apps like Uber and Careem, however, you’ll find yourself out of luck – these services don’t operate out of Al Maktoum Airport.

It’s important to note that Al Maktoum Airport is a bit out of the way from Dubai’s city centre, so a taxi ride will easily cost about 100 – 150 AED.  Many Dubai taxis are not equipped with card readers, so make sure you exchange money beforehand so you can pay in cash.

Pros: Door-to-door service, easy especially for families, 24/7 availability

Cons: More expensive for single travellers

What is the cheapest way to get to the Dubai City from Al Maktoum Airport?


There is also the option of taking the public bus into the city. This is one of the cheapest options available, costing less that 8 AED per passenger. There are two buses that together, provide 24/7 service.

The Express Bus F55 operates between 6am and 10pm. It departs hourly from the airport and runs every hour, taking riders directly to the Ibn Battuta Metro Station. This journey takes approximately 40 minutes. After reaching the metro station, visitors can travel by metro, can call a taxi or can hop on one of the other buses at this stop (the Ibn Battuta Bus Stop also connects to Route 8 bus line to Dubai’s central business district and the Route 99 bus line to the Jebel Ali Free Zone).

The Express Bus F55A is the night service bus, running from 11pm to 6am. This bus departs the airport on the hour and runs hourly.  This bus takes passengers from Al Maktoum airport to the Satwa bus station, in a trip that takes about 90 minutes.

If you plan to take a bus from the airport, it’s important to note that Dubai buses do not accept payment in cash or coin. You will need to purchase a Nol card and top it up with some funds. Tourists often purchase a red ticket, which can be loaded with up to 10 trips or with 5 daily passes (you can read more about the different types of Nol cards and their associate pricing here). You’ll find kiosks in the airport that will allow you to purchase a Nol card before getting on the bus.

Pros: Highly affordable

Cons: Hourly service only, limited destinations so further transport via taxi, metro or bus is likely required.

What is a convenient way to get to the Dubai City from Al Maktoum Airport?

Rental car

 You also have the option of renting a car from the airport and driving to your destination. Car hire agents with kiosks in Al Maktoum Airport include Dollar, Thrift, W&B Rent a Car and Hertz. This is the most expensive option. The prices vary based on the car make, length of rental and the rental company. If you’re thinking about renting a car, you should also remember to include the price of fuel in your estimate (even though fuel in Dubai tends to be cheaper than in other parts of the world) and the price of parking (as there are only a few areas with free parking in Dubai). You should also consider that driving on Dubai’s roads can sometimes get a bit chaotic, so make sure you will be comfortable driving in these conditions.

Pros: Freedom to travel anytime at your convenience and directly to/from your destination

Cons: This is the most expensive option. You should only consider renting a car if you are planning to make use of the vehicle throughout the length of your trip.


The type of transport you use when leaving Al Maktoum International Airport depends on a lot of factors. It can be the amount of luggage you are carrying, the number of people travelling with you, the time you arrive, your budget  and your destination. We hope this post will help you narrow down your options and let you begin your journey into the city.

About The Author


Pri is a true believer in the Rule of Three - she lives between Dubai, Bombay and Washington DC, speaks three languages and has 3 kids under 3. She graduated from Connecticut College and has a Masters Degree from New York University. Pri is a licensed Dubai tour guide, travel blogger, art aficionado, foodie and curious to check out all things new in her city. Pri has been part of the Free Tours By Foot team since 2015 and loves to make customized itineraries for her guests.
Updated: May 10th, 2024
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