The beautiful Emirate of Dubai is one of seven states that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Middle East. It has emerged as a world city and an international business hub, especially because of its mega real estate projects and rich sporting events.
It is no wonder that tourism is a major source of revenues for Dubai. People from around the world are intrigued by its continuous growth and, therefore, are attracted to travel to the Emirate.
Traveling around Dubai is convenient and is quite an experience. What’s amazing is that transportation in Dubai is a reflection of the concordant mixture of tradition and up-to-dateness that is not usually seen or experienced in some other parts of the region.
Amidst Dubai’s modern outlook and the latest in transportation, for instance, people continue to use traditional means of transportation, such as the ever-reliable camels and the small motorboats called Abra. This means that the culture of Dubai has remained strong in spite of the progress the Emirate is going through.
Of the various modes involved in Dubai transportation, buses are perhaps the most widely used. This is true for both local residents and foreign travelers. The municipality of Dubai is in charge of the public transport system, and it has strengthened this with a highly reliable bus service.
Consider these: There are 417 bus schedules on peak hours in each of the working days of the week. The buses are run on 62 lines or routes, covering about 170,000 kilometers (106,000 miles) to satisfy the demands of some 2.5 million travelers every day. A bus passenger is charged from 1 to 4 dirham per trip, depending of course on the distance of his/her travel.
There are about 8 bus stations, each of which is manned by courteous and alert attendants. The other features of the Dubai bus transport service include bus stops (about 1,500), wayside passenger shelters (around 150), and point-to-point timetables strategically placed on the 400 or so busiest stops. Maintenance of the buses is done at 3 bus depots, each of which is equipped with the latest in technology.
The modernity of the Dubai transportation system is also evident in its taxi service. In this area, for example, a new service feature is introduced, one that makes the taxi service in Dubai friendly to women passengers. This new taxi service feature is composed of about 50 vehicles and some 100 women specifically trained for driving the taxis around Dubai and the rest of the UAE.
Finally, there’s the traditional Abra service. This is a favorite of many tourists and is common among local residents. The best part of traveling on an Abra is the experience of crossing the captivating Dubai Creek. Every day, some 150 Abras traverse the famous Creek. The Abra service has two main lines: one is between Sabakha and Old Souk, and the other is between Deira Old Souk and Bur Dubai.
The Dubai transportation system is not complete without the usual car-rental service. And a leisurely way of moving around Dubai is by a bicycle, which a tourist can also hire.