As with any other major metropolis, Dubai offers up its own special pass: the Nol card. Though this one works slightly differently than those in other cities. This smart card acts more like a debit card than just a special travel pass. While yes, it can give you unlimited access to Dubai's public transport systems, what it does is actually pay for your rides. and in order to continue using it, you have to make sure that it's filled with money before using it again. Fortunately, you can fill it up in any nearby convenience store, metro station, and the like.
Yep, you read that right! Dubai's own metro system is the only one of its kind not maneuvered by manpower. See how advanced Dubai is? Even their public transport system relies heavily on first-class technology! Though it does help that, as of this writing, the system only operates on two lines, green and red. But don't worry, the city plans to extend its lines to cover more Dubai areas. The good thing about how it is now is that it has a direct link to the Dubai airport. And, of course, it's fast, clean, and will get you to where you need to go sooner than you think.
You'd think that taxis would be a budget commuter's last resort, right? Well, in Dubai, not so much! Surprisingly, the taxis here are cheaper than in most countries, as well as strictly regulated by the Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA). This means you have practically zero chances of getting swindled by your driver. In fact, all taxis are metered, making it impossible for you to have to pay more than what you owe. And thanks to the new taxi-hailing apps out there, it's now easier to call one for yourself if you were having a hard time doing so on the street.
A great attentive to the metro and taxis are the buses. Unlike the former, which currently doesn't have as wide a coverage as other metro systems in different cities, buses actually cover most parts of the city. Name any Dubai neighborhood and there will probably be a stop that's waiting for you there. Fortunately, you can use your Nol card here too, so you don't have to bring cash in order to pay for your ride. But the best part? It's one of the cheapest public transport systems in the city. You'll save tons of money on them.
Now, did you think that you can only travel on land? Here in Dubai, you can actually travel by water as well! There are even two options on offer. The first, an abra, is a more old-school but extremely charming wooden boat that looks more like it came from biblical times. It will help you cross the city's 10-mile creek to get to the other side. It might not be the faster but it's definitely a novel experience to ride one. A water taxi, on the other hand, is a lot more modern both in look and navigation. It can take across the creek and the Arabian Gulf to get you to your destination.
There's also the Dubai Ferry. While it's mostly a touristy thing to do, a good number of locals also still ride it as a means of transportation. Though do expect hordes of tourists to join you each trip. Still, if you have no other option to get to the other side of any of the various bodies of water in and around Dubai, you shouldn't cross this off in your list of options. The best part is that you get to see a different side of the city. One that you might not get to see often when you're too busy at work, taking care of your family, and the like.
Covering a handful of areas, such as Al Sufouh Street, Jumeirah Beach Residence, and the Dubai Marina, the relatively new tram system of Dubai has become an instant classic. Now, just about everybody in the city takes them to get from one place to another. And it helps that these trams are rarely affected by the traffic jams the city sees every once and awhile. Operating above ground, you get to see different sides of the city whilst inside, sides you probably wouldn't have seen had you chosen other modes of transportation.
Everyone knows the now-iconic Dubai palm, right? Well, what if you needed to go from one end of the palm to the other? What public transport system should you take? The Palm Jumeirah Monorail! Though it's technically a private-owned system, residents of Dubai's Palm Jumeirah can take it anytime. It's even linked to the city's tram system and will one day be connected to its metro system as well. Now, it remains one of the fastest modes of transportation in the city, effectively getting people from one end of the palm to the other in a matter of minutes.
As time passes by, Dubai never ceases to surprise with its countless and continuous innovations. It won't be long now till many of their already efficient public transport systems upgrade to become bigger and better than ever!
Apart from the city's public transport systems, Dubai's luxury rentals are also incredibly impressive. You'd do good to invest in one as your new home here!