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Transport in the United Arab Emirates


Transport in the United Arab Emirates

Life in the UAE
Human rights


  • Roads 1
    • List of Motorways 1.1
  • Private vehicles 2
  • Transport payment systems 3
  • Buses 4
  • Rail 5
  • Taxi services 6
  • Air 7
    • Airports 7.1
    • Airlines 7.2
  • Pipelines 8
  • Ports and harbors 9
  • Merchant marine 10
  • Major Road Accidents 11
  • See also 12
  • References 13


The United Arab Emirates have an extensive and very well developed road network, principally in the Northern Coastal area, where the main population centres are located. Many of these roads have been improved to become multilane dual-carriageway motorways, capable of coping with the high demand for road transportation in the country.

List of Motorways

Private vehicles

Private vehicles are commonly used in the country. Driving licenses are available to those who are 18 years of age and above. Unlike neighboring Saudi Arabia, women with valid driving licences are allowed to drive.[1] An extensive and modern road network connects the main coastal cities; the desert roads are less developed.

Transport payment systems

Fares in Abu Dhabi buses are paid by inserting two dhirams into a box next to the driver. The Ojra card is used by frequent travellers. The Nol card is a contactless smart card used for Public Transport in Dubai. It is also used for payment on buses between Dubai and other cities.


A Bus in Abu Dhabi

Bus Services were introduced in Abu Dhabi by the Emirate in 2008 with four routes which were zero fare until the end of the year.[2]

Bus services also run in Dubai under the name DubaiBus.

Buses in Sharjah are operated by Mowasalat.

Bus services also operate in between the different emirates due to the lack of rail connectivity.


The only commercially operational railway network in the UAE is the Dubai Metro. Etihad Rail was set up in 2009 to manage a national level freight and passenger rail network within the country and later to other nations of Gulf Cooperation Council. The first phase of the system is undergoing testing prior to the commencement of commercial operations in 2014.

Taxi services

Taxis services are operated by both government agencies as well as private agencies.


The largest airports in the country are Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) started applying an advanced program in 2010 that allows the assessment of aircraft registered in foreign countries in order to ensure their safety and airworthiness.[3] In 2011 it banned all aircraft registered in countries like Congo DR, Swaziland, Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone and São Tomé and Príncipe due to their poor safety standards.[4]


There are 42 airports spread across the UAE as of 2012.[5]

Heliports 5 are known as of 2012


Emirates airline is the biggest national airline of the UAE and is owned by Dubai. Etihad Airways is the second largest National Airline and is owned by Abu Dhabi. Other airlines are flyDubai, Air Arabia and Royal Jet.


Crude oil 830 kilometres (516 mi); natural gas, including natural gas liquids, 870 kilometres (541 mi)

Ports and harbors

There are various ports spread across the 7 Emirates, they are Ajman Port, Fujairah Port, Das Island, Khalifa Port, Mina' Zayid and Mina Jabal Al Dhanna in Abu Dhabi, Khawr Fakkan, Mina Al Hemreya and, Mina' Khalid in Sharjah, Mina' Jabal 'Ali, Port Rashid in Dubai, Mina' Saqr in Ras Al Khaimah, Umm al-Qaiwain Port.

Merchant marine

total: 68 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,107,442 GRT/1,795,235 tonnes deadweight (DWT)
ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 18, chemical tanker 3, container 8, liquified gas 1, livestock carrier 1, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 27, roll-on/roll-off 7, specialized tanker 1 (1999 est.)

Major Road Accidents

Six people were killed, at least 40 were injured and dozens of vehicles burned March 11, 2008 when hundreds of cars collided on a fog-shrouded Abu Dhabi - Dubai highway.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Al-Mukhtar, Rima (5 May 2013). "Saudi women seek driving licenses in UAE". Jeddah:  
  2. ^ "All aboard for a free ride". The National. 30 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-12. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "United Arab Emirates bans Congo registered aircraft". eTN. Retrieved 22 March 2011. 
  5. ^ Airports in UAE- CIA Factbook
  6. ^ Incidents
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