City buses are the main form of public transport for Abu Dhabi in general and especially for budget tourists. With the help of buses you can see not only the main attractions, but also get to the beaches, hotels, train station and even airport. In the article we will understand the nuances of using buses in the capital of the UAE, fares, routes and restrictions.

Public transport in Abu Dhabi
Buses in Abu Dhabi are white and turquoise

How much does the Hafilat card cost in Abu Dhabi?

Payment on Abu Dhabi buses is made using a local card Hafilat, it can be purchased in terminals and immediately top up your balance. There are also pass options if you plan to stay in the city for an extended period of time. Worth the card 10 dirhams (deposit value), and the replenishment amount can be any (remember that the trip costs from 2 dirhams).

How to pay for travel on Abu Dhabi buses

At the time of writing, autumn 2023, the regular cost of a trip along the route of a certain zone was 2 dirhams – this is approximately 1,5 rubles in our money, or $0,6. If the trip was carried out along the route of different bus service zones, the price was 3 dirhams.

How to pay?

When you board the bus, simply swipe your card on the reader terminal at the entrance. The machine will beep and show the balance on your card. At the desired stop, before getting off the bus, you need to tap your card one more time so that the fare will be debited from it.

*If you forget to attach your card when leaving, the cost of the trip will be charged as to the final station.

Public transport in Abu Dhabi

How to top up your travel card on Abu Dhabi buses?

In addition to the machines that sell cards (you can also top them up there), there are small machines at bus stops. Attach your card, check your balance, then select the amount you want to top up with. Typically the terminals accept 5, 10 and 20 dirham notes. Some terminals accept bank cards and coins, as well as higher denomination bills.

Abu Dhabi bus payment terminal

Please note that each passenger must have their own individual card.

Do not confuse the Abu Dhabi bus card with cards that are used for intercity travel or in Dubai (for example from Abu Dhabi to Dubai). These cards differ in functionality and do not replace each other.

How to find a bus stop and the bus you need?

State buses in Abu Dhabi have a blue and white design, and all stops are marked with signs with the name of the route. There are also many closed stops with air conditioning and a waiting area.

Bus stops in Abu Dhabi
The stop is air conditioned and also has a terminal for topping up your card.
What do bus stops look like in Abu Dhabi?
Regular stop

Rules and nuances

The UAE is a conservative country, there are enough laws and regulations, including for bus passengers. Therefore, if you are not a woman (girl), then it is better not to go through the front door and do not sit in the area for women (always marked with special signs and an inscription). A fine may be issued for this.

Below is a photo with a list of what not to do on local buses.

What not to do on Abu Dhabi buses

In short: eat, talk loudly, swear, trade, use a bicycle or skateboard, transport animals, drink any liquid and much more.

Excursion options in Abu Dhabi.

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