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How to get from Al Maktoum Airport to Abu Dhabi

The capital of the UAE is a sun-seeker’s paradise and a cultural hotspot. The city has something for everyone, from magnificent architecture and serene landscapes to desert adventures and music festivals. Al Maktoum Airport, also known as Dubai World Central (DWC), is one of two airports serving Abu Dhabi. Referred to as ‘Dubai’s airport of the future’, Al Maktoum is part of an exciting new expansion project and is expected to be one of the world’s largest international airports once the expansion is complete. There are two transfer options to reach the city from the airport: an airport taxi or a bus service.

Welcome Pickups offers meet and greet services and a friendly introduction to Dubai at the same price as a regular taxi. Click here to see the cost.

Comparison of the options

Welcome Pickups €46 90min 24/7 Book
Taxi €46 90min 24/7
Bus €13.60 150min 04:45–23:15

How to get from Al Maktoum Airport to Abu Dhabi by taxi

Taxi ranks are located outside the airport, so you should spot the cream-coloured vehicles with illuminated roof signs when you exit the terminal. All of the licensed local taxis are metered and charge per kilometre. The journey to Abu Dhabi will take around 1 hour and 30 minutes, depending on the traffic and your final destination.

How much is a taxi from Al Maktoum Airport to Abu Dhabi?

Taximeters are used by all of the licensed taxis, so your journey will be charged based on the distance you’re travelling. Avoid any local taxis offering rides at a fixed rate, as this most likely means they’re unlicensed. The total cost should come to around €46 (200 AED).



Trip Duration

1h 30min

Value for money

Local taxis are available 24/7 from outside the airport. You can go to the taxi rank or book one online, through an app or over the phone.

Where do I get it from?

Once you leave the airport, you should spot the fleet of cream-coloured taxis lined up at the taxi rank outside. Follow the signs to the official taxi rank once you leave the arrivals hall. If you’re unsure where to go, one of the airport staff members will be able to guide you.


Taxis and private transfers are considered to be the most convenient and stress-free way to reach Abu Dhabi from Al Maktoum Airport, as there aren’t many direct options on public transport. Licensed taxis and private vehicles in Abu Dhabi are very clean and comfortable. However, local taxi prices can be unpredictable due to the taximeter rule. If you’d prefer a flat-rate fee, we’d recommend booking a airport taxi from Al Maktoum Airport in advance.

Editor’s Note

There aren’t many taxi ranks in Abu Dhabi, other than at the airports and the main shopping centres. If there aren’t any taxi ranks nearby when you’re in the city, you can hail one on the street or you can book one online, through an app or over the phone.

Useful Tips

Giving directions can be tricky, as there are no unique postcodes in Abu Dhabi. However, most drivers should know the famous landmarks and hotels by name.
The lack of postcodes is particularly challenging if you’re new to Dubai, so booking in advance and pre-selecting your destination will help avoid any miscommunication.
The pink taxis are only available for women and families to use. The cream-coloured taxis are available to all.

How to get from Al Maktoum Airport to Abu Dhabi by bus

Public transport in the UAE is not as developed as many of the cities in Europe, however, you can catch two buses to reach Abu Dhabi from Al Maktoum Airport. The F55 bus runs from the airport to Ibn Battuta every hour and takes around 60 minutes. From Ibn Battuta, you can take the E101 bus all the way to Abu Dhabi central bus station. This bus runs every 30 minutes and takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach the city. The total travel time, excluding waiting times, will be 2 hours and 30 minutes.

How much is the bus from Al Maktoum Airport to Abu Dhabi?

The ticket prices are €1 (4.20 AED) for the F55 bus and €5.80 (25 AED) for the E101 bus. You can purchase a temporary Hafilat smart card to pay for the public buses in Abu Dhabi. These cards are available at the airport bus terminal and at every bus station. After paying a base price of 5 AED for the re-loadable card, you can add as much as you need for your stay.



Trip Duration

2h 30min

Value for money

The F55 bus runs every hour and is available 24/7. The E101 bus runs every 30 minutes and is available from 04:45am-23:15pm Sunday to Wednesday, 04:15am-01:15am on Thursday, 05:15am-01:45am on Friday and 05:45am-00:15am on Saturday.

Where do I get it from?

The F55 bus stop is located right outside the arrivals exit at Al Maktoum Airport. The bus runs every hour and operates 24/7. The E101 bus stop is located at Ibn Battuta and you should spot it when you get off the F55. While this bus doesn’t operate 24/7, it does run more regularly than the F55, with a bus arriving every 30 minutes.


While Dubai is continuously expanding and growing, the public transport structure is fairly limited. Using the bus is a very affordable way to travel around Abu Dhabi, particularly across long distances. However, the long journey times will make the trip quite uncomfortable and the lack of official operating times can make planning your journey quite tricky.

Editor’s Note

All city bus services and main regional bus services in Abu Dhabi have stepless entry and are fully equipped for wheelchair access.

Useful Tips

Operating times differ depending on the day of the week, so make sure you check the operating hours on the day you’d like to travel.
All of the buses in Abu Dhabi are air-conditioned and so are the bus stations, which should make the journey and the wait time less uncomfortable.

Welcome Pickups transfer

Welcome Pickups

Book a trained, English-speaking taxi driver to pick you up at the same price as a regular cab from the line

If you feel more relaxed knowing that somebody is waiting for you, you may as well book a Welcome Pickups transfer. As soon as you arrive at the airport you will be greeted by your driver. He will be waiting for you at the terminal of your arrival with a sign that has your name on it. Your driver will help you out with your luggage and together you will make your way to the vehicle. While he is driving you to your accommodation, the driver can give you some tips and recommendations on what to do during your holidays in Dubai. Our drivers are hand-picked and speak fluent English. No need to worry about miscommunication issues that you may face with the local taxi drivers regarding your destination. Relax and enjoy your ride.

Best drivers

Hand-picked english-speaking drivers

Flight monitoring

Drivers are always on time

Quality support

24/7 email & phone support

Cancel up to 24 hours before the pickup and get an 80% refund

Edit or cancel transfers

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Same price as a regular taxi from the line


Sedan Car

4 pax, 4 pieces of luggage

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  • 20 minute gap between transfers

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Frequently asked questions

How far away is Al Maktoum Airport from Abu Dhabi?

Al Maktoum Airport, or DWC, is located around 120km northeast of Abu Dhabi. The journey time from the airport to the city should be approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes by car or 2 hours and 30 minutes by bus.

Can I get a train from Al Maktoum Airport to Abu Dhabi?

No. Currently, there’s no train service from Al Maktoum Airport to Abu Dhabi, however you can get an airport taxi or the F55 and E101 buses to the city.

How much is a taxi from Al Maktoum Airport to Abu Dhabi?

As all licensed local taxis must use a meter, there isn’t a flat rate. The cost should be in the region of €46 (200 AED), depending on your destination. Your journey will take around 1 hour and 30 minutes.

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