Dubai is a city that grows in all directions. Both in extension and in height, so to know it, you must travel long distances and always with attention focused on the heights of its skyscrapers. That makes the tourist bus one of the best ways to get to know Dubai.
A tourist bus allows you to move around the main points of the city, enjoy the views in an open-air bus and do it with an audio guide adapted to several languages. To know how it works, prices, types and schedules of this type of buses just keep reading.
The best tour buses in the city
In Dubai there are a couple of companies that offer these tourist bus tours and each of them with their own routes and particularities. All of them offer a double-decker convertible bus, audio guides in several languages and similar routes passing through the main tourist spots of Dubai.
The main one is Dubai Big Bus, a company specialized in tourist buses with presence in 17 of the main tourist capitals of the world. This company has three different routes that can be hired for 24 or 48 hours.
The other company is City Sightseeing of Dubai, very similar to Big Bus in terms of the services offered but this one has up to six different routes more specific for different types of travelers.
Dubai Sightseeing Bus Routes
The different routes offered by these companies are listed below. Big Bus Tours has three options and City Sightseeing has twice as many routes. City Sightseeing's red, blue, yellow and purple routes are very similar to those of Big Bus Tours and apart from these, it has two additional routes.
Big Bus Routes
- City Tour: This route, marked by the red color, runs mainly through the historic part of the city and downtown. The route starts near the Dubai Creek, the Dubai Estuary, and begins in the downtown area where is, among other things, the Burj Khalifa, and then return to the Bur Dubai area and tour the historic center. It has strategic stops that will allow you to know the souk or gold markets, spice markets and the area surrounding the Dubai Creek.
- Beach Tour: If you are a beginner and want to enjoy the modern architecture of Dubai, the green line of these buses is the best option. The route called Beach Tour, runs along the Dubai Mall, bordering Downtown Dubai to see the Burj Khalifa and reaches the Jumeirah Mosque. From there it goes along the beach area with several stops to see the artificial islands and other modern areas of Dubai.
- Marina Tour: The last line, the blue line, departs from the Mall of the Emirates and has 11 stops established in the most emblematic places of the city. This option is the most interesting if you have just enough time and want to go straight to the point to know the most interesting of Dubai.
Additional City Sightseeing routes
- Cruise Terminal Route: Marked in green, this route is designed for those travelers arriving in Dubai by cruise. It originates at the port itself and goes directly to the Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa as the main point from which to visit this complex or take other routes that depart from there.
- Global Village & Miracle Garden Route: This route is only available during peak tourist seasons and offers the possibility to go to the Global Village theme park or the Miracle Garden. It is a very specific and somewhat sought after route.
Advantages of using the sightseeing bus
The main advantage of using a tourist bus to visit Dubai lies in its ease and comfort. With a single ticket we can forget about looking for other means of transport to take us from one place to another and have access to the most interesting places in Dubai.
The information is also very accessible as all buses have audio guides in many languages. And we do not have to worry too much about the time we spend in each place since the buses run every hour.
How long is the complete tour of the tourist bus?
If we do not count the time we stop at each point and simply do the entire route on board the bus the duration is between 1 hour and fifteen minutes or 2 depending on the route we choose.
The buses pass every hour by the different stops along the route so if we decide to stop at any of them we can get back on another bus every hour on the hour. It is therefore one of the best ways to get around Dubai.
What will I see from the sightseeing bus
The tourist bus routes are designed for you to see all the relevant places in Dubai. The main stops on the route where you can get off and have a closer look are:
- Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall: Dubai is the city of the colossal and its greatest symbol in this sense is the Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world with its more than 800 meters. At the foot of the Burj Khalifa is another record holder, the Dubai Mall, which is the largest shopping mall on the planet. Both are, in addition to the most visited places in Dubai, the backbone of the tourist bus routes.
- Burj Al Arab: Speaking of records and spectacular buildings, the Burj Al Arab is the most famous hotel in the world and the most luxurious. So much so that it is said to be the only one with 7 stars. While the latter is true it is a reflection of its spectacularity.
- Jumeirah Mosque: Among so many skyscrapers and concrete, the Jumeirah Mosque is a piece of history that is also one of the few mosques in Dubai that opens its doors to tourists.
- Gold souk and other markets: The souks and markets of Dubai are located in the historic area along the Dubai Creek and in them we can bargain and buy jewelry, perfumes, spices and all kinds of items linked to the tradition of Dubai.
- Jumeirah Beach Park: This is a nice park with one of the best beaches in the city, a perfect stop for a nice day away from the hustle and bustle of the city. An oasis among the heat and concrete of Dubai.
- Atlantis Hotel: Next to the Burj Al Arab, this hotel is the most famous in the city. Located in one of the artificial palm trees of Dubai, the Atlantis has even been the protagonist of some Hollywood movies.
- Dubai Creek: This name is known to the natural estuary that crosses Dubai and on whose banks it began to be built. In this area you can take a cruise in Dubai, take a walk or visit the historic district of the city.
How much does the tourist bus ticket cost?
There are two main types of tickets on these buses. The 24 hours and 48 hours. Then there are some extras that can be added in some cases. The prices are as follows:
- Ticket valid for 24 hours: From 58 euros. Children between 5 and 15 years old from 39 euros. Children under 5 years old do not pay ticket.
- Ticket valid for 48 hours: From 68 euros. Children between 5 and 15 years old from 46 euros. Children under 5 years old do not pay ticket.
There are options such as a tour of Dubai by night, museum tickets or even boat trips on the Dubai Creek that increase the fare.
Tourist bus schedule
The buses start their routes at 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. uninterruptedly. In that interval you can get on any tourist bus stopping at the pre-established tourist points. They run every 60 minutes from 9:00 a.m. and on some routes in high season every half hour.
How the tourist bus works
When you buy your ticket it is valid for 24 or 48 hours, depending on which one you buy, from the first time you use it. From then on you can hop on and off the tour buses as many times as you want to visit places like the Burj Khalifa or the Dubai Mall.
When you make your reservation you will be asked to specify a start day although the time is not activated until you use it for the first time. From 9:00 to 18:00 you can hop on and off as many times as you want and at as many stops as you want with your ticket.
Frequently asked questions
What will I see on a tour bus in Dubai?
You can choose from 8 different routes that will take you to more than 35 points of interest such as Jumeirah Beach Park, Dubai Museum, Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Sheikh Zayed Road, Madinat Jumeriah, Gold Souk and Dubai Creek.
What is the best time of day for a bus tour?
Each route has specific schedules. The Orange Route only runs from 15:00 to 20:00, so if you plan to choose this route, or any other, it would be a good idea to ride the bus in the morning and at sunset to see the city under two different lights.
How long does a bus tour last?
Each route will last about 1.5 to 2 hours, with stops approximately every 30 minutes.