Water Taxi Rides in Dubai

Water taxis are sure pretty—much more enjoyable than hailing a cab in congested New York. In fact, a relaxing ride on a water taxi is the most popular way to take the “scenic route” through an exotic location. Speaking of which, Dubai water taxis are among the emirate’s top draws, since it’s just so pretty to look at anyway.

Dubai water taxi

Photo by Talie-Orfée Després

Water Taxis

A Tradition and a Luxury

Did you know that one of the oldest modes of transportation in world history is the traditional rowing water taxi? We didn’t always call it a “taxi” but traveling by boat and oar is something we figured out a long time ago.

Dubai water taxi interior
Abras in Dubai Creek

Photo by Ian Lloyd


Price is about AED 1 per trip.

Water travel is such an active part of tourism in Dubai, there are actually several types of water vehicles to consider. For example, an abra refers to manually rowed boats equipped with asphalt-pitched side layers. This is ideal for a large group traveling and takes about 5-7 minutes. Traditional abras have been around since the 1700s and people still love their old world charm. Motorized abras take less time to travel and are open 24 hours a day, unlike traditional abras, which close in the early morning hours.

Traditional abra

Photo by landhere

Traditional Abras

They are at public library station and creek park station.

Rowing abras

Photo by rickz

Rowing Abras

They are all over Dubai Creek, and meet with Deira and Bur Dubai.

Water Taxi station at Bur Dubai

Photo by rickz

Water Taxis

Abra stop in Bur Dubai

Photo by James Cridland

A water taxi has much more flexibility in location and timing. It is ideal for more privacy and the more luxurious choice for tourists who don’t like to rub shoulders with other tourists! What’s really cool is that you can dial a toll-free phone number (8009090) and have a Water Taxi come pick you up at the nearest station. Water taxis are opened from late morning till night and you can travel all over Dubai Creek and its waterways.

Abra water taxi and Dubai skyline in the background

Photo by Jason Mrachina

A water ferry is another luxury option but one that is limited to major stop points in Dubai. It also has group events for photography, tea, and visiting the Dubai Marina Mall.


Photo by Jan Albrecht


A waterbus operated by RTA on a fixed schedule and offers 15 minutes worth of luxury travel from Dubai Creek to the Dubai Marina.

RTA Water Taxi in Dubai Marina

Photo by Dubai-Marina.com

Electrical Abra

Lastly, there’s the electrical abra, which is considered the ultimate in luxury, as it tours the Burj Lake, home of the largest performing fountain, and has on-board shows.

Price is around AED 60 / 30 minutes.

Sailing Abra at night

Photo by Edgar Vonk


Photo by teresaaaa

Water Bus

Another alternative for sight seeing is the Water Bus. It is not to get around town, rather to have fun and enjoy the views. Operated by Wonder Bus Tours.

Price for an adult AED 160.