How to... a Guide to the Dubai Metro

Dubai Metro is an ultra-modern, fully-automated, driverless rail network that runs the length of the city. It is a cheap, reliable and safe mode of public transport, and in this post - our first "How to... a Guide to" instalment - Sama Sama Holiday Homes helps you understand a bit more about how it works.

To book your travel through us, please click here.

For general information please visit

The basics

The Dubai Metro consists of 47 stations across two different lines, the Red line and the Green line, and six different zones. From Al Twar in the North to Jebel Ali in the South, you can navigate your way through most of the Emirate with ease.

Dubai Metro - map.jpg


Dubai’s answer to the Oyster card, MetroCard and Paris Visite card is the NOL card. There are four different types of NOL card available to purchase: Red, Blue, Silver and Gold.

Tourists and infrequent visitors to Dubai are advised to go for the Red Ticket. It costs AED2 to purchase ($0.55) and can be bought from one of the several vending machines or the information counters located at each Metro station. The Red Ticket lasts for 90 days can be topped up with up to 10 Single trips, so don’t throw it away after a day!

You can compare the features of each card at

Frequent visitors to Dubai are recommended to go for the Silver Ticket which they can keep with them and recharge each time they return.

Alternatively, if all of this sounds too much like hard work then book your recharged NOL card through us and it will be at the property on your arrival.

Journey costs

The cost of your journey is determined by the number of zones you travel through and the type of NOL card you have purchased.

Check before you travel at as prices can be updated at any time.

Click here to book your prepaid NOL card for use during your stay.


Don't forget that here in the Middle East our weekends fall over a Friday and Saturday, and Friday is the Holy Day, therefore services are slightly limited.

Red Line
Saturday - Wednesday: 5:30am - 12 midnight
Thursday: 5:30am - 1am
Friday: 10am - 1am

Green Line
Saturday - Wedneday: 5:50am - 12 midnight
Thursday: 5:50am - 1am
Friday: 10am - 1am

Train frequency

During rush hour, Dubai Metro trains run every two minutes, and during non-peak times every seven minutes.

Train layout and special carriages

Three and a half of the five carriages are normal carriages open to anyone.

At one end the first half (either at the front or back of the train depending on the direction!) is the Gold Class. Only passengers with a Gold NOL card can ride in this carriage.

The next full carriage is for Women & Children only. Do not ride in this carriage unless you are a woman or child. It is also considered the correct etiquette not to enter the carriage if you are not a woman or chlid.

Best stations for...

The Metro serves most places in Dubai easily and it is clear by some of the station names which attraction is closest to which station (e.g. for the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, the closest station is called Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall). But some places are harder to find and you may need to take a taxi or feeder bus to reach your final destination. Here are a few tips:

Palm Jumeirah - Dubai Internet City Metro Station
Dubai Media City - Nakheel Metro Station
Gold & Diamond Park - FGB Metro Station
Dubai Marina - Damac Properties Metro Station
The Creek - Al Ghubaiba Metro Station (not "Creek")!
DIFC Gate - Emirates Towers Metro Station

Feeder buses

For those people living far away from a Metro station, fear not! There is a whole network of buses that run from more remote parts of town and ‘feed’ the stations nearby for free. There are too many to write down here, so please visit this link for the full list.

Park and Ride

There are small car parks at each station and larger ones at stations closer to the end of the line, where you can park your car for free if you are using the Metro.

Other useful tips, rules and advice

Don't forget!

  • No bikes allowed
  • No eating or drinking on the trains
  • No spitting or littering
  • No alcoholic drinks
  • No smoking, no pets (unless they are guide dogs)
  • Children under 90cm in height or 5 years in age travel free