Guide to Getting Around Abu Dhabi Using Public Buses

Commuters in Abu Dhabi are being reminded to check bus times on the Darbi app for cancelled journeys, despite the addition of 100 daily bus trips to carry locals during Eid Al Adha.

So, to help you get started, we’ve come up with a list of everything you need to know about the Abu Dhabi bus card – Hafilat, the emirate’s enormous bus network, and even bus routes in Al Ain and Al Dhafra, Abu Dhabi’s Eastern and Western areas, respectively.

Guide to Getting Around Abu Dhabi Using Public Buses
Credits: gordontour / Flickr

How to Use Abu Dhabi Public Buses

These bus networks are part of the Public Transport Bus service, which is managed by the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC). Through the Darbi platform, the ITC has developed a feature that provides real-time bus information. It is available on any device at https://darbi.itc.gov.ae/itc-ar/ or via the Darbi app.

Timings

All bus services in Abu Dhabi are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What Are Hafilat Cards?

As previously stated, the bus card required to navigate around the city is known as the Hafilat card. When you get on or off the bus, you swipe your card over a scanner to pay your fare. These smart cards automatically determine the cost of the ride.

Types of Hafilat Cards:

  1. Anonymous
  • Price: 10 AED
  • Where to buy: Ticket Vending Machines (TVM)
  • Card top-up: This can be done at any TVM
  • Valid for five years
  1. Personalised
  • Includes your name and an ID number
  • Price: 5 AED
  • Where to buy: Customer Happiness Centre
  • Card top-up: This can be done at any TVM
  • Valid for five years

Both cards can be loaded with a maximum of 150 AED. In addition to visiting a TVM, you can top up both of these cards online at https://hafilat.darb.ae/Identification.aspx. You can also use the Darbi app to recharge Hafilat by selecting ‘Public Transport’ and then ‘Recharge Hafilat.’

How to Top Up the Hafilat Card

To recharge or top up your Hafilat card, choose one of the following commuter packages. Some bundles, however, are only available for the Personalised card. Passes for students, seniors, and People of Determination are among them.

Weekly or monthly passes can be purchased at any of the TVMs or major bus stations’ Card Sales Offices.

Senior citizens and People of Determination ride for free on intra-city bus routes, with the only expense being the purchase of a 5 AED Personalised Hafilat card. They receive a 50% discount on the ride fee for inter-city bus routes.

Weekly Pass

Provides an unlimited number of local bus travels for seven days, beginning on the day of purchase.

Cost: 30 AED

Monthly Pass

Provides an unlimited number of local bus travels for 30 days, beginning on the day of purchase.

Cost: 80 AED

The following passes can only be added to the Personalised card:

Student Pass

Annual pass that allows unlimited local and regional trips, and a 50 per cent discount on inter-city trips (bus rides between emirates).

  • Cost: 500 AED
  • Where to buy: Customer Happiness Centres
  • Required documents:
  1. Valid Emirates ID and
  2. a letter from the institution where the student is enrolled.

Senior Citizen Pass

An annual pass that allows for unlimited local and regional trips as well as a 50% discount on intercity trips.

  • For people 55 years old or above
  • Cost: Free
  • Where to buy: Customer Happiness Centres
  • Required documents: Valid Emirates ID

People of Determination Pass

An annual pass that allows for unlimited local and regional trips as well as a 50% discount on intercity trips.

  • Cost: Free
  • Where to buy: Customer Happiness Centres
  • Required documents:
  1. Valid Emirates ID, and
  2. medical report or ‘Aounak’ card, which is a service card for people of determination

TVM Locations

Ticket selling machines can be found around the emirate at bus stations and commercial areas. All TVMs accept both coins and paper money.

TVM at Bus Stations (click the link to view the Google Map Location)

TVM in commercial areas:

The fare is determined by whether you are traveling within Abu Dhabi city or from various suburbs, such as Madinat Zayed or Musaffah, to the main city center. Intercity travel fees are slightly higher.

Abu Dhabi Bus System Fare Matrix:

  • Local trips (within the city): 2 AED
  • Regional trips (suburbs): 2 AED + 0.05 AED per kilometre.
  • Intercity trips (between emirates): 10 AED + 0.1 AED per kilometre.

Bus Routes

  • The public bus system in Abu Dhabi is separated into two major networks: Region and City.
  • Buses beginning with the letter ‘A’ exclusively run to and from Abu Dhabi International Airport.
  • Express buses have bus numbers that begin with an ‘X.’
  • Minibuses are identified by an ‘M.’

Guide to Getting Around Abu Dhabi Using Public Buses

Getting around the city can be quite challenging if it’s your first time here in the UAE. But with the help of this guide, you can know where to get your bus ride, the most convenient timings and access routes, the best prices for the card and which app to use for this service.

READ NEXT: 5 Important Reminders When Using Public Transportation


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