If you are visiting Dubai make a bus trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. Modern air-conditioned buses leave every thirty minutes at Al Ghubaiba bus station in Bur Dubai.
A bus trip to Abu Dhabi takes about two hours and only costs a few dollars, a lot less than what a taxi would cost.
Reserve at least two days for your Dubai to Abu Dhabi trip. But if you only want to make a one-day trip then leave in the early morning to have time enough for Abu Dhabi sights.
Bur Dubai bus station is located in front of the metro station with the same name Al Ghubaiba. Bus tickets to Abu Dhabi are sold at a ticket counter behind the main bus station building. And the buses leave in the same place.
In the bus front seats are for women and men are supposed to sit on back rows.
Route from Dubai to Abu Dhabi
What to do in Abu Dhabi
The Abu Dhabi sights I will show you in this post are the famous Grand Mosque, the seven-star Emirates Palace Hotel, the beach boulevard Corniche, the Breakwater and the Heritage Village.
We will also see downtown Abu Dhabi and visit two of the biggest shopping malls.
Abu Dhabi Sightseeing Map
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The Dubai to Abu Dhabi bus brings you to Abu Dhabi bus station in downtown Abu Dhabi. Take a taxi to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and start with the most remarkable Abu Dhabi sight. There are city buses to the Grand Mosque but that will take a much longer time.
The mosque is huge in size. It takes 40.000 worshippers at one time. The mosque floor is covered with a huge Iranian carpet that took two years to weave. It is the biggest carpet in the world.
And five times a day prayer calls are being delivered via satellite connection from here to all other minaretes in Abu Dhabi.
Non-muslims are free to visit the mosque in the mornings and there is a free guided tour at 10:00, except on Fridays.
From the Grand Mosque take a taxi (or a city bus) to Emirates Palace Hotel. After this you won’t need taxis since the sights are at walking-distance or only short bus rides are needed.
Emirates Palace Hotel
This seven-star hotel is at the south end of the Corniche beach boulevard.
Emirates Palace Hotel is open to all visitors provided they are properly dressed. You are free to walk in the halls and look at beautiful art and culture collections, golden balconies and Swarowsky chrystals.
If you like you can have a meal or drink in any restaurant. Some of them have live music. And in case you feel like buying a piece of gold there is an ATM, just for that purpose!
From the Emirates Palace Hotel it’s just a short walk to the Corniche, Abu Dhabi’s beach boulevard. The Corniche is both a walkway and white sandy public beach.
Locals like walking up and down the boulevard, sitting under palms and renting bikes at bike rental stalls. And a nearby park is popular for picnics and packed with people after dark when the air gets a bit cooler.
These are Etihad Towers right opposite the Emirates Palace Hotel. You can take a lift up to an observation deck.
The Breakwater and the Heritage Village
From the Corniche you can either walk or take a bus to the Breakwater.
The Breakwater has a yacht harbour and its main road Breakwater Road is the favourite place for young boys for driving around and showing up their farthers’ cars. And don’t miss the Heritage Village that shows what life in Abu Dhabi used to be like before oil was discovered.
Locals spend their leisure time in air-conditioned shopping malls, particularly on weekends. Men are wearing white clothing and women black. Marina Mall on the Breakwater is a modern luxury shopping mall with restaurants, fountains – and an ice-skating rink.
Another shopping mall we saw is the Abu Dhabi Mall in the Tourist Club area. It is older and smaller but also has good shops. Abu Dhabi Mall has a popular food court on the top floor.
From Marina you can walk to the city center or take a local bus. Buses run frequently.
Downtown Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi downtown has changed a lot in last years. Abu Dhabi of today is a modern city with skyscrapers and broad streets. In addition there are many small shopping malls that probably sell at a lower prices than the big malls outside. But maybe traditional local shops are for a tourist the most interesting ones.
On Fridays most better restaurants are serving Friday brunches. Try that if you can.
It’s easy to use local buses for sightseeing in central Abu Dhabi: downtown, the Breakwater, the Corniche and the Tourist Club area.
The most useful buses for tourists are buses number 5 and 7. These buses also take you to the ideally located Hotel Le Meridien that has a private beach and pool area. We stayed at this hotel and we liked it.
So now you know how to get from Dubai to Abu Dhabi by bus and what to see in Abu Dhabi in a limited time.
But if you really want to see and do all I have shown you and maybe having a bath on hotel beach and a late Friday brunch you need time. And to visit islands around Abu Dhabi like Yas Island and the world-famous Ferrari World even more time is needed to make your perfect bus trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi!
Sightseeing in Dubai
For sightseeimg in Dubai check out my blog post Sightseeing in Dubai on Local Transport.