Dubai Ferry - RTA boat

Dubai Ferry Guide with Routes, Prices and Maps

A pocket-friendly way to see Dubai’s attractions from the water

by admin
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Unlike many other cities, the Dubai Ferry is mainly a sightseeing boat service, often chosen by tourists. Since daily rides are not frequent, and several routes operate on a loop basis, ferry boats in Dubai are not the best pick for local commuters. But for travellers, a ferry tour is a pocket-friendly way to see some of Dubai’s best attractions and gain unique experiences. It is a great way to explore the city by water without breaking the bank. In this article, I will share with you all you need to know about the Dubai Ferry, including timings, routes, stations, maps and ticket prices.

What is Dubai Ferry

The Dubai Ferry is a water-based transportation system operated by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). Painted in typical white and light blue colours, ferry boats in Dubai are modern and spacious. Each of them offers comfortable seats for 98 passengers, including 14 gold-class seats and 2 wheelchair-friendly seats. On board, you will find such facilities as restrooms, a food and beverage kiosk, and 4 LCD screens with helpful information.

Are ferry boats in Dubai safe? Absolutely. The crew members are trained to handle emergencies and provide assistance to passengers in need. It’s important to follow the safety guidelines and instructions provided by the crew members.

In my opinion, the ferry offers a unique perspective of the city from the water, allowing you to see an amazing Dubai skyline, iconic landmarks and attractions. For example, Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah and the Dubai Marina. You can find a more detailed list of attractions for each route below. If you prefer a hassle-free way to travel from the historic to the modern part of Dubai, or the other way around, avoiding traffic and crowded public transport, then you should definitely try RTA’s ferry boats.

Dubai Ferry - Mohammed Bin Rashid Library

What are the Dubai Ferry stations

Currently, ferry rides in Dubai are available from four main ferry terminals:

  • Dubai Marina Mall Marine Transportation Station
  • Bluewaters Marine Transportation Station
  • Dubai Canal Marine Transportation Station
  • Al Ghubaiba Marine Transportation Station

There used to be more Dubai Ferry stations before, but due to the pandemic and other factors, several terminals, including Al Mamzar, are unfortunately no longer in operation. The route to Al Jadaf is now operated by Dubai Taxi.

Dubai Ferry routes

The RTA’s ferry service operates 5 routes, each offering you an opportunity to see a different part of the city. You can check the Dubai Ferry routes, timings and maps below.

Al Ghubaiba > Dubai Canal > Bluewaters > Dubai Marina Mall (FR1)

This is the longest ferry boat route in Dubai, allowing you to see the Dubai Creek estuary, Jumeirah beaches, La Mer, the Dubai Water Canal estuary, Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah, Atlantis the Palm Hotel, Atlantis the Royal Hotel, Bluewaters Island, Ain Dubai, JBR and Dubai Marina. Taking the evening service, you will get a fantastic chance to enjoy the sun setting behind the horizon and arrive on time for your dining or entertainment experience on the Beach at JBR or Dubai Marina.

Departure times

  • Al Ghubaiba: 13:00 and 18:00
  • Dubai Canal: 13:50 and 18:50
  • Bluewaters: 14:50 and 19:50
  • Dubai Marina Mall arrival: 14:55 and 19:55

Dubai Marina Mall > Bluewaters > Dubai Canal > Al Ghubaiba (FR1)

Departure times

  • Dubai Marina Mall: 13:00 and 18:00
  • Bluewaters: 13:20 and 18:20
  • Dubai Canal: 14:05 and 19:05
  • Al Ghubaiba arrival: 14:55 and 19:55

Al Ghubaiba sightseeing loop tour inside the Dubai Creek (FR3)

CURRENTLY NOT RUNNING This RTA’s ferry tour showcases Dubai’s historic part along the famous Dubai Creek. You will see enchanting traditional and modern buildings, piers, minarets and colourful abra boats crossing the waterway at sunset.

Departure times

  • Al Ghubaiba: 16:30

Dubai Marina Mall sightseeing loop tour to Palm Jumeirah and back (FR4)

If you are staying around Dubai Marina, you can take this ferry boat to enjoy a leisurely cruise via Bluewaters and Ain Dubai to Palm Jumeirah with a stunning panorama of Atlantis the Palm and Atlantis the Royal.

Departure times

  • Dubai Marina Mall: 11:30 and 16:30

Al Ghubaiba > Aquarium Marine Station Sharjah (FR5)

On August 4th 2023 RTA resumed the Dubai to Sharjah ferry route that had been previously cancelled during the pandemic. You can now beat the traffic and conveniently visit the neighbouring emirate using this frequent ferry service. The Dubai to Sharjah ferry trip takes 35 minutes.

Departure times

  • Al Ghubaiba: Monday to Thursday 07:45, 10:00, 16:00, 17:30 and 19:00, Friday to Saturday 15:00, 17:00, 20:00 and 22:00
  • Aquarium Marine Station Sharjah arrival: Monday to Thursday 08:20, 10:35, 16:35, 18:05 and 19:35, Friday to Saturday 15:35, 17:35, 20:35 and 22:35

Aquarium Marine Station Sharjah > Al Ghubaiba (FR5)

Departure times

  • Aquarium Marine Station Sharjah: Monday to Thursday 07:00, 08:30, 13:00, 16:45 and 18:15, Friday to Saturday 14:00, 16:00, 18:00 and 21:00
  • Al Ghubaiba arrival: Monday to Thursday 07:35, 09:05, 13:35, 17:20 and 18:50, Friday to Saturday 14:35, 16:35, 18:35 and 21:35

Al Ghubaiba — Souk Al Marfa (CR10)

CURRENTLY NOT RUNNING You can venture on a weekend night to Souk Al Marfa — the waterfront and the biggest market in a traditional part of Dubai, offering great shopping and dining opportunities.

Departure times

  • 18:15 to 21:45 (only Friday to Sunday)

Dubai Ferry - Route map

Dubai Ferry ticket prices

How much is a ferry ride in Dubai? RTA offers several ticketing options to suit different budgets and preferences. The price will depend on the cabin class and the route. You can check all Dubai Ferry ticket prices below .

Dubai Marina Mall — Al Ghubaiba (FR1)

  • Silver-class ticket price: AED 50
  • Gold-class ticket price: AED 70
  • Children under 5 years: free

Dubai Marina Mall — Dubai Canal (FR1)

  • Silver-class ticket price: AED 25
  • Gold-class ticket price: AED 35
  • Children under 5 years: free

Al Ghubaiba — Dubai Canal (FR1)

  • Silver-class ticket price: AED 25
  • Gold-class ticket price: AED 35
  • Children under 5 years: free

Al Ghubaiba sightseeing loop tour inside the Dubai Creek (FR3)

  • Silver-class ticket price: AED 50
  • Gold-class ticket price: AED 75
  • Family package (2 adults + 2 children): AED 140 silver class, AED 210 gold class
  • Children under 2 years: free
  • Children 2-10 years: 50% discount

Dubai Marina Mall sightseeing loop tour to Palm Jumeirah and back (FR4)

  • Silver-class ticket price: AED 50
  • Gold-class ticket price: AED 75
  • Family package (2 adults + 2 children): AED 140 silver class, AED 210 gold class
  • Children under 2 years: free
  • Children 2-10 years: 50% discount

Al Ghubaiba — Aquarium Marine Station Sharjah (FR5)

  • Silver-class ticket price: AED 15
  • Gold-class ticket price: AED 25
  • Children under 5 years: free

Al Ghubaiba — Souk Al Marfa (CR10)

  • Ticket price: AED 5

How to buy the Dubai Ferry tickets

Here is how you can buy your ferry tickets in Dubai:

  • At the ferry station: You can pay by cash, debit/credit card or NOL transportation card. When paying by NOL card, make sure that it is charged up with the full fare before your trip.
  • Book marine tickets on the RTA website: You can choose between a silver-class and gold-class ticket and purchase them in a few simple steps.

Dubai Ferry - Dubai Marina

How to use the Dubai Ferry

Using the Dubai Ferry is easy and straightforward.

  • First, you need to decide on the route you want to take and check the schedule and timings.
  • Then, you can purchase the ticket either online or directly at the ferry station.
  • Arrive at the ferry station at least 15 minutes before the departure time to avoid missing the boat.
  • Once on board, find a comfortable seat and enjoy the ride.
  • Bring a camera to capture the stunning views.

Dubai Ferry - Dubai Canal

Other water transportation options in Dubai

Apart from the Water Ferry, there are several other water transportation options in Dubai, including water taxis, water buses and abras. Water taxis are a more expensive option but provide a faster and more private way to explore Dubai’s waterways. Traditional motorised abras are wooden boats that operate in Dubai Creek and offer an authentic way to explore the city’s waterways. They cost just AED 1 per single trip. Besides that, you can take petrol or electric abras in areas like Dubai Creek, Dubai Water Canal, the Dubai Fountain and Global Village. To explore the stunning vistas of Dubai Marina and hop between the shores, you can board the Dubai Water Bus.

I also recommend taking boat tours in Dubai, departing from several locations across the city. You will be spoilt for choice: from cruises on traditional dhow boats to modern yachts. You can go on a romantic dinner cruise enjoying a glass of champagne with fantastic harbour views or even rent a private charter boat for different special occasions.

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