Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates and by far the most developed and progressive one, especially in the tourist and trade sector. You can reach Dubai by plane, boat, bus or car.
Dubai’s main airport is the Dubai International Airport. Two other options are Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) in the nearby emirate of Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH). Frequent visitors who are from countries under the automatic visa list can avail an e-gate card to speed up the immigration process upon arrival. The issuing office is located near the foodcourt of the Terminal 1 departure area. The card costs AED200.Note that the only option to purchase the card is by entering through the Dubai airport.
Several airlines can take you to Dubai, the most popular of which is the Emirates. It is the official airline carrier which connects Dubai to over a hundred destinations. Low cost carriers are also available such as Fly Dubai and Sharjah’s Air Arabia. Etihad has shuttle services from their exclusive check-in facility in Sheikh Zayed Road or Central Business District of Dubai which can take tourists to and from Abu Dhabi Airport.
Dubai has an international cruise terminal at Port Rashid. Also during winter, Costa Cruises has based one of its cruise ships, Costa Luminosa, at Dubai. Alternatively, you can pre-arrange with several other vessels that regularly do trading activities in Dubai.
From Iran, Valfajr Shipping Company has a boat service that leaves Bandar Lengeh and Bandar Abbas every other day and docks at Port Rashid. The boat returns to Iran the following day. The Persian Gulf boat ride takes approximately six hours and as of February 2010, roundtrip first class tickets cost US $145 (IR 1,450,000). Roundtrip economy class ticket on the other hand costs US $122 (IR 1,220,000), with lunch included.
There is a network of buses within the Emirates called “Emirates Express” that links Dubai with the rest of UAE.
ñ From Abu Dhabi’s main station, buses operate every 40 minutes from 6:20 AM. The 2-hour journey, which costs Dh20 stops at Dubai’s Al Ghubaibah station.
ñ From Sharjah buses run through various routes and has stops at several Dubai bus stations including Al Karama, Gold Souq, Baniyas Square, and Jebel Ali. Fare is Dh7.
ñ From Al Ain, the 2-hour bus journey that costs Dh15 stops at Dubai’s Al Ghubaibah station.
ñ From Fujairah, the journey takes around 3-4 hours departing from Rashidiya Metro station.
The only international road border of Dubai is from Oman at Al Wajajah. Expatriate residents of Oman need to acquire an official permit to cross the border while visitors do not require any permit. The charge for every vehicle leaving Oman is 3 OMR and receipts have to be kept if returning since this is required to re-enter. Also, temporary insurance is available at the border but for a premium price.