Dubai to Yas Island Theme Parks Transport Guide for 2024


Looking to take a day trip down to Abu Dhabi for the fabulous theme parks of Yas Island?

Although in an entirely different city, the Yas Island theme parks in Abu Dhabi are surprisingly easy to access from Dubai.

Yas Island sits on the eastern outskirts of Abu Dhabi, near the Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), making it one of the first Abu Dhabi destinations you can reach from Dubai.

In this Yas Island day trip guide, we’ll cover:

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What Are the Yas Island Theme Parks?

Yas Island in Abu Dhabi emirate is home to four of the world’s greatest theme parks within a short distance of one another, these are:

NB opening times can vary over the Holy Month of Ramadan and during public holidays and special events.

(Yas Waterworld shuts for annual maintenance in January. The re-open date for 2024 is scheduled for February 5, just in time for the local school half-term break!)

Dubai to Yas Island FREE Shuttle

When you book your tickets to any of the Yas Theme Parks, you can take advantage of the FREE Yas Express shuttle bus service from Dubai to Yas Island. This is the best way to get to Yas Island from Dubai for no additional cost.

You will need evidence of an e-ticket for any of the theme parks; then the bus works on a first-come-first-served basis. There are two designated starting points in Dubai (pre-pandemic, there used to be five shuttle pick-up points; take note of the new timetable!)

The Yas Express shuttle buses leave at 11:00 AM daily from:

  • Y6 Route Deira City Centre (entrance beside Aloft Hotel/Majid Al Futaim Tower 1) – approximately 2 hours
  • Y7 Route Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates – approximately 1 hour, 30 minutes

You can find the current complimentary shuttle bus service timetable here if you want to get about the rest of Yas Island beyond the theme parks.

A border crossing checkpoint existed between Abu Dhabi and Dubai only during the peak of the pandemic; there are no longr any crossing checkpoints making this a fast and straightforward journey between the two emirates.

An additional YAS Express shuttle service, the Y13, has also been added for guests staying in Ras Al Khaimah. It operates three days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with a departure point from Rixos Marjan Island.

Yas Island Ferrari World Entrance Yas Express Bus
The Ferrari World shuttle pick up & drop off point, attached to Yas Mall Abu Dhabi

Buying Your Yas Island Theme Park Tickets

You can purchase your Yas Theme Park tickets in advance to secure the lowest prices, including a free ride from Dubai. We highly recommend buying in advance as on-the-door ticket prices are 10% more.

In addition to buying tickets from the parks themselves, there are several ticket resellers and tour operators you may find a better price with or extras thrown in, such as private transfers, for example:

NB, be careful of some city tours offering only a stop at Ferrari World – if it’s only scheduled for less than an hour on the itinerary, it’s almost certainly only a photo stop at the entrance – seriously, not that exciting! Thrill fans, make sure you get what you’re paying for, and your tour includes ENTRY to Ferrari World.

  • Dubai Go City Explorer Pass – **Great value for visiting all theme parks** Ferrari World, WB World Abu Dhabi, and Yas Waterworld are all included in this Dubai multi-attraction pass. (NB a 3-attraction pass on Go City would cost 669 AED per adult vs. RRP for three parks 920 AED – we explain completely how Go City passes work here)
  • You can get a 2-park, 3-park or 4-park pass from any of the venues for 675 AED online. This is superb value, but you must use this ticket on four separate dates, valid 14 days from the first use. This may not work on a day/weekend trip from Dubai.

Just after a single park entry without transfers? Some of the best discounts we’ve found for single tickets are on Klook:

Pricing is correct as of January 2024 – please check the savings we’ve described are accurate before booking. Under 3’s are free at all Yas theme parks.

Dubai to Yas Island Transfers

If the timings do not work for you on the Yas Island Shuttle buses, and you already have your theme park tickets, you may prefer to arrange your own transfers; this is undoubtedly going to be the fastest way to get to Yas Island from Dubai and will maximise your time at the parks; these are options to consider:

  • Use Get Transfer a service that allows users to put in their journey details, and drivers bid for your fare. You set the vehicle size you need and whether you’d like it to be one-way or a return transfer. A good way to get competitive pricing over the regular ride-share service that will set your price for you (Works sort of similar to In Drive, which you may be familiar with; In Drive is not presently an option available in the UAE)
Yas Waterworld, supplied
Yas Waterworld – image supplied

Dubai to Yas Island Public Bus

You can choose to make your own way to Abu Dhabi from Dubai by Intercity Bus, then onwards to the Yas Island theme parks.

It’s not the most direct of routes and takes a long time, but if you plan to see other things in Abu Dhabi, it could be a practical option to consider.

There is a reasonable public transport system in Abu Dhabi, albeit as a smaller city nowhere near as comprehensive as Dubai.  We explain here exactly how to take the public bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi central bus station in Al Wadha.

  • From Abu Dhabi Bus station, you then need to catch a local bus service to Yas Island
  • Local bus route number 190 leaves once an hour to Ferrari World/Yas Mall, via Saadiyat Island
  • Alternatively, a taxi from Al Wadha back to Yas Island is approximately 50 AED.

Your Intercity bus to Abu Dhabi will cost 25 AED on a comfortable coach, plus the local bus fare of 6 AED.

Dubai to Yas Island Taxi Fare

If you take a metered taxi from Dubai to Yas Island, you will likely pay the following:

  • From Downtown Dubai 200 AED ($55 USD)
  • From Dubai Airport 230 AED ($63 USD)
  • From JBR/Dubai Marina area 170AED ($46USD)

Taxis from Dubai are allowed to cross into Abu Dhabi Emirate without issue. However, since COVID it has become more common now for taxis to stop at the first ADNOC petrol station after the border and ask passengers to change to a local Abu Dhabi taxi to complete the journey.

Self-Drive Dubai to Yas Island

If you have access to a car or wish to rent a car and drive in Dubai, you can easily self-drive to Yas Island:

  • From Dubai, take the E11 Highway (Sheikh Zayed Road)
  • Stay left at Al Shahama for the E10, signposted to Abu Dhabi
  • Take the Yas Island East Exit for the E12 (also marked ‘Yas Leisure Drive‘)
  • Follow the blue signs that say ‘Yas Leisure Drive‘ until you reach the brown tourist signs. Follow each to your final destination – each theme park has its own free car parking.
Yas Waterworld on Yas Island

Transfers from DXB Dubai Airport to Yas Island

There is no direct transfer service that runs from DXB to Yas Island; you would need to:

  • Get yourself from DXB to one of the pickup locations described above for the free shuttle
  • Pay for a taxi door-to-door
  • Arrange a private transfer driver as we’ve described above.

Transport on Yas Island

Once you are on Yas Island, there is the free Yas Express, which runs between the theme parks, Yas Plaza hotels, the Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Bay, and the Yas Marina bars and entertainment area.

You can also catch taxis within the island, but bear in mind the minimum fare you will pay at a 12 AED flat rate.

A new alternative, if you are after something unique, is hailing a Txai on Yas Island – not a spelling mistake! These unique driverless Robotaxis can be booked via app. They operate between Yas Island and Saadiyat Island with nine predetermined pick-up and drop-off locations only at this stage, not the whole of Abu Dhabi city. While still in its trial phase, journeys are free.

Yas Island to Dubai Transport

Returning to Dubai from Yas Island, you can return the same free shuttle service with your ticket as evidence you have been to the parks. 

There are two evening return services that leaves from:

  • Route Y6 back to Deira City Centre from Ferrari World 8:00 PM, Yas Waterworld/Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi 8:10 PM and SeaWorld 8:32 PM. Arrives DCC 10:30 PM
  • Route Y7 back to Sheraton Mall of the Emirates, from Ferrari World 7:30 PM, Yas Waterworld/Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi 7:40 PM, and SeaWorld 7:52 PM. Arrives MoE 9:22 PM.

If this does not fit your timings, however, then you may need to look at taking a metred taxi back to Dubai from Yas Island, or trying a ride-share service such as Careem. They are available in front of all three venues and will take you door to door.

Outside the entrance to Warner Bros World in Abu Dhabi. Shuttle buses depart from the roundabout pictured here on the right-hand side

Want to Stay on Yas Island?

There is plenty to keep you busy on Yas Island for a full two days, so it’s a great idea to turn it into at least an overnighter from Dubai. 

Since we first published this guide, The WB Abu Dhabi, Curio Collection by Hilton family hotel has opened, sitting immediately adjacent to the entry of WB World and Yas Waterpark. It is the ideal place to base yourself overnight, especially with the kids, who will love the themed rooms.

Nearby, you’ll find the Yas Plaza hotels. Many offer theme park tickets with your stay, so these can be a great alternative to consider at a cheaper price, just a short shuttle away from the Yas theme parks.

Another brand new five-star opening that would be excellent for a longer stay is the Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, located at the centre of newly opened Yas Bay area – a thriving new nightlife destination with a wonderful pool. They also offer ticket-inclusive packages that can equal great savings.

You can see all Yas Island hotels and nearby accommodation options here.

Mke sure you head to our partner site, Abu Dhabi Travel Planner, to learn more about Things to do on Yas Island and more ideas for exploring Abu Dhabi.

More FAQs Getting from Dubai to Yas Island

Can you get to Yas Island for Free?

Yes, if you already hold your theme park tickets for any of the 4 Yas Island parks, you can utilise a free transfer service from Deira and Mall of the Emirates in Dubai to get to Yas Island on a complimentary basis. This service cannot be reserved and is on a first-come basis only.

Is there a free shuttle bus to Warner Bros Abu Dhabi?

Yes, for guests wanting to travel from Dubai to Warner Bros World in Abu Dhabi, you can catch the Yas Express route Y6 and Y7 from Dubai, which departs once daily at 11:00 am. See the detailed shuttle bus timetable above.

Is there a bus from Dubai to SeaWorld?

Yes, the complimentary shuttle bus service, the Yas Express runs to SeaWorld as well as Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi.

Is there a bus from Dubai Airport to Yas Island?

There is no direct transfer service from Dubai International Airport DXB to Abu Dhabi. See our guide here on how to get from Dubai to Abu Dhabi by Bus and other alternative forms of transport. You’d need to get to Deira or the Mall of the Emirates by Metro first, then transfer to the Yas Express (free service for theme park ticket holders) or Ibn Battuta to catch the public bus, AED 25.

Can I see more than one theme park on a day trip to Yas Island?

In theory, yes, but you’d be missing stuff; each theme park really needs a dedicated full day to get the most out of your experience. If you are buying a multi-park pass, we’d strongly suggest staying in Abu Dhabi.

While the free shuttle from Dubai to Yas Island is great, you don’t get to the theme parks until the early afternoon, eating into valuable theme park time.

Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai

Information on shuttle services was sourced from Farah Experiences and was correct at the time of writing (last updated January 2024). Please always check departure times and availability of service before travelling.

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