The Sky bus will launch as a pilot project, operating with eight buses on four routes. The service has been launched after a detailed survey of 1,500 tourists. Image Credit: Courtesy: RTA

Dubai: Passengers at Dubai International Airport can now avail of comfortable bus rides to and from their hotels as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) launches the Sky Bus service from mid-May, Gulf News can reveal.

Launched as a pilot project for six months, the new bus service will offer direct connectivity to 26 hotels across the city, operated through eight buses on four routes. The service will initially start from Terminal 3 and then Terminal 1 at Dubai International Airport.

“Our mission is to provide the option of public transport to all people who come to Dubai. Sky Bus service will certainly help tourists reach their hotels quicker, safer and at an affordable rate,” Mohammad Al Ali, Director of Bus Operations at RTA’s Public Transport Agency, said.

The service, which is tentatively scheduled to start by May 15, was launched following a detailed survey that took into account views of more than 1,500 tourists.

“We spoke with tourists who arrived in Dubai from across the world and got their opinion on what they would think of a shuttle service from the airport to hotels and we got a great response, following which we decided to start the service. Our plan is to continue the survey during the pilot phase and improve or expand the service according to the demand we see,” added Al Ali, speaking exclusively to Gulf News.

The shuttle service will cost Dh15 per head for every trip, which will include free WiFi service on the move.

Passengers will also be able to enjoy light snacks and juices on the bus as Sky Bus will also offer a catering service.

The buses will operate every 30 minutes from the airport. However, if the demand is high, the frequency will be increased.

“The frequency will depend on demand. Normally buses will operate every 30 minutes, but if there are more than 15 passengers waiting at any given time, the buses will move immediately,” said Al Ali.

The buses will start operations every day from noon until late at night.

Special articulated buses have been deployed for the buses with large baggage spaces allocated on every bus for passengers.

Al Ali added that the service will be expanded as per the demand.

“Our plan is to deploy at least 30 buses in the next phase and serve most of the hotels in Dubai. We have taken great care to make the service very attractive and hope more people will take advantage of these buses,” informed.

Payment of fare for the bus trips will be done through Nol cards which can be bought at RTA information kiosks at the airport.

Route One will head to Shaikh Zayed Road, serving popular hotels such as Fairmont, Radisson Royal, Crown Plaza, Shangri la etc.

Route Two will serve Al Barsha 1 area, connecting with hotels like Ramada Chelsea, Marmara Hotel Apartments, Ibis Hotel, City Max, etc.

Serving Karama and Mankhool areas, Route Three will cater to Burjuman Arjaan, Regent Palace, Four Point Sheraton, Park Regis, etc.

Travelling around Garhoud, Route Four serves Al Bustan Rotana, Le Meridien, Premier Inn and Holiday Inn Express.