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Regular readers will be aware that I do try to use public transport whenever possible. My objective today is the Louvre on Saadiyat Island, and I found out that there is a bus (#94) that goes there – terminates there, in fact – from the city. So could I get there on this bus instead of using a taxi?

At first glance it looked possible. I googled ‘Abu Dhabi bus station’ and got a result that suggested that the bus station was just a few minutes walk from the shuttle bus drop-off point at Abu Dhabi mall. Unfortunately I was wrong – I’d been given the location of the City (air) Terminal. More careful googling revealed that the actual central bus station is almost 2 miles from the mall. Rather closer to what might be the centre of the city, but that’s a rather amorphous concept here. It looked as if I’d have to take a taxi to the bus…. not a sensible idea.

Then there’s ticketing. You need a Hafilat card, which is a smart card that has to be bought and loaded with credit. The buses don’t take cash. Nor do the city buses sell basic cards on board (the inter-city buses, e.g. Dubai to Abu Dhabi) do, I gather). The best place to buy a card is at the bus station, of course.

There was a hint that some malls might sell the cards so I’ve been wandering the aisles of Abu Dhabi mall, but with no success. So I shall have to use the taxi again. A pity – I enjoy bus rides, and it would have been much cheaper. Ah well.

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