fbpx

The Complete Guide to Bus Rentals in the UAE

by | Apr 11, 2020

I’m sure this sounds familiar: whenever a group trip is planned, there is dilemma on how everyone will be chartered to and from the location punctually and securely. Most planners arrange carpools or book tickets to transport their party, but these choices make arriving late, getting lost and losing their possessions even more likely. However, these strategies fail to ensure that your group stays together at all times, thus defeating the entire purpose of the excursion. A bus rental is by the far the most optimum method of transportation for safe, fun and convenient group outings ⁠— especially in large cities like Dubai or Abu Dhabi.  We’ve put together a full guide to help you rent a charter bus for your next excursion or for a long term requirement.

Quick Navigation – Bus Rental Guide

  1. Seats
  2. Bus Types
  3. Amenities
  4. WiFi
  5. Food & Drinks
  6. Alcohol
  7. Storage Space
  8. Cost
Charter Bus Seats Interior
Charter Bus Seats

What is a Private Bus Rental?

A private bus, also sometimes referred to as a charter bus, is an automobile reserved for a team, company or group to be used privately. It is much more efficient and commodious to hire your own charter bus for your next group outing rather than following a fixed bus route.

What does a charter bus look like?

From an outside perspective, you can witness the huge, panoramic windows of the charter bus that allow the beautiful natural light to flood the interior space at daytime. Looking underneath the windows, you’ll find secure and concealed storage bays for equipment and baggage. Usually, the bus firm’s logo is displayed on the side of the bus.

Bus Rental Dubai UAE
Outside View of a 50 Seater Charter Bus

Entering the charter bus, you’ll immediately see the driver’s seat in front of you, with rows of luxurious seats for commuters filling the rest of the bus. Many full-sized buses tend to have a bathroom at the very end of the charter bus. During your journey, overhead storage bins keep your personal possessions safe and out of harm’s way.

Who rents private buses?

Any group, whether it be companies, sports teams or extended family groups, can and should rent charter buses. Outlined below are some examples for trips we have conducted in the past.

  • The Indian Football Team were chartered using a 50 seater coach and a 14 seater bus for four days, where they were shuttled back and forth from their hotels and the football pitch.
  • The Indonesian Football Team also hired a 50 seater coach bus for four days for the same purpose.
  • A group of 15 tourists travelling from Hong Kong were chartered from Dubai to Muscat and back.
  • Three buses for about a 100 people (who were all from different parts of Dubai) travelling to the Dubai Production City.
  • We helped in transporting more than 500 people from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and back for the Formula 1 (one 14 seater, one 30 seater and one 67 seater were involved).
  • A 30 seater bus was hired from us, where the visitors travelled from Ajman to Global Village in Dubai.
  • A company party relied on arcab to provide two 30 seater charters from Dubai and Sharjah towards Umm Al Quwain and back.

How many seats does a charter bus have?

Most Popular Bus Rental Sizes
Most Popular Bus Rental Sizes

Buses come in a range of sizes and seat capacities so that you can rent the vehicle that is most optimum for your journey.

The smallest size is vans, which usually have 10 to 15 seats. A luxury van is also in that range, but can have as many as 19 seats. A minibus offers 22 to 34 seats for slightly larger groups, thus becoming the perfect solution for groups commuting around the city for festivals, weddings, concerts etc. The coach option, with 35 to 50 seats, is targeted towards bigger groups who may be commuting to a location outside the city, like for school transport. Lastly, the largest size we offer is A/C bus with 60 to 67 seats!

To sum up, arcab assures you that regardless of your group size, we will find the most convenient and price effective mode of transportation for you!

What is the difference between a van, luxury van, minibus, coach, and A/C bus?

While a charter bus operator, like arcab, contracts out all of the buses and ensures that a professional driver is the one driving it, there are a range of different types of buses which vary in their seating capabilities. 

A van, as previously established, is the smallest option available and comes with MIC and AUX so that you can travel happily with the right music. A luxury van has all the features of a regular van but is, of course, more luxurious. This luxury includes push-back seats, TV* and WiFi capabilities*, hence allowing you to travel with the utmost comfortable.


A minibus is a larger option which also offers Audio, AUX and MIC. It is made more spacious so that you can easily interact with your friends while on the minibus, and is designed for efficient group commutes.


The coach offers all of the above audio options along with push-back seats, TV* and WiFi*, with three or four doors for quick entering and exiting of the vehicle. 


The A/C bus is the largest of them all, with MIC, excellent interiors and, of course, with full A/C capabilities in all of the vehicles we offer. It is most often used for transporting staff, security or students. 

What amenities are included in a charter bus rental?

As outlined above, our charter buses are fitted with a variety of amenities:

  • Comfortable seats 
  • Reclining seats
  • Air conditioning 

Do charter buses have WiFi and phone chargers?

Charging outlets and WiFi are available in most of our modern buses, but if it is an essential for your group, contact us to confirm the availability of buses with these features.Adding Internet capabilities to your bus can have wonderful benefits for your group as you all will be able to share pictures on social media, send emails, watch shows and much more. Your electronic devices can be charged up via the use of outlets in the bus. Most of our buses also come with numerous other amenities (see above. Such services are very important to us as they keep travelers entertained and satisfied. 

Can passengers bring food and drinks on a charter bus?

Most charter buses permit bringing your own food and drinks, but it is best to check before your trip with your bus company. If it is allowed, be mindful about bringing smelly or messy food as they can be quite a nuisance for your fellow passengers and the driver. We may charge you with cleaning fees if your group leaves spills or rubbish on the bus without suitably cleaning them up. Most of our buses have a waste basket at front, so simply make sure your group collects and throws trash before they leave the bus. It would be very considerate of you if you bring your own empty trash bag in the situation that there is no rubbish bin on the bus.

Can passengers drink alcoholic beverages on the bus?

As this is the United Arab Emirates and arcab is respectful of Islam and the people of this country, drinking alcohol is not permitted on the bus.

Are pets allowed on charter buses?

Sadly, nearly all of our bus companies do not allow pets on board due to certain health and safety issues and regulation. However, if it is a service animal aiding an individual who is disabled, please contact us so we can better sort out the situation.

What items are prohibited on a bus?

Be sure to leave guns, explosives, flammable items, and hazardous chemicals at home when preparing for a charter bus ride. Your bus service provider will clarify any of your concerns regarding the bus and country’s contraband policies, so please ask us if you are not sure about a specific item. Charter buses also ban smoking, but you may smoke outside the bus during the break stops along the way.

Are there beds on a charter bus?

Charter buses unfortunately do not have beds, but to help you rest, there will be cushioned and reclining seats. You can use a cozy neck pillow or just lean against the window if you want to get some shut eye during the trip.

Do charter buses have storage space?

Of course! Charter buses have a large amount of space dedicated for storage, unlike other modes of transportation. There are overhead storage spaces above the seats to keep your possessions safe and accessible, similar to those you’ll find on an airplane.  Under the bus, you’ll find more luggage space for your larger bags. Such compartments contain larger items such as equipment and luggage.

Luggage Space in Charter Bus UAE
Luggage Space in Charter Bus

Luggage and supplies are stored in the storage bays. It is rumored that it is also possible to stow passengers who play their music too loudly here. The photo above is from Shofur Market.Minibuses have less storage space because they are smaller than the other charter buses, hence their target audience is small groups. If your team requires additional storage, feel free to contact us regarding what other options we can offer you.

What are the restrooms like on a charter bus?

Our charter buses unfortunately do not offer restrooms. However, we make regular stops at locations like petrol pumps which allow the passengers to use their facilities. We advise our passengers to use the restrooms beforehand.

Do charter buses have seat belts?

Yes, nearly all of our charter buses are fitted with seat belts to make sure you are safe at all times. However as per national laws in the UAE, not all buses require seat belts depending on an audit conducted by a RTA official.

Who drives a charter bus?

A reliable, professional driver will be hired by the charter bus service. Your bus driver is responsible for the safety of your group, so we find companies that have excellent and reputable drivers.

Keep in mind that drivers are only allowed to driver 10 hours in a row before it becomes mandatory for them to take a 8 hour break. Therefore, if your journey needs more than 10 hours of driving a day, we will provide you with a second driver for an added cost.

If overnight travel is a part of your trip, you’ll also need to pay for your driver’s hotel room as your driver is in charge of your safety, so he or she must be well rested! Even if the hotel specifications are not defined by your bus company, we suggest staying at a 3-star or better hotel for your group and driver’s optimum rest.

How far in advance should I book my bus rental?

Reserving your charter bus at least a month in advance is recommended, and for the busy tourist times such as December, you should book at least three to four months in advance. However, do not worry if you are planning a trip in the last minute, as you can book a bus whenever you want and we’ll work to find your best charter bus as soon as possible. 

How much does a charter bus rental cost?

You are most likely thinking: “This all sounds amazing. But how much will this cost us?” Your journey’s length and mileage influences the cost for bus services. A mileage-based rate is likely to be quoted if the distance you are travelling is very long. You’re going to be charged per day if your trip spans several days. Check our pricing guide which can help you estimate your bus costs. Or, you can instantly contact us by calling us or emailing us for more information.

How do I rent a charter bus?

Note down the most important information for your trip before contacting us so that we can provide you with the best information instantly and match you with a bus that’s perfect for your requirements. Key information you’ll need:

  1. What are the addresses and names of your travel destinations, and what times should the charter bus service pick and drop you off?
  2. On which day and date does your trip begin, and how long will it last?
  3. How many passengers are a part of your group?
  4. Would you like to pick up any additional passengers along the way? If so, how many?
  5. Does your group require a wheelchair-accessible bus?
  6. Which bus facilities and features does your group value the most?

Which Bus Rental company should I hire?

Pick your bus service provider depending on factors such as your location and the service’s credibility and capacity. Next, search for a charter bus service which is situated as close as possible to your pick up point because that will be cheaper for you. If you choose a service in a different city, in addition to the cost of your ride itself, you would also be required to pay for the cost of travel from that company’s city to your pickup location. That’s too expensive! The excess distance is referred to as a deadhead. With arcab, you can avoid these deadhead fees as we work with a variety of bus service providers and ensure that you get the best value for money.

Then, compare the online reviews and comments of each and every company you find, evaluating whether clients were ultimately satisfied with the service.  Take some time to scrutinize and read the contracts and agreements, and ask any questions you have before finally signing the agreement.

arcab will swiftly find a modern and comfortable bus for your travel and match you with the perfect charter bus service for you. Just call us as (+971) 55 203 8291 !

Now that you know the very basics of charter buses and how they operate, you can easily schedule the right charter bus service for your group.

More from the Blog

Event Transportation Services In UAE

Event Transportation Services In UAE

Event Transportation Services In UAEarcab provides professional transportation services for events of all types and sizes. From comic conventions to concerts, marathons, and cultural festivals, arcab has a transportation solution to fit your event. Why Choose arcab?...

Convention Transportation & Shuttle Services

Convention Transportation & Shuttle Services

Convention Shuttle Bus Rental Why arcab? Businesses going for a conference can depend on arcab for proficient transportation and moving around UAE. We provide transport services across the country to offer to business conferences. Our expects make customized rental...

Choosing the Best Bus Type for Your Group

Choosing the Best Bus Type for Your Group

You often hear of charter bus, minibus, entertainer bus or even party bus. But what are the major differences between them and which one of those would be ideal for your next trip? Below you will find the structured breakdown between features of the various buses a...