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Good Etihad business class sale to a Dubai bus stop (!) from €739 or £1,093

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If you are planning a holiday in Dubai this Winter or next Spring, Etihad is running an aggressive sale at the moment.

I should say up front that there are also good deals available to parts of Asia. However, with covid restrictions still in place I thought it best to focus on the bargains available to …. erm …. a bus stop in Dubai.

Etihad bus deal to Dubai

OK, let me explain how this works.

It is normal practice for airlines to sell indirect flights for less than the cost of direct flights. Every HfP reader should know that, for example, London to Bangkok on a direct British Airways flight is likely to be more expensive than London to Bangkok via Frankfurt on Lufthansa. People will pay for convenience.

What we have here is simply the same philosophy at play. It’s just that, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi under an hour apart by road, there is no point in flying you between the two airports. Etihad puts on a bus instead!

What’s the deal?

Etihad is offering good deals from Madrid, Amsterdam, Brussels and London to a bus stop in Dubai.

The Dubai bus stop used by Etihad has been given the airport code XNB.

Availability is excellent.

Note that the fare may originally look a little higher than the headline numbers shown below but will reprice on the final screen. For Madrid, for example, the outbound flights show as €501 but later falls.

Madrid to Dubai in Etihad business class for €739 return:

(EDIT: Rome and Milan also seem to price at €739)

Etihad business class deals Madrid

Amsterdam to Dubai in Etihad business class for €1,203 return:

Etihad business class Amsterdam

Brussels to Dubai in Etihad business class for €939 return:

Etihad brussels business class sale

London Heathrow to Dubai in Etihad business class for £1,093 return:

Etihad business class deal

Etihad is also flying from Dublin but I couldn’t find a fare under €1,300 return.

Do you actually need to take the bus?

Good question. Could you book these tickets to get a cheap trip to Abu Dhabi?

Let’s put it this way. Under no circumstances can you drop a leg of a flight and keep your ticket intact. If Etihad flew between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and you didn’t turn up for the last leg to Dubai, your return flight would immediately be cancelled.

Similarly, if you failed to turn up at Dubai for the first leg of the flight home, your Abu Dhabi to London flight would be cancelled.

Will bad things happen if you don’t get on the bus? I’ve honestly got no idea, but for safety I’d take the ride – even if it means turning around in Dubai and getting a taxi straight back to Abu Dhabi.

Low Etihad fare via bus to Dubai

What is Etihad like?

Here is my last published review of Etihad’s Business Class Studio

The review is six years old, but I flew the seat on holiday with my family in 2018 and 2019 and little has changed, except for the new Etihad amenity kits.

It is light years ahead of British Airways Club World, although Club Suite is a different story. You can’t guarantee getting Club Suite, of course.

What about my miles?

Etihad is not in an airline alliance. It does, however, have a lot of airline partners with whom you can redeem.

Your main options are:

  • credit to an American Airlines account (AA is an Etihad partner) which gets you access to oneworld redemptions including British Airways
  • credit to Air Europa – IAG is in the process of buying Air Europa and its frequent flyer scheme will swich to Avios when the takeover is complete. There is a risk that the deal does not happen if the airline collapses or the EU blocks it on competition grounds

Before booking, look at the details of the Dubai bus service on this page of the Etihad website.

The main Etihad booking page is here.

Thanks to Luxury Flight Club.

PS. If you are in the market for a longer-haul Etihad sale trip from London, here are the headline Etihad sale prices on offer until 10th October:

  • Bangkok £1,499
  • Phuket £1,899
  • Seoul £1,499
  • Seychelles £1,999
  • Singapore £1,599
  • Tokyo £1,999

It’s also worth checking prices from Amsterdam, Brussels and Madrid.

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (December 2022)

Etihad Guest does not have a UK credit card.  However, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.

Cards earning Membership Rewards points include:

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest miles which is an attractive rate.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.

Comments (106)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Ravi says:

    The bus service is complimentary .I have booked multi city trip using the recent Amex offer .I booked the ticket as LHR-AUH -XNB for a Friday night and see the Dubai expo and take the flight back on Monday morning from AUH to LHR(Direct not starting at XNB) If i did book it as round trip it was expensive than the multi city after the Amex offer and the 10% off code for Amex booking (never expires) compared to multi city.

    Recently the prices dropped so called in Customer services to take the voucher and rebooked with the voucher and the balance was left as Etihad Money in the account which expires in two years time.

    • FCP says:

      Ravi, what is the Amex 10% off code?

    • Ravi says:

      O/T :I called up Europcar to remove my account and delete the data about me .If i don’t do it this way my driving license number or DOB clashes in creating a new account.
      Opened up a new Europcar account as a USA resident (Amex platinum is my hire car benefit) and did upgrade my Europcar account to Privilege Elite for 45GBP on Ebay . I have applied code from flyer talk for the booking and I am paying 30GBP for intermediate car at AUH airport for 2 days.
      If I need to take the Etihad bus than I would have to move the car hire to Dxb.

      Last year over Christmas I have paid 270 pounds for 24 days at DXB T3 but didn’t get the free upgrade which comes with being Elite.

  • John says:

    I hope all the cheap fare buckets don’t start and end at 0300

  • Dominic says:

    The busbis also run by a third party, so I would be very surprised if it caused an issue by not taking it.

    Also, worth mentioning, check the bus location on Etihad’s website. The old bus stop is no longer used, but still shows up as a valid location on Google.

  • Tom says:

    Are these coming up as ‘business classic’ fares? If so then they include a chauffeur driven car within the UAE – so no need to take the bus.

    I’ve also confirmed with Etihad in the past (very helpful via Twitter) that they don’t consider the bus a sector. Missing it does not invalidate your ticket. I did this when I stayed in Dubai then moved to Abu Dhabi early.

  • FCP says:

    Can you not swap the buss for the limo service being in Business class?

    • Andrew says:

      Not at these prices – it’s the fare class which doesn’t get you chauffeur drive.

  • Andrew says:

    Also worth noting that Abu Dhabi has different Covid arrival rules to Dubai, requiring testing on day 2 and 6 so I think that might impact on these fares even when your final destination is Dubai.

    • Dominic says:

      Only if you stay in AUH. Think it is day 4 and 8, also, now. If you leave AUH and return on day 9, you are not breaching the rules. The test on arrival is free, and took about 2 hours to get a result (and you can leave the airport etc during this time).

      • Dominic says:

        Oh, and if you do stay, tests are available in a few malls in Abu Dhabi (or even at your hotel), base price is £12. I believe Etihad organise tests at your hotel for biz pax, but not certain on that

    • meta says:

      You can travel straight to Dubai if you have been vaccinated after taking a test on arrival, no need for extra tests.

  • Jeff Greene says:

    “ even if it means turning around in Dubai and getting a taxi straight back to Abu Dhabi.”

    Good god. Here’s me thinking that holidays are meant to be enjoyable

    • ChrisC says:

      If you can save a shed load of money then some people will do this sort of thing.

      Not much difference to say flying to e.g. AMS, staying the night, then starting your real trip ticketed from AMS

      Not for everyone but for those of us that do it it can be very worthwhile.

    • Rob says:

      Don’t do this with the Mrs and two young kids. If you’re 25, single and fancy a cheap break and a bit of fun to stick on social media ….

      • paul says:

        Rob, depends on the Mrs!

        and I assume you are referring simply to this DXB fare when you say do it!


        Ex EU (and Libya in the good old days) in general can save staggeringly serious sums of money. My wife was happy to do ex EU from when my two kids could walk! Consequently, lots of very comfortable Bali and Hawaii trips over the years with the bonus of shed loads of Tier points and Avios. Everyone was gold or silver. Despite still spending £6k-£10k on a trip (family of 4) that was less than the cost of ex LHR fares alone.

        From Libya in 2008 and 2010 as a family of 4, we flew to Sydney in F for under £3,600 including getting to Libya and the stay (The hospitality we received has never been matched)

        The avios then used to do trips to Europe, Egypt, Jordan and the odd weekend away in New York in F for the two of us.
        For a while Cairo was a real sweet spot for Hawaii fights, as the fare allowed unlimited free stopovers. So we stopped for months at home in London before heading, New York, Washington, Philadelphia or LA, and still getting 2 weeks on Big Island Beaches. Washington and New York are great places to take kids.

        The last great saving was Turkish ex Cairo to Bali in 2019. This was under £900 each and again unlimited stops. The miles from that are covering 2 business class 1-way flights from New York to London next year for $400.

        So it can really pay, when we started we did the immediate turnrounds at the outstation but we decided that it was best thing was to go the day before and make a day trip and see the European cities. Open top buses were great for this and Dublin, Luxemburg, Milan, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen were all seen. I’d have to say my kids now have the bug and hopefully will be able to travel in the future themselves to see the sites they have had taste of.

        • Christopher says:

          Did an ex IST DONE (I think it was called) RTW in 2005 that saved incredible amounts of money

      • Jeff Greene says:

        Struggling to see what’s fun about a bus journey followed by a taxi journey going back to where I came from.

        Not sure what benefit I’d get from posting about it on social media.

        Each to their own though.

  • MrIO says:

    Use the code AMXD0120 for extra discount.

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