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Getting around the city might initially seem challenging if you’re new to Abu Dhabi or planning to stay for an extended period. But don’t worry. Public transportation here is surprisingly straightforward if you have the right essentials. One key item you’ll need is the Hafilat Card. Just like Dubai’s NOL card, this is a convenient “smart card” that has modernized how people pay for buses, trams, and other forms of public transport in the city.

Think of the Hafilat Card as your all-access pass to Abu Dhabi’s public transportation network. It’s incredibly user-friendly. Swipe or tap your card at the station or when boarding, and the fare is automatically deducted from your account. This means no more fumbling for exact change. Or standing in line to buy a ticket—making your journey faster, easier, and more efficient.

Both daily commuters and tourists find this card to be indispensable. It saves time and effort, allowing you to focus on enjoying your stay or getting to your destination without hassle. So, if you want to make your life easier while exploring or staying in Abu Dhabi, a Hafilat Card is something you should consider getting.

What is a Hafilat Card?

What is a Hafilat Card?

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In Abu Dhabi, the Hafilat card has changed how people travel by bus. The name “Hafilat” actually means “buses” in Arabic. The Department of Transport introduced this smart card. And it has become a vital part of the city’s public transportation system. Unlike using cash, which can be slow and inconvenient, the Hafilat card uses cutting-edge technology to make your bus rides smoother and quicker.

The card relies on what’s known as Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. If you need to get more familiar with NFC, consider it a super-quick and secure way for devices to talk to each other over a very short distance. When you board a bus, you simply tap your Hafilat card on a reader, and the fare is automatically deducted from the card’s balance. The system also tracks how much money is left on your card, so you always know when to top up. It’s a great example of how technology can make our daily lives more convenient.

Hafilat Card Machine Locations

Hafilat Card Machine Locations

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You can find Hafilat Card machines at various locations throughout Abu Dhabi, making it convenient to get or recharge a card. These locations include:

  • Madinat Zayed bus station
  • Mussafah bus station
  • Bani Yas bus station
  • Ghayathi bus station
  • Al-Sila bus station
  • Abu Dhabi International Airport
  • Shahama bus station
  • Al-Ain bus station

This makes it easy for travelers and locals alike to access public transportation.

Types of Hafilat Card

Public transportation in some places uses special cards to make travel easier and more efficient. One such card is the Hafilat Card. This card has two main types, each with a different price. Another example of a public transport card is the Masaar Card. Here’s a breakdown to help you understand the options:

  • Anonymous Hafilat bus card: This card costs AED 10. It’s called “Anonymous” because it doesn’t have any personal information linked to it. You can buy and use it immediately, making it convenient for tourists or occasional users. 
  • Personalized Hafilat card: This card is priced at AED 5 and is more specialized. It’s called “Personalized” because you can link it to your details. This can make it easier to recover if you lose it, and it may offer extra features like tracking your travel history or even linking it to a mobile app for easier management.

Why Use a Hafilat Card?

Here are some compelling reasons why you should be using a Hafilat card:

  • Convenience: No need to fumble around for change; just swipe and go!
  • Cost-effective: Enjoy discounted fares and special promotions.
  • Security: Lost cards can be blocked, and the remaining balance transferred to a new card.
  • Versatility: Use the card on all public buses and even some ferries.
  • Ease of monitoring: Track your usage and balance through an online portal.

How to Get a Hafilat Card?

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Suppose you’re looking to purchase a Hafilat Card for using public transportation. In that case, you have a couple of options depending on the kind of card you want.

  • Anonymous cards: These cards don’t have your personal information on them. You can easily buy them from Ticket Vending Machines (TVM), usually at bus stations and other transit points. Additionally, Lulu Hypermarket also sells these anonymous cards. These are great for quick, hassle-free travel.
  • Personalized cards: These cards are specially made with details like your name and photo. To get one, you’ll need to go to a Customer’s Happiness Center, an official place for all your transportation needs.

How to Recharge a Hafilat Card?

Wondering how to keep your card loaded? Here are some easy options:

1. Recharge Hafilat Card Online

Hafilat Card Recharge

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You can easily add credit to your Hafilat bus card on the internet. You can do this through the Integrated Transport Center’s online services or the Darbi website. Here the step-by-step process:

  1. Open the website: Open your web browser and go to the Hafilat website by typing in
  2. Locate the recharge option: Look for an option that says “recharge card” or something similar, and click on it.
  3. Enter card details: You will be prompted to fill in the serial number found on your Hafilat Card. This is usually a series of numbers on the back of your card.
  4. Choose top-up amount: Once your card details are verified, you can select how much you want to recharge your card. You’ll see options ranging from 10 AED to 100 AED. Choose the amount that suits you best.
  5. Add to basket: After selecting the amount, click the “Add to Basket” button. This will move your chosen amount to a virtual shopping cart.
  6. Proceed to payment: Finally, navigate to the payment page. Here, you will be given different online payment options, such as using a credit card, debit card, or an online wallet.
  7. Complete payment: Follow the on-screen instructions to finish your payment. Once completed, your Hafilat Card will be recharged with the amount you selected.

2. Recharge Hafilat Card Via Mobile app

Recharge Hafilat Card Via Mobile app

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  1. Open the Darb app: Locate the Darb app on your mobile device and open it.
  2. Sign in or register: If you have an account, sign in. You’ll need to register for an account if you’re a new user.
  3. Navigate to the relevant section: Look for the section related to Hafilat cards. This is often found under ‘Services’, ‘Public Transport’, or a similar category.
  4. Select Hafilat card: Tap on the option that says something like ‘Manage Hafilat Card’, ‘Recharge Hafilat Card’, or equivalent, depending on the exact wording used in the app.
  5. Enter card details: You’ll likely be prompted to enter the Hafilat card number or other identifying details.
  6. Verify card: Verify that the card details shown are correct. Some apps might send a verification code to ensure the card is yours.
  7. Select recharge option: Several recharge options are usually available, such as recharging by a specific amount or selecting a monthly pass.
  8. Enter recharge amount: If you choose to recharge by amount, enter the desired amount in the field provided.
  9. Choose payment method: Select a payment method (credit/debit card, digital wallet, etc.) you would like to use for the recharge.
  10. Confirm payment: Enter payment details and confirm the transaction. Make sure to review all details carefully before confirming.
  11. Receive confirmation: Once the payment is successful, you should receive a confirmation via the app and possibly through email or SMS, depending on your settings.
  12. Check card balance: Optionally, you may want to check the card balance on the app or at a Hafilat kiosk to ensure the recharge was successful.

Hafilat Card Balance Check

Checking the balance on your Hafilat bus card online is a simple process, not much different from adding credit to the card. If you’ve ever recharged your card online, this is equally straightforward. The following steps break it down for you:

  • First, open your web browser and go to the Hafilat website, specifically at the address
  • Once you’re on the website, look for an option that says “Recharge Card” and click on it.
  • You’ll then be prompted to enter the serial number of your Hafilat card. This number is usually printed on the back of the card. Type it in and hit the “OK” button.
  • After you’ve entered your card’s serial number, you’ll be taken to a new screen. Here, not only will you see your card’s remaining balance, but you can also look at the history of your balance, showing previous transactions and top-ups.

Hafilat Card Passes

The Integrated Transport Center, or ITC for short, has special passes just for people who ride the bus a lot. You can load these passes onto a Hafilat Card. There are different types of passes to fit what other people need. You can get a good pass for a week or even a month! It’s a handy and wallet-friendly way to get around using public buses.

You can easily add more credit to your pass by following the simple steps we talked about earlier in this article. Just so you know, if you’re a student, senior citizen, or a person with special needs, you can only load these special passes onto a Hafilat Card set up just for you. The Monthly Pass is particularly popular among commuters because it is reasonably priced and offers significant savings over time. 

Pass TypePriceDescription
Weekly PassAED 30Valid for unlimited rides for one week.
Monthly PassAED 80Valid for unlimited rides for one month. Popular for cost-effectiveness.
Senior Citizens PassFreeExclusively for senior citizens. Must be added to a personalized card.
People of Determination PassFreeFor people with disabilities. Must be added to a personalized card.
Students’ PassAED 500Designed for students. Valid for one year. Must be added to a personalized card.

Common Questions About the Hafilat Card

  • Is the card transferable?: Most types are not transferable. Some exceptions apply for family cards.
  • What happens if I lose my card?: Report the loss immediately through the official website or a sales location. Or just tell the closest place where they sell Hafilat Cards. They’ll stop anyone from using your lost card immediately. And you can regain your balance on a new card.
  • Can I get a refund?: In special cases, you may be eligible for a refund. Check the terms and conditions.


A Hafilat Card is your gateway to a seamless commuting experience in Abu Dhabi. Suppose you travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi to enjoy the city’s tourist spots or for business. In that case, this card is helpful for you.

Its convenience, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency make it a must-have for any traveler in the city. So grab your Hafilat Card today and make your travel woes a thing of the past!

About Author

Rizalie Gumalog

About Author

Rizalie Gumalog is a digital storyteller who captivates audiences with her eclectic writing styles. She blends literature with savvy search engine strategies to create engaging, rank-climbing articles that maintain originality. Riza is dedicated to creating meaningful experiences that build bridges between brands and their audiences. She finds inspiration in nature and music, and is always ready for new digital explorations.