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A Fast Guide to Driving in the UAE

Driving around the UAE is definitely a worthwhile experience. However, there are some things you will need to know before hitting the road.

Licenses

  • In order to apply for a driver’s license, you must have a Residence Visa.
  • Only those entering the UAE on a Visit Visa or those holding a driver’s license issued by a GCC country can rent avehicle.
  • If your spouse enters on a Visit Visa, he/she can rent a car using an international driver’s license or a temporary UAE driver’s license.

On The Road

  • In the UAE, vehicles are driven on the right side of the road.
  • It is illegal to drive over the paved shoulder.
  • It is also illegal to speak on a mobile phone while driving; get a “hands free” accessory for your phone.
  • It is against the law to turn right on a red light.
  • There are many roundabouts in the UAE. Try to stay on the inside lane when turning left and always signal.
  • Seatbelts (including rear seatbelts) in cars and buses are mandatory and should be worn at all times. 10 years old are not allowed in the front seat.
  • Watch out for speed bumps. They are usually indicated in yellow and can be quite high.
  • You will be rarely stopped by a policeman for speeding, but note that there are many hidden radar cameras.
  • For fines incurred in Dubai, visit www.dxbtraffic.gov.ae.
  • For fines incurred in Abu Dhabi, visit www.adpolice.gov.ae.

Accidents

  • If you are involved in an accident, call the police and do not leave the scene.
  • Make sure that you have your registration card and driver’s license on hand.
  • When the police arrive, they will determine who is at fault so make sure to cooperate and answer their questions.
  • In the case where you are determined to be at fault, you will be given a pink form. If you are determined not to be at fault, you will be given a green form.
  • A garage cannot repair accident damage without this form so make sure to keep it safe.

Buying A Vehicle

You can only buy a vehicle in the UAE if you have a Residence Visa and a UAE driver’s license. Prices usually start from about AED 45,000, and second hand cars are available. You can find a wide range of vehicles.

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