Dubai has become one of the fastest-growing cities in the world for it boasts some of the most beautiful landmarks worldwide; therefore, the number of cars is increasing rapidly.
Driving in Dubai is challenging, especially during rush hours when the traffic becomes very congested; driving without a good knowledge of local road rules can cause you real troubles.
What if a police officer stops you? Is it better to carry your license or passport? What are the road rules in Dubai? And what if you want to sell your car in Dubai?
Drivers in Dubai (locals and expats) should follow road rules and stick to all regulations to ensure their safety.
Reckless driving, and ignoring red lights & speed limits are unacceptable and lead to car accidents.
Here is what you should know about driving in Dubai:
Rules and Safety Precautions
You need to be careful while driving in Dubai, follow road rules, and take into your consideration all safety precautions like:
- Sticking to the specified speed
- Not driving defensively, especially in crowded areas
- Not texting while driving (It’s illegal in UAE)
- Always wear your seat belt
- Don’t drive on the hard shoulder
- Women are allowed to drive in Dubai and to do other jobs like working as taxi drivers.
- Visitors, non-residents, and expats must be aged 21 or older, have an International Driving License (IDL), and hold a valid credit card to be able to drive in Dubai.
- Expats can drive with their IDP1 until their residence permit is issued; then they can apply for a local driving license.
- Expats need to translate their certificate into Arabic or English if they’re transferring them from Japan, Greece, South Korea, Turkey, or Poland.
- A Canadian license needs a letter from the Canadian Consulate in the UAE.
- Other countries require classes and tests in Dubai to get the UAE license.
- Vehicles in Dubai have a left-wheel drive and they drive on the right side of roads.
- Dubai has some of the highest speed limits in the world. And like anywhere else, the speed limit varies by road classification and size.
- Speed limits generally range between 15 – 25 mph on residential roads.
Legal Driving Age
You must be 18 years old to drive a car in the UAE and at least 21 years old to rent a car; so if you are +18, you can search for used car dealers in Dubai and rent a car or buy one.
There are a lot of speed cameras in operation and the police are patrolling the main roads. Don’t increase your speed. Remember that speed limits in Dubai are set in kilometers, not miles.
It is important to always be on the alert when driving in Dubai and other emirates, especially outside the city, you may encounter road hazards such as the passing of goats and camels, so just drive around slowly.
Do not use hand gestures toward drivers, it is offensive and can get you into trouble with the police.
Even if your gesture is normal and not rude in your culture, it may be perceived as rude in the UAE.
Drinking While Driving
Drinking alcohol and driving is illegal, regardless of the amount of alcohol.
Even if you feel alert enough not to do so, it can lead to imprisonment.
You must know the road signs to ensure safe driving and they are written in both English and Arabic
Round marks with red outlines indicate actions that the driver should not take
Triangular signals with red outlines are warnings
Blue Marks Mandatory Instructions
Driving is a privilege in the UAE, and the road network is extensive and well maintained, it’s considered one of the most liberating things to experience, but laws are strictly enforced and there are many things that could put you at risk of being stopped by law enforcement officers.
So if you want to get away without a ticket, you should follow what is mentioned above when operating a vehicle in the UAE.