Everything You Need To Know About Driving In Dubai

dubai driving license

You might wish to drive while you’re in Dubai if you’re thinking of relocating there. Numerous sights and utilities are dispersed, and many guests choose to travel in air-conditioned vehicles rather than walking in the scorching desert sun. Although there are many public transportation alternatives available in the city, they can be slow. Since fuel rates in the UAE are among the lowest in the world, driving is a common way to get around.

Also Read:- Driving in the United States

This book will provide advice for getting out and about on the road as well as the answers to some of your most urgent issues regarding driving in Dubai.

Follow The Driving Rules

The most crucial thing to keep in mind when driving in Dubai is to abide by the laws: don’t tailgate or overtake recklessly, don’t text or talk on the phone while you’re behind the wheel, always buckle up, and don’t use the hard shoulder. For those who break the rules of the road, the emirate can impose quite severe penalties, such as jail or deportation.

Can Women Drive in Dubai?

In Dubai, women are permitted to drive, and the city even has female-only taxis. Saudi Arabia, the UAE’s neighbour, was once the only country in the world to forbid women from operating motor vehicles. 2018 saw the lifting of this.

Can A Tourist Drive A Car In Dubai?

As long as you hold an international driving licence, you are able to drive as a non-resident. As long as you’re over 21 and have a valid international driver’s licence and credit card, you can rent a car while you’re in Dubai.

Which licence do I require?

Until your residency permit is obtained, if you are going to Dubai, you can drive using your international driving license1. After that, you can apply for a local driving licence. You may convert your current licence to a UAE licence if you are a citizen of one of the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America.

You must have your certificate translated into either Arabic or English if you are transferring a licence from Turkey, Poland, Japan, Greece, or South Korea.

You will want a letter from the Canadian consulate in the United Arab Emirates if you are transferring a Canadian driver’s licence.

You must take classes and pass a test in Dubai in order to receive a licence if your licence is from another nation.

In Dubai, Which Side Of The Road Do You Drive On?

In Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, you drive on the right side of the road. In Dubai, cars drive on the right side of the road with the steering wheel on the left.

What Is Dubai’s Maximum Speed?

Like anyplace else in the world, the speed limit in Dubai varies depending on the kind and size of the road. On residential roads, the speed restriction is 25–40 km/h (15–25 mph), although Dubai also boasts some of the highest speed limits in the whole globe. Highways E22 between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and E11 between Sheikh Zayed have speed restrictions of up to 100 km/h (62 mph)2.

Is It Safe To Drive In Dubai?

The UAE is neither one of the safest nor one of the riskiest countries in the world to drive, according to the World Health Organization3 (WHO). In the UAE, there are 18.1 traffic fatalities per 100,000 persons on average. This number is greater than those for the UK (3.1), the USA (12.4), Canada (5.8), and France (5.5). The number of road fatalities per 100,000 persons is lower in nations like India and Venezuela, where it is 22.6 and 33.7, respectively.

Tips for driving in Dubai

As was previously mentioned, following the law is crucial when driving in the UAE. Locals may exceed the posted speed limit, fail to maintain a safe distance, or switch lanes when it feels risky. Whatever you do, do not follow them.

Legal driving age

To drive in the UAE, you must be at least 18 years old. To rent a car, however, you must be at least 21 years old.

Quiet periods on Dubai’s roads

It could be a good idea to initially take to the road on a Friday morning if you are driving for the first time in Dubai as this is when the roads are the least congested. Traffic can be congested in popular areas of town at night and on weekends, despite the government’s ongoing efforts to reduce it4.

Safe driving distance

You can observe that not everyone maintains a safe following distance when driving in Dubai. Any remaining space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you may find itself being filled by another vehicle. If this occurs, it is your obligation to re-establish a safe distance; it is recommended that you maintain a gap of three seconds behind the vehicle in front.


If someone is speeding close to you, you should either pull over if it’s safe to do so or keep going at your current pace and let them pass. Do not, under any circumstances, quicken your own pace. Numerous speed cameras are in use, and police frequently monitor the major thoroughfares. Keep in mind that Dubai’s speed limits are determined in kilometres rather than miles.


People might not use the lanes that are appropriate for their pace; they might drive faster in the slow lane and slower in the fast lane. Additionally, you can see people driving on the hard shoulder or abruptly swerving into a junction.

Flashing headlights

In Dubai, when someone shines their headlights at you, they typically urge you to move aside. Sometimes the person behind you may be a police officer who has to pass, but more often it will be an impatient driver who just wants to go ahead so they can move along at a faster speed. Move if you can, but only when it’s safe to do so. Otherwise, keep out of the fast lanes to prevent encountering this behaviour.


Driving in Dubai (and the other emirates), especially outside the main city, requires constant attention because you may encounter hazards that are unfamiliar to you from your own country, such as goats and camels in the road. Due to their weight and fast movement, camels should be avoided by driving slowly.

Hand gestures

No matter how irritated you are with other drivers, don’t gesture at them with your hands. This is impolite in the UAE and may land you in hot water with the law. Even if your gesture is not considered rude in your culture, it can be in the emirates.

Drinking and driving

No matter how little alcohol you have consumed, it is unlawful to drive in Dubai. Even if you think you’re sober enough to drive, avoid doing so because it could result in jail time.

Road signs

In order to ensure that you can drive safely in Dubai, you need to become familiar with the traffic signs. Generally speaking, red-outlined triangle signs are warnings, whereas circular signs with a red outline indicate acts that drivers must not take. Blue signs are necessary instructions. Arabic and English are both written on the signs.

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