How to Drive in UAE: All you Need to Know
The United Arab Emirates presents itself in the form of experiences of different kinds. Not only are these experiences memorable but they leave the person in awe.
Out of all the things UAE is known for, Cars are one and it is important to know how to drive in the UAE.
In this, let us focus on building the knowledge so you know how to drive in the streets of UAE when the need arises or rather when you get an opportunity.
It is important to know that cars in the UAE are left hand drives; due to this, the cars drive on the right side of the road while overtaking from the left. Since UAE has predominantly cars instead of bikes, so driver here are used to high speed driving, which might startle some people who aren’t used to such speeds.
Due to such impeccable roads that allow for loosening the throttle just as you want it, UAE roads are accident prone too.
But that doesn’t mean the experience will be any less; it just means a person will have to be careful in driving in the UAE. Here are some things a person should know before/while driving:
For anybody wishing to drive in the UAE, an international license is a prerequisite. Driving without a license is a crime and can carry a hefty fine from the Dubai Police. This is why, it is important to carry an international license if the person is a tourist. In cases regarding some countries, an International Driving Permit(IDP) from the home country’s embassy is required along with the license. If a person is an expatriate citizen in the UAE, a local license is needed for driving.
Carrying driving license and any supporting documents such as IDP are required at all times while driving.
Apart from Driving License, vehicle registration documents, identity proof, and proof of insurance as required too.
Law for Seat Belt
Because of the high speed environment and so many cars moving at a fast pace, it is imperative for ALL occupants to wear seat belts while in a moving car. Wearing seat belts is the most basic and yet extremely essential safety requirement. Dubai Police doesn’t take it lightly when people break laws, especially the laws related to seat belts.
Minimum Age Required for Driving
The minimum age for a person to drive is 18. In most rental companies, the required age for taking a rental is over 25 with prior driving experience apart from it. Although, there are some companies that allow you to take rental cars; however, they require payment of young drivers’ excess.
Drink and Drive
Driving under influence in the UAE is a strict no-no. Due to the religious restrictions on alcohol and the fast moving roads, drinking while driving or driving under influence is a punishable offence. The law is imposed with severity and might even end up in a jail sentence in some cases. It is better to take a taxi than to risk conviction.
In the UAE, speed limits are variable, and yet usually higher than what a person is used to. Thanks to the excellent infrastructure and roads, a person can test the car’s performance just as the person wants.
Some important roads have speed limits of up to 140 km/h, while some go with 120 km/h or 100 km/h. In the built up areas, the speed is 80 km/h but it decreases in busy areas. A person is given a leeway of 20 km/h for roads with 120 km/h speed limits. This effectively allows driving of up to 140 km/h but beyond this speed, there will be no additional concessions if caught speeding.
Rules for Child Safety
In the recent years, Dubai Police and RTA have implemented a lot of laws aimed at decreasing road deaths. One such law is regarding ensuring children’s safety while driving a car. According to the new rules, no child under the age of twelve is allowed to travel in the front seat unless some conditions are met. The condition is that the child below the age of twelve can only travel in front if the child is in an approved car seat that has been set to be rear facing and with the airbag disabled. Also, children below twelve in the rear seat too require appropriate booster seats, restraints, or appropriate seats
A minimum of a third party insurance is the most basic requirement. If you are looking for Comprehensive insurances, you can check out our guide on insurance providers.
Use of Mobile Phones While Driving
Even though a lot of people end up disregarding the rule, it is illegal to drive and use phones at the same time. Without a hands-free device, phones shouldn’t be used to avoid any unwanted scenario.
Speed Cameras for Checking Miscreants
In UAE, there are both mobile or fixed types of speed traps. Dubai Police and RTA are notorious for being strict and will not hesitate to book for any breaking of rules. In the recent years, the fines for speeding has increased to put an end to people driving beyond the speed limit. Usually tickets will be issued by the police, but in case the citation is major, a court appearance will be needed.
On the Spot Fines
The Dubai Police and RTA can issue fines and notices for any offence, be it a minor one. The fines can be steep in some cases. In case a person is involved in a serious offence, court summons are given, which can lead to suspension of license, jail sentence or a hefty fine.
Motor Way Signs
The road signs in the UAE are similar to what a person will find around the globe. Hence, the signs can be easily understood. Motorway signs usually have a blue background and white writing on it. The signs are in Arabic and English language.
Common Phrases That Might Help
Hello/Welcome – Marhuba
Do you speak English? – Tatakullum ingleezi?
Goodbye – Ma’assalaama
Thank you – Shukran
Yes – Na’am
No – La’
Sorry – Muta’assif
Where’s the nearest doctor? – Wayn aghrab tabeeb
I don’t understand – Ana maa afham
How much is that? – Bekam?
The traffic lights in the UAE are according to the ones found globally according to the Vienna Convention. This will help people from around the world in finding their ways around and understand accordingly.