Driving in Dubai can be an experience that triggers a bit of anxiety, especially for newcomers. Known as the largest and most populous emirate of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai graces the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf. This modern and visually stunning metropolis is globally recognized as an economic powerhouse in West Asia. Exploring Dubai by Car
When planning to drive in Dubai, there are several key points to consider. Armed with the right information and tips, you can maximize your driving experience in this vibrant city.
Understanding Dubai’s Driving Rules
Renting a car in Dubai is a convenient way to explore this stylish and beautiful city. However, to navigate confidently and avoid any mishaps, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with Dubai’s driving rules. This guide provides a comprehensive list of driving regulations that you must adhere to while in Dubai.
Dubai’s Traffic Laws and Offences Exploring Dubai by Car
The legal driving age in Dubai is 18 years and above, and drivers are required to possess an international driver’s license or a driver’s license from an approved country. Also, it’s mandatory to have a valid car insurance certificate.
- In Dubai, all vehicles drive on the right side of the road.
- Children under the age of 13 are not allowed to sit in the front seat. Moreover, children aged between 4 to 8 must be seated in a child seat.
- Seat belts are mandatory for everyone in the car, and mobile phone usage is permitted only via the car’s Bluetooth.
- New traffic signals have been installed for tram safety, and non-compliance with the red light at tram intersections can result in a hefty fine of up to 30,000 dirhams.
- A separate tram for students has been introduced to enhance street safety.
- Dubai also implements a demerit point system for traffic offenses. In addition to fines, offenders may receive demerit points. Accumulating 24 demerit points within a year can lead to a license suspension for up to three months.
Offences Related to Alcohol and Vehicle Cleanliness
Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal in Dubai and worldwide. Despite this law, some individuals still risk driving while intoxicated. The legal alcohol limit for driving in Dubai is zero, and offenders face severe penalties.
Given the frequent sandstorms in the UAE, it’s no surprise that keeping your car clean is taken seriously. Owners of dirty cars can face reprimands, imprisonment, and fines up to Dh3000. Improper car washing can also cause issues, so it’s advisable not to wash your car in residential areas.
Preparing for Driving in Dubai
Driving on the opposite side of the road than what you’re used to can be challenging. Hence, it’s beneficial to spend some time getting comfortable with sitting on the “other” side and using the “other” hand for gear changes. Practice driving in a quiet parking lot to build your confidence.
Whether you own the car or not, it’s important to familiarize yourself with its features before you start driving. If possible, read the owner’s manual. Then inspect the foot controls, brakes, buttons, heating and cooling system, windows, locks, steering wheel, and gears. Practice using all features as you enter and exit the car.
While some may argue that getting lost adds to the adventure of a road trip, most prefer reaching their destination without disputes over directions. Plot your route on a map, marking your starting point, endpoint, and any attractions you plan to visit.
This strategy is particularly useful for Dubai because driving as a visitor can be challenging. Thus, having a map can simplify your journey.
If you’re traveling with children, long car rides don’t have to be stressful. Keep a variety of toys handy to keep them engaged. From the back seat, children can play games, listen to audiobooks, or watch their favorite shows on tablets. Keeping children entertained until you reach your destination can ensure a peaceful drive.
Renting a Car at Dubai Airport
Renting a car at Dubai Airport is a popular choice for travelers seeking convenience and flexibility during their visit. The airport hosts numerous reputable local and international car rental companies offering a diverse range of vehicles to cater to different preferences and budgets.
Rental counters are easily found within the terminals, making the process of picking up and returning vehicles straightforward. With options ranging from luxury cars to compact vehicles, renting a car at Dubai Airport allows visitors to explore at their own pace, ensuring a smooth travel experience.
Driving License Requirements for Renting a Car in Dubai
As you may know, driving license laws vary worldwide. Every country has rules that must be followed for public safety – and this applies to Dubai as well.
Generally speaking, you cannot rent a car anywhere without a valid license. If you wish to drive yourself around Dubai, having a license is mandatory.
If you want to obtain a valid license in Dubai, you’ll need to enroll in a driving school and complete certain country-specific courses. However, if you already have a driver’s license from your home country or current place of residence, you don’t need to go through this process again. Simply convert your license into an international one and you’re ready to hit the roads of this beautiful city.
Conclusion Exploring Dubai by Car
Purchasing a car in Dubai can be quite expensive. However, renting a vehicle based on your budget allows you to enjoy driving around this magnificent city without breaking the bank. With this guide at hand, navigating Dubai’s roads will be an enjoyable experience rather than a daunting task.