Driving in Dubai

Driving Conditions

Driving in Dubai

The city itself is very car friendly. As a new city, it has been designed to accommodate cars, far more than other cities in the world. The signage makes it easy to arrive to destinations and the wide and clean streets make it an enjoyable drive. The roads and infrastructure in Dubai are controlled by the Roads Traffic Authority (RTA) who are currently working alongside the Dubai Police Traffic Department to improve the roads and make Dubai a safer place for residents and visitors.

Dubai's Roads

Dubai is a global city, there are people from all over the world driving through its streets. Each with their own driving style. As a result of this mesh of styles and multitude of people, the roads are renowned for being busy, dangerous and disordered. Rule breaking is commonplace with reports of many drivers running red-lights; talking on mobile phones; lack of indicating; tailgating; weaving in and out of traffic and speeding. On top of this, many see it as an insult to the driver if a seat-belt is worn and due to this, many choose to travel without wearing them. For these reasons, vigilance while driving in Dubai is essential, and also due to the fact that police are becoming ever more scrupulous in their attempts to deal with these offences.

In the past few years there has been a great increase in the number of speed cameras and radars on the roads in Dubai in order to curb the number of road-traffic accidents. The police and the RTA are attempting to make the roads safer and are doing so by issuing on-the-spot fines for speeding and other traffic offences. Some speeding fines can be paid at a later date, however this must be done before the vehicle registration is renewed as it is not possible to do so with an outstanding fine. There are yellow lines painted on the roads to denote speed bumps.   

The roads in Dubai are improving, with the number of fatalities reducing year-on-year, yet the figure is still somewhere near 10 times the amount of the road-related deaths in the UK. The police and the RTA are trying tirelessly to improve conditions (and reputation) of the driving conditions in Dubai, and their attempts do seem to be working so far.

The introduction of the tram may be problematic for drivers initially as they become accustomed to driving alongside the trams. However in the long-term it should be beneficial, as through offering a new mode of transport within the city, hopefully the amount of traffic will reduce and the new regulations will be adhered to.    

Construction work is common in Dubai which can result in road closures and diversions. The ever changing road layout can become confusing, especially if you have an outdated roadmap!


Parking is readily available in Dubai. The car parks which are conveniently located near supermarkets and shopping centres are mostly free of charge. There is an abundance of 4 hour stay pay-and-display parking around the city which runs Sunday - Thursday. There is a new initiative to pay for metered parking by sending a text to mParking, 7275 in order to purchase or update the meter.

Useful Links

The Dubai police website is very informative and can keep you updated with new traffic laws: http://www.dubaipolice.gov.ae/ 

Dubai Police: 8007777

The RTA website is as follows:


RTA Call Centre: 8009090

Further reading

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