Eligibility to drive
To drive legally in Dubai, the driver must be aged eighteen or over and in full possession of a valid international driving license, a UAE license or a licence from an approved country. It is also of vital importance to have all of the relevant insurance documents for the vehicle, and driving license, on your person at all times.
Rules and Regulations
Vehicles are driven on the right side of the road in Dubai.
While driving with children, it is prohibited for those younger than 13 years old to sit in the passenger seat, while children between the ages of 4 and 8 are required to sit on a booster seat. Seatbelts must be worn at all times and drivers must use handsfree sets if talking on their mobile phone.
New traffic signs have been introduced for tram safety and penalties have been introduced for running red lights at tram junctions (a fine as much as AED 30,000). Driving schools are offering ‘Tram Theory’ classes in the hope that the new regulations will be followed and that the roads become a safer, and as a result of the tram, less polluted.
It is imperative that all cars are roadworthy, insured and registered. For cars over two years old, a road-worthiness test is required annually. If wishing to drive a private car in Dubai, having a temporary or permanent license is necessary.
All speed limits are clearly marked on road signs. The speed limit tends to be between 40 and 80 km/ph, yet the limit varies depending on the type of road and area. On motorways, the limit is 100-120 km/ph and the minimum speed permissible is 60 km/ph. In urban areas it is the standard 40-80 km/ph and in residential areas the speed is around 40 km/ph. When in built up, service or parking areas the speed limit is as low as 25 km/ph.
Driving licenses have a ‘black point’ system in Dubai. Points can be given along with fines for a whole manner of traffic offences, most notably however is speeding. If 24 points are gained in one year then the driving license will be revoked for at least three months. It is possible to undertake driving courses in order to reduce points, although this is only at the discretion of the police.
Driving whilst under the influence of alcohol incurs the greatest number of points (24) and penalties: your car will be confiscated and court proceedings will take place. If any alcohol has been consumed then taking a taxi or similar is advisable.
Every accident, no matter how minor, must be reported to the police so that they can assess the severity of the accident and issue a pink slip of paper. Victims of accidents receive a green paper slip if a claim is necessary. This paper is essential for the insurance companies and also if the car has to be repaired, as the garage must have a copy of the paper before they can fix the car.
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