All you need to know about car driving in the UAE

motor insurance.

The United Arab Emirates has one of the best networks of roads in the world. As per data released by the World Economic Forum for 2019, the UAE occupies the seventh position in the index of road quality in the world. And driving on the roads of the UAE is certainly a pleasure. Apart from this, it is also the most convenient manner in which you can travel.

However, before you take that ride, you must be aware of the local road rules and regulations and the generic dos and don’ts. This article gives you a great insight into everything that you need to know about driving in the UAE.

Eligibility to drive

The minimum age requirement to get a driver’s license in the United Arab Emirates depends on the vehicle for which you want to obtain a license. Here is the minimum age limit according to the vehicles:

  • 17 years for motorcycles and for vehicles for people with special needs
  • 18 years for cars and light vehicles
  • 20 years for heavy vehicles and tractors
  • 21 years for buses

Driving license

To obtain a valid driver’s license, the applicant needs to apply to and attend the necessary driving training in a registered driving institute in the related emirate. The applicant is also required to pass all driving tests as mandated. 

On completion of the course and the passing of the driving tests, the applicant can obtain a new driver’s licence that is valid for 2 years for citizens, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals, and other nationalities.

Renewal of driving license

UAE citizens can renew their driving license for a period of 10 years whereas residents can do so for a period of 5 years.

Applicants are required to settle all their traffic fines to renew their license. 

In a majority of the emirates, the process of renewing the driving license can be done online.

Road safety laws

Traffic signals

Motorists who violate traffic lights and signals will be fined 1,000 AED, 12 black points, and have their vehicles seized for a period of month.

Seat belts

Seat belt is mandatory for all passengers in a car, including those passengers sitting in the rear of the car. A failure to abide by this rule would result in a fine of 400 AED and four black points.

There must be a provision for a child safety seat for children below the age of four years. Failure to do so will result in a penalty of 400 AED and four black points.

Driving under the influence of prohibited substances

Drivers that are caught driving under the influence of prohibited substances such as drugs or alcohol will have their license suspended for a period of one year since the verdict of the court is announced. Further, the penalty to be paid and/or the term of prison will be decided by the court of law.

Careless driving

Drivers involved in reckless driving will be fined 2,000 AED, 23 black points, and have their vehicle seized for a period of 60 days. This penalty will also apply to drivers that endanger the lives of others on the road.

Drivers that use mobile phones or any other distractions will be fined an amount of 400 AED and four black points.


Drivers exceeding the maximum stipulated speed limit by 80 kmph will be fined an amount of 3,000 AED, 23 black points, and have their vehicle seized for a period of 60 days.

Meanwhile, drivers exceeding the maximum stipulated speed limit by more than 60 kmph will be penalized an amount of 2,000 AED and have their vehicle impounded for a period of 30 days.

Black points system for traffic violations

To incentivize drivers to adhere to traffic rules and laws, the United Arab Emirates follows a black point system. According to this system, each traffic violation is allotted a certain number of black points as per its seriousness. When the points reach the accumulated limit of 24 in one year, penalties such as confiscation of the driving license for specific periods are imposed on the driver.

Speed lanes

In the UAE, each lane is marked distinctly and the fastest lane is on the left most side of the road. When changing lanes, drivers are expected to use their vehicle indicators.


The minimum insurance requirement to drive on the roads of UAE is a third-party motor insurance.

What to do when you are involved in an accident?

No accident in the United Arab Emirates goes unreported. When involved in an accident in the UAE, you must, first, call the police on 999 and report the accident.

In the event that the accident is a minor one with no injuries to any parties involved, then you must move your car into the shoulder lane to not obstruct any traffic. Subsequently, you must wait for the police to arrive at a minimum distance of 15 metres away from your car.

On the other hand, if any parties involved in the accident have suffered injuries, it is advisable to leave the vehicle at the exact location of the accident and wait for an ambulance to arrive.

Minor accidents can be reported using the mobile app of the Dubai Police.

If you are involved in an accident, you must also obtain the full police report, without which it is illegal to carry out any repairs to your vehicles. Once you have obtained the police report, you can notify your insurer and work on the process of applying for a claim for the damage to your vehicle.

If you have witnessed an accident or you are at an accident site, you can call the hotlines 999, 998, and 997 to reach the authorities who can provide help.

eCall Service for accidents

The Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi and Dubai Police launched an eCall system to provide aid and rescue for victims of accidents effectively and promptly.

In the event of traffic accidents, the eCall system establishes a two-way voice communication call automatically through a cellular network to the closest emergency center. This center will, subsequently, dispatch a medical team as soon as possible to the site of the accident, reducing the accident response time.

Now that you know all that you must know to drive in the UAE, go ahead, and zoom off in your car!

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