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You are strongly advised to have an International Driving Permit when hiring a car here, although not essential in all emirates. You will be issued with a temporary driving permit upon presentation of your Driving Licence, two photos and a passport; this will enable you to drive throughout all of the emirates without any further problems.

It is advisable to avoid driving at night and it is best to avoid rush hour, especially because of the humid temperatures. Hiring a car is a great way to enjoy the cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, along with other various sights and activities throughout the United Arab Emirates.

Why not read our UAE travel guide? You may also like to view information about destinations in the UAE.

Tips for driving in the UAE

Driving licence

You are strongly advised to have an International Driving Permit.

Which side of the road do they drive on?

Drive on the right, overtake on the left.

Seat belts

If fitted, seat belts must be worn at all times by all occupants of the vehicle.

Driving with children

Children under 12 must not travel in the front seat of the car.

Blood alcohol limit

There is zero tolerance policy on drink driving in the UAE. No amount of alcohol found to be in the blood is legal. If you are caught drink driving you face a prison sentence.

Can I use a mobile?

It’s illegal to use a mobile unless you have a hands-free kit. Fines can be as high as €730.

Reflective vests, triangles & other essentials

A reflective vest must be kept in the vehicle at all times. It is compulsory to carry a warning triangle (must conform to EC Regulation 27), first aid kit, and winter weather equipment.

NB: It is the driver's legal responsibility to carry the required winter equipment; therefore, it is essential to check that it is included in any hire car.

Parking

Parking in the city centres is restricted but it is generally possible to find parking in bays or in multi-storey car parks.

Stick to the speed limit

Hire cars are fitted with an insistent alarm that is set off when the speed limit is exceeded. Traffic regulations are strictly enforced here with radars and cameras.

What should I do if I breakdown?

If you breakdown, you must put on a reflective jacket and place the reflective triangle 30m behind the vehicle to warn other drivers. Call the supplier who will be able to advise you further. It is recommended you contact ourselves at the same time to ensure you follow the correct procedure.

What should I do if I have an accident?

If you’re in an accident, you MUST notify the Police and the car rental provider and get an accident report for insurance purposes. Failure to do so may result in you footing the whole bill. It is recommended that you contact us at the same time to ensure you follow the correct procedure.

You must not leave the scene of an accident until the police authorise you to do so.

Toll roads

There are a number of toll roads within Dubai. Payment can only be made with a Salik Card. Salik Cards are available in most shops and operate on a top up system.