Driving in Dubai – What You Should Know as an Expat

Even with the introduction of the Dubai metro, car driving remains the most popular type of transportation in the emirate. It should be fairly easy for you to buy a car. There are various models from all internationally renowned brands sold in Dubai. You can opt for a new or a pre-owned car depending on your preferences and budget. You can also undergo a driving course, if you cannot get a local driving license automatically. The administrative process related to becoming a driver in Dubai is relatively easy, but driving on the roads might prove to be not as simple.

You are legally obliged to have car insurance in order to register your vehicle with the local transportation department. You are highly recommended to check carefully the terms and conditions of the policy you plan to purchase. Make sure that you know what the insurance covers and what it does not. This is essential since you might have to pay an additional sum in case you are responsible for an accident in which a person dies. Usually, the relatives demand diya or blood money. This sum is paid as compensation and it varies, but it is normally no less than 200,000 Dhs. This type of fine is often not covered by insurers. So, you have to know whether your policy includes it or not.

As you already know, the weather conditions in Dubai are harsh almost all year round. For this reason, you have to make sure that your vehicle is in good condition at all times. It is a good idea for you to follow precisely the maintenance instructions you get when purchasing a car. You have to take into account the warranty conditions, if you have a new vehicle. If you drive a pre-owned car, then it is best to consult a professional about its maintenance. Generally, there are plenty of reliable motor shops in Dubai offering good services. It is a good idea to ask for recommendations.

The Dubai traffic laws do not differ much from the standard ones valid in Europe, USA or Asia. However, the emirate is rated as one of the most dangerous counties for driving in the world. For this reason, the road traffic legislations are being made stricter on regular basis. You should familiarize yourself with all the latest amendments concerning speeding and other traffic regulation violations. Make sure you know when and how fines are paid. Generally, as long as you drive safely and very attentively, you should not have problems. The roads are wide and excellently paved which is yet another comforting factor.

Road congestions are common in Dubai. Just like in any other bustling city, they are abundant from 7 to 10 in the morning and from 5 to 9 in the evening. It is not uncommon for traffic jams to occur around lunch time and in the early afternoon when some workers have longer breaks or their shift ends. So, you should arm yourself with patience and make sure the air-conditioning is working properly. In an attempt to reduce congestions, the local authorities have introduced toll gate systems. You have to use a pre-paid card to pass the electronic tolls.


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