UAE Driving Rules: The Basics of Staying on the Right Side of the Law?

UAE Driving Rules: The Basics of Staying on the Right Side of the Law?
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Are you moving to Dubai or any of the seven emirates?

Do you want to drive there?

If you are nodding your head in ‘YES’, be prepared to be on the right side of the law; and yes always!

Keeping an eye on the traffic rules in the UAE is essential if you are going to drive in the country. Let’s skim through this guide to ensure a pleasant stay there.

UAE Driving Rules & Its Importance

The United Arab Emirates is always keen to provide on road safety to its motorists and the pedestrians. The government tries introducing new and stringent traffic rules to keep the safety part intact.  The constant efforts put by the government of UAE has not only reduced the number of accidents in the past few years but also has made driving quite smooth.

On the same line, the government has also mandated car insurance in UAE, which can be ensured through online insurance in UAE. Moreover, the concerned authorities of the United Arab Emirates time to time organize various road-safety awareness campaigns.

Despite several efforts, the death ratio in the UAE due to road accidents is the highest. One reason can be the reckless driving of Emirati drivers.

However, the basic law to avoid road accidents in the UAE is to follow traffic rules strictly. Having said that, if you are planning to visit this global hub of innovation, make yourself familiar with these rules.

Basic Traffic Rules to be Followed

Here you go:

Wear Seat Belt

Considering the increasing rate of road accidents, it is compulsory to wear a seatbelt while driving.

Documents to Have

Anyone who wishes to drive in UAE should carry some important documents. These include an international driving license for those who are in the country for a limited period. In case of expatriate with a residential ID of UAE, carrying the local driving license is a must.

Drunk Driving

Driving when you are drunk is universally restricted as it may lead to serious road incidents. When comes to the UAE, the tolerance limit for drinking and driving is zero in the country. Drunk driving in the UAE may lead to hefty fines or imprisonment or at times the both. The traffic authority has the right to block your driving license for a certain period as well.

Minimum Age of Driving

The minimum age to drive in the UAE is 18 years. However, some car rental companies may need you to be more than 25 years and have driving experience of a few years. There are some companies who may allow you to drive a rental car at the age of 23, but for that matter, you have to pay young driver’s excess fees.

Stay Within the Speed Limit

The speed limit varies throughout the UAE. There are free roads wherein you can drive at the speed of 140-160 km per hour, whereas in the rural areas, the speed limit should be 100 km/h. The urban areas allow you to drive at the speed of 60-80 km/h, while in the residential areas it should be 40 km/h.

Traffic Penalties in UAE

For a minor offense, the traffic police may issue a fine notice to you, but for serious on-road offense, summon from court or suspension of the license can be issued.

Safety Rules for Children

In a few recent years, on-road safety rules have been significantly changed in the UAE in order to reduce road incidents. And it is imperative to ensure safety more while a baby or a kid is on board. Usually, it is restricted for a child below the age 12 years to sit in the front seat of the car. Children who weigh between 18-36 kgs or below the age of 12 years are to be seated in a booster seat.

Road Rules

The road rules in the UAE are developed to maintain decorum on roads. Mentioned below are the road rules that everyone who drives on the roads of the UAE must follow:

  • Rules for Towing: There is no specific towing law in the UAE.
  • Use of Mobile Phone during Driving: It is illegal to talk on a mobile phone while driving in the UAE. However, you can take the help of hands-free for talking while driving.
  • Speed Cameras: A considerable number of radars are deployed across the UAE, either in the traffic signals or in the streets to catch the violators. Standard speeding cameras are one of them, which detect the maximum speed limit. In case of exceeding the limit, a specific traffic fine will be imposed.
  • Sign of the Motorway:The road signs in the UAE are the same as you will find in Britain; moreover these signs are very simple to understand. The sign of the motorway has a blue colour in the background with white writing. These signs are displayed in both English and Arabic.
  • Toll Roads: There are a few roads, highways, and bridges in the United Arab Emirates that have a toll. For example, the Sheikh Zaya Road and Al Garhoud Bridge have crossing toll.
  • Traffic Lights:The UAE follows the Vienna Convention for traffic lights and hence it is easier for the US and EU drivers to understand the traffic light rules here.

Parking Rules

The big cities of UAE have expensive parking and many times it may become difficult for you to find a parking there. However, you always have a choice to park your car on the streets if there is any space available. The suburbs and smaller towns have parking and most of the times it is free.

  • Paid Parking: In big cities and towns it is recommended to go for garage parking as parking on the streets is difficult to find. If you get any space, you can use mobile and avail the service known as mParking and pay your parking fee by sending an SMS. The mParking application also warns you in case of your parking ticket expires.  
  • Disabled Parking: For people with special needs, there is no special parking in the United Arab Emirates. However, if you want assistance, then the attendants at the parking can help you and provide you a convenient spot to park your car.
  • Enforcement: The traffic police enforce overdue and bad parking with fines and tickets. Moreover, the car that is causing any kind of obstruction can be towed.

Final Word!

So, the bottom line is staying in line with the traffic rules is a must if you are driving in the UAE. Moreover, UAE is home to expatriates from almost 200 countries globally, thus, one has to be updated with the basic traffic rules that need to adhere. When road incidents are taking its toll on human lives, the best can be done by the Government of a particular country is to implement strict traffic rules. And the UAE government is no exception. So, keep yourself acquainted to the traffic laws there and stay safe. Also, to mitigate those unexpected financial expenditures arising out of a road accident, leading to bodily injury, damage or third party liability, consider a budget-friendly car insurance policy in UAE.

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