Every action has a consequence. Ignorance of Law is no Excuse. These two sentences define this post at best. Driving Laws in U.A.E. are strict for tourists, foreigners, and its nationals as well. These laws are focused on reducing risk factors as much as possible.
To achieve this goal, it is demanded from each individual to follow the rules and regulations strictly. Making you no exception to the rule as well.
So without further ado, let’s drive dive straight into the Driving Laws in Dubai that every foreigner and tourist should know.
UAE driving laws for Tourists
Here are U.A.E. driving laws according to the U.A.E. Traffic Law for tourists and foreigners. It also mentions laws for the nationals as well concerning the issues of driving license, legal age restrictions for renting and driving, driving under the influence, and more.
Legal Age Restrictions:
See Driving Laws in Dubai [Infographics] from here.
1. A motorcycle rider should be at least 17 years old.
2. Legal Driving age in Dubai 2020 is18 years old.
3. You can rent a car once you are 21. Not younger than the mentioned age.
4. The front seat passenger should at least be 10 years of age and no younger. Also, the front seat passenger should be 145 cm in height, at least.
5. The seatbelt is compulsory for every individual, even for children aging 4 years. For children, the safety seat must be ensured.
6. Driving License Rules in Dubai suggests that a driving license is valid for up to 2 years. For all 21-year-old GCC Nationals, Citizens, and Foreigners. However, after renewal, the license will be valid for use for 10 years for GCC Nationals and Citizens. Whereas, the driving license will be valid for up to 5 years for foreigners.
7. Please carry an international driving license if you are a foreigner who belongs to the Road and Transport Listed Countries.
8. Please carry your driving license along with your Tourist’s Visa if you are a tourist from GCC countries.
Here's a light motor vehicle handbook to understand traffic laws in Dubai especially useful for tourists visiting Dubai for the first time. It is a guide to safe driving by the RTA.
Seatbelt laws in U.A.E:
Before you start driving in Dubai [infographics] here.
Every passenger is to be seat belted. Even the children up to 4 years with a child safety seat of age and those in the rear seat.
Failing to do this, the U.A.E. government will be officially having a right to fine you with AED 400 in exchange for breaking the driving laws and you will also be blessed with 4 black points.
These black points will be having a detrimental effect on your driving eligibility.
The driver and the person seated next to the driver must wear a seat belt.
(Article 33, Executive By-Law; UAE Federal Traffic Law Number 21, 1995) from Dubai Road & Transport Authority's Guide to Safe Driving from page#48.
Drink Driving Laws in Dubai (Driving under the influence) & Mobile use.
Drink Laws before you start driving in Dubai. See more.
Drink driving laws are very simple in Dubai. Drink & Drive can land you into jail and can be an easy recipe for deportation success. Natives and residents know the seriousness of this issue.
You, as a foreigner however may overlook it. But, overlooking Drinking Driving Laws in Dubai deport tourists.
Clearly and surely, Drink Driving is Illegal in Dubai. There are no doubts about that yet.
Drivers that are caught under the influence of drugs or alcohol will have their license suspended for a year. According to U.A.E. Traffic Law, the license will be suspended from the day of the verdict.
In addition to that, the court will have the full right of deciding the fine or jail term.
Using Mobile while driving is also illegal in Dubai. If you opt to use your phone or any other distractions while driving, then you will be charged by ED 400 fine accompanied by 4 black points as value addition.
According to the RTA's Driving guide Page#61 under the heading “Other Distractions”
“Many cars today also have built-in navigation systems, high-quality audio systems, and TV and DVD players. All of these electronic devices create distractions for drivers, which can cause crashes. Taking your eyes off the road to change the radio station, adjust the navigation system display, and scroll through your mobile phone’s numbers looking for a name to call, or sending an SMS all take time. In that time you may have missed a hazard which could have resulted in a serious crash.”
UAE Speed Driving Laws 2020: Exceeding the 80 kmph speed limit will get you fined AED 3000 accompanied by 2 more gifts for you. 1 being the 23 black points and the other being the car confiscation for 60 days. How about that?! The same punishments are applied to reckless drivers as well.
“You must not exceed the maximum speed shown on a sign, taking into consideration the road, weather and vehicle conditions, and related safety requirements.”
Source: From (Article 10.10, UAE Federal Traffic Law Number 21, 1995). Read more here from page#45 of R.T.A.’s Guide to Safe Driving.pdf
If you want to stay updated about new driving laws taking effect in the United Arab Emirates, then read this article. New UAE Traffic Laws taking effect this July.
This is an easy way of getting your vehicle confiscated. This rule applies no differently in the bikers than motorists. In addition to confiscation, you will be charged AED 1,000 along with 12 black points.
We Repeat: Every action has a consequence. Ignorance of Law is no Excuse. Every state has its own laws and Dubai Driving laws make their strictness very clear. However, you don’t need to sweat and over-think the process.
Even if you’re experiencing a little worry, eliminate it by ensuring that you make an informed decision. How will you do it? By reading the laws and making sure you understand the ideal behavior expected form you as a driver.