Getting a license and renting a car in Dubai: avoid penalties

Getting a license and renting a car in Dubai: avoid penalties

A personal car is a daily need of a modern person. When planning to move to another country, many people are faced with the issue of purchasing or renting transport. But most often foreigners prefer public transport or use taxi services.

The most popular questions about transport in Dubai:

  • What type of driver’s license is required?
  • Who can rent a car?
  • What are the rules for renting?
  • How do I get a local driver’s license?
  • How to buy a personal car?
  • What rules are in effect and what are they fined for?
  • Are there any transport taxes?

We will analyze the most exciting topics in the article!

Driver’s license

The local rules are quite clear, simple and accessible.

If you are in Dubai on a tourist visa, it is enough for you to have an international driver’s license with you. It is also allowed to use a Russian driver’s license. This will allow you to rent a car and move freely around the permitted area.

If you are a resident visa holder, then you need to get a local driver’s license.

How to get a local driver’s license

If the candidate already has a driver’s license of his country, then in some cases it will not be necessary to take training and exams. It depends solely on the country that issued the driver’s license.

If the candidate still needs to be trained and pass the exam, then you can start studying at the age of 17, but you will be able to pass the exam only at 18.

To obtain a certificate, you must submit the following documents:

  • The original of the Emirates ID card or an electronic copy from the ICA application.
  • A valid visa issued in Dubai and a copy of the visa page.
  • Original driver’s license from another country belonging to the same vehicle category (if applicable). If the driver’s license is not in English or Arabic, then it must be translated in Dubai. In case of loss of a driver’s license, a letter from the consulate of the applicant’s country is required.
  • Vision check report.

Then the student registers at the registration center and begins to undergo training. Students must register for at least 20 hours of classes. Then the driving school conducts exams and, with successful results, issues a driver’s license through government organizations.

How much does it cost to get a driver’s license in Dubai

20 lessons at school will cost ~ 3496 AED

Three exams ~ 900 AED

Also, driving schools offer to buy package services that will cost ~ 5,000 AED

The requirements for passing the final exam are quite loyal: the exam is considered unsuccessful if the candidate has made more than 12 mistakes.

If the exam is not passed, then you need to take at least 4 more hours of additional training, which is ~ 600 AED

Additional expenses will also be needed for those who receive local rights based on existing ones:

  • Application and registration 200 AED
  • 600 AED for issuing a driver’s license
  • 20 AED administrative fees

When the driver’s license is received, it remains only to deal with the system of fines and the cost of cars.

There is also nothing complicated here. About everything in order.

The penalty system in Dubai

The perfectly smooth road surface of Dubai forces many foreigners to enjoy fast driving. But it is better not to do this, so you will be able to save a significant amount on fines!

The emirate has a system of “black marks” — this is the fixation of violations of traffic rules. If the driver managed to collect a collection of 24 tags, then the authorities have the right to deprive him of his certificate for 3 months. With each subsequent collected collection, the term is doubled.


  • Up to 30 km/h – 600 dirhams.
  • Up to 40 km/h – 700 dirhams.
  • Up to 50 km/h – 1000 dirhams.
  • Up to 60 km/h – 1500 dirhams, 6 black marks, confiscation for 15 days.
  • Above 60 km/h – a fine of 2000 dirhams (about $ 550), 12 black marks and confiscation of cars for a period of 30 days.
  • more than 80 km/h, the driver loses 3000 dirhams (about $800), gets 23 black marks and remains without a car for 60 days
  • For driving through a red traffic light. For such an offense, the driver is fined 1000 dirhams (about $ 275), receives 12 black marks and remains without a car for 30 days.
  • For dangerous car driving, arranging races. Reckless drivers are punished with a fine of 2000 dirhams (about $ 550) with the confiscation of the vehicle for 60 days.
  • For driving a car while drunk. A driver who is driving under the influence of drugs receives 23 black marks and confiscation of transport for 60 days. And those who drive a car under the influence of alcohol lose their car for 90 days. The amount of the fine will be determined by the court – up to 30,000 dirhams (about $ 8000) + the risk of going to prison for 3 years.
  • For not wearing a seat belt and carrying children in the front seat. These two violations are defined by law as equivalent in degree of punishment – 400 dirhams (about $ 100) and 4 black marks.

The rules of the road in Dubai are quite strict and strict. There are no compromises for those who risk their lives and the lives of others. This is what makes Dubai one of the safest places in the world!

Car rental

You can rent a car either in advance on the website of one of the companies, or already on the spot, at the office of the rental company.

Long-term rental is much more profitable, but you should carefully study the offers and conditions of companies in order to choose the most optimal option for yourself.

The price of a mid-range car rental per day is ~ $ 40. Of course, this is much more profitable, considering that one taxi ride from the city center to the nearest suburban area will cost ~ $ 10-17.

Conditions for car rental:

  • Suitable driver’s license
  • Age from 21 years, and experience from 1 year
  • A foreign passport or a document demonstrating the presence of a visa
  • Most often, payment can be made only through a credit card
  • Payment of deposit, insurance and deposit

The conditions of different companies may vary, but the same requirements apply to all without exception.

Buying a car

Any foreigner who has an Emirates ID and a resident visa can buy a car for personal use in the Emirates. To purchase a car, you will also need a local certificate.

Why it is profitable to buy a car in Dubai:

  • Cars assembled in the UAE have excellent air filters, which is necessary in conditions of constant presence of sand in the air;
  • high-quality radiators are installed, which is due to the high temperature regime on the Arabian Peninsula;
  • the coating of cars is of higher quality, it has a high degree of protection, as this is necessary due to the constant corrosion of the coating, which occurs under the influence of sand and heat.

Middle-class cars in Dubai are much cheaper than in the US or the UK.

New cars can be bought at regular car dealerships. In Dubai, most of the dealerships are located along the Sheikh Zayed Road.

There is an extensive market of used cars in the UAE, which are in excellent condition and will prove to be a more profitable purchase.

Buying a new car in Dubai

Registration of a car, as in the case of licenses, in Dubai takes place in the RTA.

Most of the functions related to registration, licenses and document management have been transferred to online mode and are available in smartphone applications.

Dealers register a new car. This removes a large share of costs from the buyer.

Expenses for registration of a car in the Emirates

The main payment for car registration in 2022 is $ 115 (420 AED).

Additional taxes include:

  • Property transfer fee ‒ $95 (350 AED);
  • vehicle maintenance fee ‒ $46 (170 AED);
  • creation of an account in the RTA system (Traffic File) ‒ $ 60 (220 AED);
  • fee for the sale of a vehicle ‒ $ 14 (50 AED);
  • tax on “Knowledge and innovation” ‒ $ 5 (20 AED)

The cost of fuel in the UAE

  • In 2017, 1 gallon (3.78 liters) cost about $1.8 (6.61 AED) in the UAE.
  • In 2020 ‒ $2.49 (9.15 AED) (8th place in the world).
  • In 2021 ‒ $2.34 (8.6 AED) (22nd place in the world).

Statistics show that most people consider it profitable to buy a car of any class and use it daily, rather than using taxi services.

But do not forget that Dubai has implemented a stunningly convenient public transport system and installed air-conditioned waiting areas, pedestrian covered areas. This creates comfort for those who do not plan to buy or have not yet managed to purchase a car. The Emirate is rapidly trying to destroy the rumor that it is impossible to move without a car. Perhaps! And every year more and more projects are being developed for pedestrians and cyclists.