Living in Dubai

As a tourist, can I rent a car in Dubai? If yes, then how?

As a tourist in Dubai, you need an international driver’s licence, passport, credit card and third-party insurance to rent a car.

Can I rent a car in Dubai?

Yes. There are many car rental chains in Dubai, you’ll find them at the Airport. But, in case you’re looking for a car at the affordable price than search on the Internet rather than hiring at the airport. You would be able to book a basic car in $20/day. If you don’t have local internet data when arriving at the airport; don’t worry there is free WiFi at Dubai Airport.

When renting a car, you should think about the popular name of car rental chains. In Dubai, there are offers for renting a car on the daily, weekly and monthly basis. As a tourist, perhaps, you’ll not stay for a longer period, so, you may go for the weekly or daily offer.

If you are a supercar lover, there are many rent-a-car companies offering luxury vehicles, such as Bentleys, Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Rolls-Royce, to name a few, for hire. Dubai is a fantastic place to drive such supercars. There are so many UAE citizens, they are passionate for supercars.

License for driving a car in Dubai

According to VisitDubai, To hire a car, you need an international driver’s licence, passport, credit card and third-party insurance. If you are holding a GCC driving licence, it’s also valid for driving. For local licenses, according to Khaleej Times, you can drive in UAE with a license from following countries: Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States. Driving license holders of some countries as the mentioned list will require translations or consulate letters. For Canada, a letter from the Canadian Consulate in Dubai to verify that the license is genuine is required.

As a tourist, you are not allowed to drive your friend’s car, you can only drive a rental car with proper documents. As a tourist, you can only drive a privately owned car if you have a temporary driving license issued by the UAE authority.

Furthermore, in case you are arriving in the UAE for work on an employment visa, you can not rent a car until the confirmation of your residence visa and UAE driving license. You can not buy a car too until the approval of your residence visa and UAE driving license. But, if your spouse is arriving in the UAE on a visit visa, (s)he can rent a car on his/her arrival.

If you are a resident of the United Arab Emirates and hold a UAE driving license, you should cancel your license before your final departure from the United Arab Emirates. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay the penalty for applying again (if the ex-license is expired). For you may need to return for another assignment.

How to explore Dubai without a car?

There are plenty of RTA buses and taxis; there is also Metro network. Dubai has Metro train and RTA bus systems throughout the city. It is the best way to explore the city if you don’t have a car or your budget is not enough to afford taxi fares. Simply, get your NFC-enabled Prepaid NOL card for paying the fare of Metro and Buses. NOL card is available at the customer service offices of Dubai Metro or RTA Bus stations.

Dubai has excellent facilities for public transport, yet it does not cover all areas of the city. Also, you can not rely on it since the public transport has its schedule and its route (if you talk about buses). Although Dubai metro system has arrived in 2009, the landscape of Dubai transport has changed dramatically, yet the metro is developing to cover other areas of the city. Consequently, if you have a good budget, then rent a car, it’ll let you at doorstep; you do not need to walk on foot from a bus stop or metro station. Taxi, perhaps, cheaper than western countries, it yet can be a hollow for your travel budget. Hiring s car will enable you to travel throughout the city and nearby emirates such as Abu Dhabi or Sharjah at a fuel cost plus a daily rent.

Can women drive in the UAE?

Absolutely! Women from all nationalities can drive a car everywhere in the United Arab Emirates if they have a valid driving license.

What is the driving like?

In UAE, vehicles are driven with left-hand driving on the right side of the road. The driving side is same as in the United States. UAE has a mixture of all nationalities, so driving experience could also be mixed. You could face some problem if you don’t have enough experience of driving in the UAE or any other similar country.

UAE traffic is monitored by Radar, so,  if you violate traffic rules you’ll have to pay a fine. Seatbelts are required, and the use of mobile phones while driving is prohibited. Don’t drive a car if you’re intoxicated. Otherwise, there are serious legal consequences you could face. Traffic rules of the UAE are quite much the same as in many other countries.

What if you have a road accident?

You should be careful that when driving in an unfamiliar country, there are chances of accidents. In case of the accident, while you have a rental car, the insurance claim by the rental agency and the police reports may cause you a headache. If you have relevant insurance and all necessary legal documents, it could a relief for you and for your headache.

>>>Go to the link Skyscanner to rent a car in Dubai.

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Arif Mohammad

The Middle East's Blogger, blogging on travel, lifestyles, employment, history, and technology. I am an Indian by nationality, working in the Middle East.

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