Driving in Dubai – part 2

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Dubai is pretty good for transport, with the new Dubai Metro, taxis and buses taking you pretty much anywhere you want to go. However, if you really want to get around, you’ll probably want to drive.

The first part of our guide looked at how you can get a driving licence, and some of the legalities involved in driving in Dubai. Part two looks at the rules of the road – what’s different about driving in Dubai, and what you need to know before you hit the road.

Lane driving is sane driving

It’s not chaotic like some countries, but there are many drivers who don’t indicate when changing lanes. When driving in Dubai, you have to be vigilant, and expect people to change lanes without indicating.

The left lane is the fast lane, and is only for overtaking. However, bear in mind that just like in many countries – e.g. the UK – many people drive solely in the fast lane, and you might find people undertaking you.

The land of the fast car

If you’re going to drive safely in Dubai, keep your eyes out for the fast cars. There are a lot of people with a lot of money, and they naturally have expensive vehicles. Many of them like to put their foot down, so keep your eyes on your mirrors, and look before you change lanes, they can appear faster than you thought.

In fact, you’ll probably notice them when they flash their lights at you which, in Dubai, means “get out of the way”.

Buying a car

You might want to buy a new car while you’re out in Dubai, and the main difference you’ll notice is that there’s only one dealer per manufacturer. You’ll find most of Dubai’s car dealers are on the Sheikh Zayed road.

You may find that your money goes a little further in Dubai when it comes to motoring – cars are cheaper, your salary is tax-free, and petrol is incredibly cheap. You’ll see a lot of 4×4 vehicles on the road in Dubai – there’s a good reason they’re popular and it’s not just because it’s the fashion, they’re very practical when you’re driving on sand which you might get to do if you go out of town.

Tinted Windows

It’s very fashionable to drive with tinted windows these days – but consider first of all the risks of having slightly reduced visibility, and secondly consider the law. You can only have 30% tinted as a legal maximum, i.e. 70% light transparent.

Things to remember

Dubai never stays the same, which means that your GPS will go quickly out of date. If you’re driving to a new area and you’re relying on your SatNav, make sure you download regular updates.

And of course, there are the simpler things to remember, such as a bottle of water in the car in case you get stuck somewhere in the heat.


Thinking about moving to Dubai? Not sure if you want to buy a property in Dubai or rent a property in Dubai? We have a range of resources on the Espace website to help you make a decision. If you want to find out more about areas to live in Dubai visit our communities area; you’ll be able to see what amenities are near and the benefits of moving to a specific community.

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