A point to be noted here is that obtaining a driver's license in Dubai and obtaining an International driving permit in Dubai is not the same. There are certain specific rules that apply to foreign nationals.
The emirate has certified 36 countries that have a very high international standard of driving, and are on the approved list. Nationals of such countries holding driving licenses can automatically obtain transfers and an UAE license without undergoing any training. If you have never driven before, or do not hold a driving licence that does not fall into this approved list of 36 countries, then you need to undergo training at an authorized driving school before obtaining a license.
Documents required for a Driving License
- Original and copy of Passport with residence stamp & valid visa
- No Objection Certificate from employer
- 8 photographs
- Eye Test
To apply for a Driving License in Dubai
If you hold proof of residency and are applying for a Dubai driving license, then you will have to undergo a driving course from one of the authorized driving schools in Dubai.
The first step when applying for a driving license is to get an eye test done from your optician or through your driving school. The application form for the driver’s license will have to be typed in Arabic, and your driving school can help you with this. The application form will have to be submitted to the RTA (Roads and Transport Authority), after which, you will receive your temporary license.
You will have to carry this temporary license with you when undergoing training.
You will then have to pass all internal tests like the parking and garage tests, before applying for the theory test. When you have passed this test, you can proceed to the road test, during which, you will be given few minutes to demonstrate your skills.
The theory test will include a total of 35 questions on road signals, hazards and guidelines on safe driving. The first 17 questions will focus on general traffic situations, and the candidate will have to answer minimum of 11 corrects to pass. The second segment will have 18 questions pertaining to specific driving license, out of which a minimum of 12 correct answers are required to be eligible for the road test.
When taking up the road test, you will have to carry your passport, driving file, 2 photos, filled up application form and a Dh.200 fee to appear for the road test. The RTA inspector will give a few minutes to demonstrate your driving and anticipatory skills.
If you pass the test, you can collect the approval paper from your inspector and go to the Pass Counter and do the necessary processing formalities. Within a few minutes, you will receive your Driving License and be eligible to drive in Dubai.
If you fail, you will have to register with your driving school for another 7 more classes and get a new road test date.
Note: Do remember that Dubai has zero tolerance policy towards drinking and driving. You may be caught unaware at any time during a random check. The Dubai Government recommends that you buckle up your seatbelt and drive safely at all times. For further information, visit the http://www.rta.ae or call RTA on 8009090.
Renewing a Driving License in Dubai
Renewing your license is simple, and can be done at any RTA Traffic office branch or mall outlet in less than 30 minutes. The RTA in association with Federal Traffic and Licensing System, Dubai Police and Ministry of Interior, has permitted renewal of car registration of vehicles issued from other emirates and non-Dubai driving licenses.
You can also do an eye-test and post results online through the RTA website and renew your driving license online. Since June 2011, you can also renew your driving license from the top four trusted opticians and their branches – Yateem, Al Magrhabi, Barakat and Grand Opticians. You can also renew your driving licenses from any other emirate.
Documents required for renewal of license
- An eye test certificate from a recognized optician or ophthalmologist.
- Copy of your valid passport with residence visa stamp.
- Expired license
- Two photos.
The applicant will have to either personally visit the place where a driving license can be renewed, or will have to register as new user on the RTA website to get a personalized dashboard from where you could manage your online services and renew your license.
Take an eye test from any RTA-approved eye-sight testing partner, submit passport copy and personal photograph to eyesight testing centre, insert current personal file through RTA website www.rta.ae, pay renewal fee and fines (if any) using a credit card or e-dirham, and collect renewed license at the designated place within four working days from receiving RTA confirmation message.
The service can be obtained from the following centres:
- Traffic office at City Centre.
- Main building of Dubai RTA, Customer Service Section.
- Traffic office at Al Ittihad Cooperative Society, Al Safa branch and Al Twar branch.
- Traffic office at Jumeirah Plaza Centre
- Traffic Office at Eppco Petrol Station, al Qusais.
- RTA counters at Dubai malls
- Yateem, Barakat, Al Maghrabi and Grand Opticians.
International Driving Permit
International Driving Permit (IDP) can be acquired by applying through Automobile and Touring Club of UAE (ATCUAE). You will have to be 18 years and above and possess a valid driving license.
For obtaining the IDP, you do not have to attend a driving course, provided, your driving license is from GCC or other Gulf Co-operation countries. However, if you are from a non-GCC country, you will have to obtain a letter from your embassy about the validity of your license and get it typed in Arabic too, if it is not already in Arabic or English.
Expatriates can land themselves in serious trouble if they are caught using unofficial IDPs. Official IDPs are issued exclusively in the Emirates by the ATCUAE.
The IDPs were established in 1949 and 1968 to overcome the hurdles faced by motorists travelling gin foreign countries, due to widely varying requirements for driving licenses. An IDP has several advantages in comparison to domestic driving licences when travelling abroad such as it is a proof that the holder has a valid driving license in their own country. It is printed in ten different languages, and hence, helps overcome language barriers, and document is a useful form of identification in case of lost passport.
Documents require for IDP
- Copy of UAE Driving License
- Copy of passport
- Two passport size photograph
The ATCUAE issues valid international driving license in the country, approved by the Government of UAE. The IDPs are available in the UAE from ATCUAE offices located in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah from Emirates Post Offices across the country, from RTA offices in Dubai and several other ATCUAE agents.
The complete list of outlets where official IDPS are available are:
- Arabian Automobile Association (AAA)
- Belhasa Advance Motorist (BAM)
- Belhasa Driving Center (BDC)
- Dubai National Air Travel Agency (DNATA)
- Emirates Driving Institute (EDI)
- Emirates Post Office (EMPOST)
- EPPCO (ENOC-Tasjeel) (EPPCO)
- HERTZ Rent a Car
- IMC Middle East (IMC)
- Orient Travel Services
- Road & Transport Authority (RTA)
Authorized Driving Schools in Dubai
Here are some popular authorized driving schools and their contact details in Dubai:
Al Ahli Driving School (10 branches)
Belhasa Driving School (18 branches)
Dubai Driving Centre (13 branches)
Emirates Driving Institute (53 branches)
Galadari Driving School (14 branches)