United Arab Emirates Driving Advice and Car Hire Info
Driving in United Arab Emirates
UAE Drives on the right and officially, you can use your own photo licence if it originates in one of the following – UK, USA, France, Japan, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Greece, Austria, Ireland, Spain, Norway,Turkey, Canada, Poland, Korea, Finland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Romania. However, it seems that an International Driving permit is required to fulfill the insurance requirements of most rental companies. I would therefore suggest checking carefully with them when reserving a car. They may say you don’t need an IDP but ask them to confirm 100% that you’re fully covered by insurance and also legally if stopped by police.
Speed limits are 130kmh on highways, 60-130km on rural roads and 40kmh in urban areas. A 160kmh limit is also in place on a section of the E11 Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Road between Abu Dhabi and the Saudi border, which is probably the world’s highest official speed limit.
The main route in the Emirates is the E11 which runs for 583 km from Al Sila at the Saudi border (where it joins Saudi Highway 10, one of the longest straight roads in the world) through Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm al-Quwain to Ras al-Khaimah near the Oman border.
Other key motorway routes are-
E10 Abu Dhabi – Al Shahama. Length: 44 km
E12 Abu Dhabi – Al Falah. Length: 34 km
E15 Ruways – Wasit Oasis. Length: 145 km
E16 Al Rahba – Al Saad. Length: 100 km
E18 Ras Al Khaimah – Al Manama. Length: 61 km
E20 Abu Dhabi – Al Hayer. Length: 144 km
E22 Abu Dhabi – Al Ain. Length: 157 km
E44 Dubai–Hatta. Length: 129 km
E45 Tarif–Liwa. Length: 109 km
E55 Umm al-Quwain – Al Shuwaib. Length: 131 km
E66 Dubai – Al Ain. Length: 130 km
E88 Sharjah – Masafi. Length: 77 km
E311 Dubai – Ras al Khaimah. Length: 139 km
E611 /Emirates Road; Dubai – Umm al-Quwain 110km
Dubai and Abu Dhabi both have a number of toll roads, with charges paid via electronic tag. More information on tolls in both cities can be found on the UAE government website.
Roads are usually in excellent condition but in the desert may be covered with drifting sand at times. You should exercise caution if driving in the desert – take adequate supplies of fuel and water, drive in convoy if possible and let someone know where you’re going. The good standard of the roads means drivers can attain high speeds . You will encounter vehicles flying up behind you at high speed flashing their lights. This essentially means they are coming through and you must get out of the way. Accidents are common and fatalities occur often. UAE has one of the highest rates of road death in the world, though things have improved somewhat in recent years. If you’re in an accident you must stay with your vehicle till the police arrive. Drink driving is strictly forbidden- there’s zero tolerance and if found guilty you will be subject to a harsh punishment.Other hazards to be aware of when driving abroad in UAE are unmarked or poorly signed speed bumps which can occur even on major roads, and traffic cameras which are used widely to identify any breach of road rules. At some times of year, roads can become slippery when wet. Fog can be a problem in some areas too.
Although I try and keep the information in the site updated as much as possible, in a rapidly moving world, situations can change daily. Therefore please use the site as an approximate guide, and in conjunction with other resources in order to form your view on driving conditions, roads, safety etc.
United Arab Emirates Car Rental –
Sixt, Hertz, Europcar, Alamo, National,Avis, Budget, Thrifty and Dollar have branches here .Most companies seem to have offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah and some have outlets in other towns too.
We currently have no local car rental partners in United Arab Emirates. If you are a local car rental company who would like to feature on DriverAbroad.com please check details on our Partnering page or contact us on ADriverAbroad@Outlook.com
United Arab Emirates Self Drive Rules
Some companies eg Hertz allow cars to be taken into Oman for an additional charge.You should check out where cars can be driven when making your reservation. There are usually restrictions on taking vehicles off road and its likely your insurance would be invalidated if you were stuck in sand off-road. One way rentals are usually possible within UAE often without additional charges.