Here you can find out everything about driving in Dubai if you want to do this on vacation. The traffic volume is very high there and you have to be prepared for a lot of traffic. As a tourist you can get over-funded there very quickly.
Driving in Dubai
Dubai is the best way to explore by car and you need an international driver’s license for it. It is best to rent a rental car at Dubai Airport, where there are many rental car providers. Certainly the big advantage is that you can go anywhere by car like at home and you are not dependent on public transport .
But we only recommend doing this if you’ve been on vacation there several times. If this is not the case then you do not know your way around the metropolis and there are multi-lane roads there . You certainly want to spend a relaxing holiday there and it shouldn’t be too stressful. For beginners, the taxi or the free shuttle buses from the hotels are recommended.
Where should you reserve the Dubai rental car
It is best to reserve a rental car from home as the prices are cheaper there than on site in Dubai. It is also very practical that you can rent a GPS navigation device for a small daily fee so that you can find your way around the city better. But you should make sure that the latest map data is always installed there, as there is a lot of construction going on there and the streets are then no longer up-to-date.
The takeover usually only takes a few minutes and you have to fill out a few forms and sign them. You also have to show a credit card so that additional fees can be debited, such as the Salik toll. Then you can start driving in Dubai and you shouldn’t drive straight onto the Sheikh Zayed where there are six lanes on each side.
Where can you park anywhere?
Parking at the hotel is usually free and many also offer valet parking where the rental car is driven away by the employees in a large parking garage. However, they always expect a small tip for it. In the big shopping malls in Dubai parking is always free and there are thousands of parking spaces.
There are few parking spaces at Dubai Creek and you should always make sure that you are allowed to park your rental car there so that it is not towed away. By the way, this can also happen there and it takes a lot of time, money and effort to get the car back. But meanwhile there are also numerous parking garages in the emirate where you have to pay a fee and it is no longer free. You will see a lot of car parking shades in Dubai. Because parking is a big issue here.
International driver’s license is required
An international driver’s license is mandatory when picking up a rental car as the employees want to see it. With smaller providers it may be that this does not have to be shown . But in any case you should always have one with you if you need one. You can apply for an international driver’s license at the District Office for a fee and it is valid for two years. Then you have to apply for a new one again.
Many streets in Dubai are only passable for a fee and there is a Salik sticker in the rental car that registers how often you have used the toll roads. The amount will then later be collected by the rental company by credit card. But you should be particularly careful there as this is also a tourist trap and the providers there try to earn additional money. It is best to always remember how often you have used toll roads.
Takeover of the rental car
When taking over the rental car you should make sure that it is fully fueled and you should find out whether it has to be returned with a full or empty tank . You should also take a close look at the rental car to see how it is in condition and whether it has scratches or dents. You should then have this noted down.
If you do not do this, the provider may charge you for the defects on return . You should definitely consider that. Furthermore, insurance is always very important in case there are problems. But if you reserve a rental car in Germany, all insurance is usually included and you don’t need to take out any more on site.
Then you can start driving in Dubai and from the airport you come straight to multi-lane motorways and for tourists who are not confident enough to do so, they should do without driving in Dubai. The volume of traffic in Dubai is very high with sometimes six-lane motorways on one side. Most of them drive very fast there, so there are speed cameras everywhere .
You should therefore always be careful not to drive too fast and get flashed. If this is the case, the amount will also be debited there by credit card. We also recommend using the hotel delivery service, where the rental car is brought to the booked hotel. There is usually not much traffic there and you can practice a little before using the motorway.
Right-hand traffic in Dubai
Incidentally, there is right-hand traffic in Dubai and the roads and highways are very well developed. You should always try to avoid the rush hour as you might be stuck in a traffic jam and you certainly don’t want to spend the time standing in a traffic jam. Then it is better to use public transport such as the Dubai Metro.
Making calls with your cell phone while driving is forbidden, as in Germany, and you get bus money if you don’t stick to it. Of course, you have to adhere to the current traffic regulations when driving a car in Dubai . If you don’t do this then you have to expect a penalty which can be very high in some cases.
What is forbidden
Drinking and driving is of course also forbidden and the zero-alcohol regulation applies there. If you have had a drink then you should rather use the taxi and leave the rental car behind. Refueling is also not a problem in Dubai and gasoline is very cheap. You just drive to the gas station and you don’t even have to leave the car. There are employees who refuel the car and you can pay there right away.
Driving in Dubai is very convenient as you can go anywhere. However, everyone should know for themselves whether they want to drive with this high volume of traffic and most of the time this is no longer a vacation but stress. As already mentioned, this is more recommended for tourists who know their way around the city very well. If you are on holiday there for the first time, then you should rather use the taxi.