Dubai’s vast network of highways and winding side streets enable you to fully explore this dynamic emirate by car. But for tourists, business travelers, and nightlife seekers unfamiliar with local driving norms, navigating Dubai’s roads can prove challenging. Follow these top tips from Easy Driveae for being a safe driver in Dubai. By being an attentive, lawful driver you can reach every destination securely.
Follow Core Safe Driving Practices
Certain universal safe driving habits are essential everywhere, including Dubai. Make sure to follow these vital practices whenever you get behind the wheel:
Obey Posted Speed Limits
Observe speed limits in Dubai to avoid large fines. On Sheikh Zayed Road, the limit is now 80km/h but can range from 80-120km/h. Going 20km/h over is a 300AED fine. 30km/h over is 600AED. Exceeding 80km/h leads to a 3,000AED fine, 12 black points, and 30-day car impoundment. Last year, almost 25,000 speeding fines over 60km/h were issued. Fines help discourage dangerous driving, so follow posted limits.
Follow Road Signs and Signals
Standard road signs and traffic signals are used in Dubai, so fully stop at red lights and stop signs. Come to complete halts at yellow lights too, rather than rolling through. Watch for reduced speed zones, no turn indications, and other warning signs. Obeying all traffic directions maintains order and safety.
Keep Safe Distance from Other Vehicles
Leave at least 2-3 seconds distance between you and the car ahead. These cushions provide vital extra reaction time if they brake suddenly or cut in front. Avoid tailgating, which often causes chain-reaction collisions. If other cars creep into your buffer zone, ease off the gas to regain space.
Use Turn Signals When Changing Lanes
Proper signaling prevents lane change accidents. Always indicate your intended movement with turn signals before switching lanes or merging. Check mirrors and blind spots first, then signal and give surrounding traffic time to react before proceeding. Use signals just like back home.
Yield to Pedestrians
Watch vigilantly for pedestrians at crosswalks, intersections and roundabouts. Be prepared to slow down and allow those needing to cross time to walk safely. Driving patiently through crowded urban areas shows respect.
Never use your phone, eat, attend to children or engage in other distracting activities while driving. Focus solely on the road and vehicles around you to prevent accidents caused by diverted attention. Only perform secondary tasks when safely parked.
Give Way to Emergency Vehicles
If an ambulance, police car, fire truck or other emergency vehicle approaches with lights and sirens on, safely move over and/or slow down so they can pass unimpeded. Failure to yield results in fines, but more importantly delays first responders from critical services.
Assume other motorists may make mistakes and react unpredictably. Anticipate their potential actions. Leave ample following distance so you can brake for sudden slowdowns. Be poised to steer away from hazardous drivers swerving erratically. Defensive awareness prevents accidents.
Get Adequate Rest
Drowsy driving dramatically increases crash risk. Adults need 7-9 hours of daily sleep for alertness and quick reaction times behind the wheel. Also take regular breaks during long drives to restore mental sharpness. Well rested drivers make fewer fatigue-related errors.
Avoid Driving Impaired
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and faces severe penalties in Dubai, including fines, license suspension, vehicle impounding, jail time or deportation. Never drive with impaired faculties. Use a taxi, ride share, or designated sober driver to get home safely after drinking or taking other intoxicating substances.
Tips for Tourists for Safe Driving
Visitors to Dubai should also follow these recommendations for hassle-free driving:
Thoroughly Review Maps Before Driving in Dubai
Take time before your trip to carefully study a map of Dubai. Having a solid understanding of the major highways, main roads, and general layout will prevent you from becoming lost when driving in unfamiliar areas. Identify key routes between your accommodations, sightseeing destinations, tourist sites, restaurants, and other points of interest. Being familiar with Dubai’s layout will make navigating the roads much less stressful.
Always Carry Your Valid Driver’s License and International Driving Permit
Tourists planning to drive in Dubai must have an International Driving Permit accompanied by their official driver’s license from their home country. These are mandatory credentials that must be carried at all times when operating any vehicle. Before your trip, verify that your home license is valid and that you have obtained the necessary IDP document to legally drive abroad. Having proper documentation avoids legal issues if stopped by police on the roads.
Buckle Up Seatbelts in All Seats
Some tourists wrongly forego wearing seatbelts when riding in taxis or hired cars in Dubai. However, using seatbelts is legally required and critical for safety in both front and rear seats. Make a habit of buckling up every time you get in a vehicle, without exception. Wearing seatbelts dramatically reduces injury and death risk in the event of an accident. Don’t overlook this basic safety precaution.
Follow Rental Company Rules and Restrictions
Carefully read the full rental agreement when hiring a car and obey all terms, limitations, prohibited areas, and other rental company rules. Violating restrictions in the contract could void insurance coverage, leaving you fully liable for any damages or incidents with the vehicle. Avoid hefty fees by adhering to the agreement’s fine print.
Adapt to Local Driving Customs
While core road regulations are standardized, some localized nuances exist like increased horn honking or passing on the right. Be alert to any driving conventions that differ from your home country. Remaining flexible, courteous and aware helps you safely navigate Dubai’s roads like a local. Don’t let small differences raise stress levels.
Tips for Business Travelers Driving in Dubai
Optimize required driving for airport transfers, client visits, and other work-related reasons:
Book Licensed Airport Taxis in Advance
Pre-arrange authorized taxis through reputable companies before arriving at the airport to avoid long queues and illegal drivers soliciting business. Pre-booking also guarantees fair metered fares based on the trip distance. For groups, reserve larger vehicles like vans or SUVs to fit everyone comfortably.
Carefully Vet Ride Sharing Services
Unregulated ride sharing companies risk using unsafe vehicles and unvetted drivers. Before booking popular apps like Uber or Careem, verify they are officially licensed to operate in Dubai. Avoid unlicensed operators without oversight or accountability.
Consider Hiring a Car and Driver
Booking a professional driver service allows you to work productively while being driven to meetings and appointments. Seek a company with vetted, skilled drivers and newer vehicles. Enjoy the convenience without traffic hassles.
Avoid Distractions When Self-Driving
Never make calls or try to work while driving yourself. To avoid dangerous distractions, safely pull over and park before diverting attention away from the road. Rushing while distracted significantly increases the risk of accidents.
Map Routes in Advance
Use GPS to pre-plan driving routes and parking ahead of meetings to prevent scrambling en route. Advanced preparation reduces stress and optimizes your valuable time during business trips in Dubai.
Smart Tips for Driving After Partying in Dubai
Make responsible choices when using transportation following nightlife activities:
Never Ever Drive Under the Influence
Consuming any amount of alcohol and then driving is illegal and has severe penalties in Dubai. Arrange alternate verified safe transportation like a licensed taxi, rideshare, or designated non-drinking driver. Never drive impaired or risk dire consequences.
Carefully Vet Post-Party Transportation
When booking travel after an evening out, confirm taxis or rideshares are properly licensed Dubai operators before getting in. Avoid unmarked vehicles. Specify your pickup address accurately to avoid issues.
Appoint a Sober Driver
Within your group, have one trusted person refrain from drinking to provide safe rides home for others. Rotate this key role between get-togethers to share responsibility.
Rest Before Driving
If out late, sleep in and delay driving until fully sober and well-rested to avoid any residual intoxication risks combined with fatigue. Don’t rush into driving the next day.
Order Delivery Instead of Driving
Satisfy late night hunger safely through 24/7 food delivery services instead of driving impaired. Apps like Talabat let you order meals for convenient delivery anytime.
Arrive Safely with Easy Driveae
Easy Driveae provides licensed, professional drivers starting at just 69 AED to transport you around Dubai. Our seasoned team knows the city and roads in-depth, plus English-speaking staff deliver knowledgeable guided tours. Leave the driving to us while you fully experience Dubai’s wonders. Our drivers undergo extensive vetting and training to ensure your peace of mind and comfort. Avoid traffic woes and parking hassles – let Easy Driveae escort you.
Feel pampered and relaxed as we whisk you to your destination. Contact Easy Driveae anytime to pre-book your private driver or arrange airport arrivals and departures. Experience ultra-premium service at reasonable rates.
We look forward to welcoming you from the moment you touch down in Dubai.
What should you do at a yellow traffic light in Dubai?
Come to a complete stop when facing a yellow light in Dubai. It is illegal to drive through an amber light.
How much distance should you keep between yourself and the car ahead?
Maintain at least 2-3 seconds distance from the vehicle in front of you when driving in Dubai. This provides enough braking time.
When are you required to use turn signals in Dubai?
Use your turn signals every time you change lanes, merge into traffic, make a turn, or pull over – just like back home. Proper signaling is crucial.
What service does Easy Driveae provide tourists and residents?
Easy Driveae supplies licensed, professional drivers starting at 69 AED to transport passengers around Dubai.
Stay Safe Behind the Wheel
While Dubai has outstanding infrastructure, unique driving etiquette exists. Following these tips for attentive, lawful driving from Easy Driveae will keep you and Dubai’s residents and visitors secure on roads. Most importantly, make transportation plans that avoid impaired driving after nightlife activities, which carries severe criminal penalties. With prudent preparation and defensive focus, you can confidently explore all corners of Dubai from the driver’s seat.