Can I Drive in Dubai with a UK License?

Whereas someone with a driving license qualifies to drive, what’s valid in your country may or may not be valid in another. For example, not all national driving licenses are valid.

Tourists must find out what’s valid and invalid if that’s the case. It will save you the agony of hiring a rental car only to discover that you can’t drive.

On the other hand, it ensures that you don’t land into trouble if caught driving. That would be a waste since you could be vacationing in its spectacular destinations and not dealing with the authorities.

For example, what’s the fate of UK residents? That’s a good question that needs the right answer before you plan your next trip to Dubai.

Can I Drive in Dubai with a UK License?

If you visit Dubai, feel free to drive your rental car if you have a UK driving license. That’s great to help you navigate this beautiful city seamlessly.

However, driving a private car in Dubai may not be advisable despite having a UK license. It is only right to do so if you are one of the parties covered by its insurance policy.

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If you plan to relocate to Dubai, that’s a different case. Your UK license is only valid if you are yet to receive your residence permit.

Go to the traffic department and get a UAE driving license when it is out.

Do I Need an International Driving Permit to Drive in Dubai?

It is no secret that an international driving permit can fully replace a national driving license. With this document, you can drive even when in a foreign country.

Dubai is one of the places where you can drive freely if you have an international driving permit. It is also easy to get it by visiting the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE).

As for non-residents, you need to apply for a license in your motherland. Ensure that you do it before traveling to UAE.

Its validity lasts for a year. Upon presenting it, the document shows that you are a licensed driver back home.

It also comes in handy in case of an accident, especially if it damages your vehicle. You can also use it if you lose legal identification, including your passport.

It is good to note that an international driving permit is a document recognized in every corner of the globe. Don’t worry about language barriers since it is available in up to 10 languages.

Nevertheless, whether you need it in Dubai depends on your country of residence. If your national driving license is invalid in Dubai, you have no choice but to have an IDP to drive.

Which Country’s Driving License is valid in Dubai?

If you are a resident of one of the following countries, you can use your national driving license when driving in Dubai. Check them out!

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  • South Africa

United States

  • All the states


  • Turkey
  • Oman
  • Kuwait
  • South Korea
  • Bahrain
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Qatar
  • Singapore
  • Japan


  • Switzerland
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • Norway
  • Italy
  • Greece
  • France
  • Austria
  • Denmark
  • United Kingdom
  • Sweden
  • Romania
  • Poland
  • Netherlands
  • Ireland
  • Germany
  • Finland
  • Belgium


  • All of them

New Zealand

  • All of them

Can You Change Your National Driving License to a Dubai One?

Yes, converting your country’s driving license into a Dubai one is possible. So, if your country is not among the above listed, all is not lost.

It is another alternative to an international driving license when your national one is invalid. If you plan to convert yours, ensure that you have the following things;

  • License conversion form
  • No objection letter
  • Optometry form
  • Your national license (original, not photocopy)
  • Valid visa

Your driving license needs translation if you are a national of South Korea, Greece, Japan, Poland, or Turkey. You can choose English or Arabic, depending on what’s best for you.

As for Canadian residents transferring their licenses, get a letter from the Canadian consulate residing in the UAE.

As for other nationals, you must take driving classes and pass relevant tests to obtain a license.

Things to Remember When Driving in Dubai

Now that you will be driving in a foreign city, these tips will enhance your experience;

Familiarize yourself with Road Signs

Like your home country, road signs are applicable in Dubai. They are written in Arabic and English to avoid language barriers.

Ensure that you adhere to them, including the dos, don’ts, and warnings.

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Don’t Drink and Drive

In Dubai, avoid driving even if you just sipped alcohol. No matter how sober you are, don’t drive to avoid imprisonment.

Avoid Hand Gestures

Drivers often use hand gestures when angry at their colleagues in most parts of the world. Try this habit in Dubai, and you will face the law because it is offensive.

Age Limit

Whereas an 18-year-old can drive, one must be at least 21 years to rent a car in Dubai.

Speed Limit

The speed limit in Dubai varies from one road to another. That’s because of their different sizes and classifications.

For example, the speed limits on its residential roads are between 25 and 40km/h, equivalent to 15 to 25 mph. On the other hand, the speed limit on highways such as Sheikh Zayed (E11) and Abu Dhabi-Al Ain (E22) is 100 km/h.

It is important to note that its speed limit is quite high compared to other countries.

Side of the road

When driving in Dubai, drive on your right-hand side of the road. Equally important, the steering wheels of the vehicles in this city are on the left side.


This concern often applies to drivers driving in rural areas. Be vigilant at all times since it is common to find camels and goats on the road.

Flashing Headlights

If a driver flashes headlights at you, he wants you to pave the way for him. It could be a driver in a hurry or the police who need to be somewhere fast.

You are free to move, but only if it is safe. Alternatively, avoid fast lanes.


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