Is Driving in Dubai Hard?

Whereas self-driving has many advantages, if you find it hard, it will be impossible to enjoy one bit. That’s why you must get the right answer before renting a car while visiting any country or city.

For instance, is driving in Dubai hard? Will it add fun or take it away?

What about drawing a detailed of what to expect while behind the wheel in Dubai? It would also be great to know the rules and penalties if you fail to adhere to them.

So, let’s get started;

Facts About Roads in Dubai

The extensive road networks in Dubai require any driver to be confident. The broadness and various lanes shared with big vehicles, including buses and trucks, also demand the same.

There are also merging lanes and high-speed limits. If you are not used to a kilometer’s speedometer, you also better get used to it.

Since the steering wheels are on the left, it means drivers\ keep it to the right side of the Dubai roads. Road signs are easy to read and understand and are in both English and Arabic.

Various lanes are designed for different vehicles since their speed limits differ. For instance, avoid lanes set aside for slow-moving cars such as trucks.

On the other hand, remember that the lanes on the left are quite fast.

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The Conditions of the Dubai Roads

Various conditions could make driving in Dubai hard. One is the fog often witnessed during winter, especially early morning or overnight.

However, there are various ways of driving easily under such circumstances. One of them is slowing down when driving under these circumstances.

Other drivers will also appreciate it if you maintain a consistent speed. Equally important, avoid using the high beams and putting hazard lights on.

Rains can also be an issue, although it is usually rare. The roads get slippery, and whereas that may not be an issue for you, most drivers can’t drive well under these circumstances.

Rest assured that it is enough to make driving hard. After all, other drivers also have a role in ensuring that driving is easy and safe.

You may also find driving in Dubai hard if you drive during rush hours. The traffic jam is usually huge, and the 6 lanes don’t improve it.

That’s why it is advisable to avoid driving early in the morning or during the evenings. If you want to visit various tourist attractions, that’s not an issue since most open after 10 am.

As for the evenings, traffic jams can start as early as 2 pm, as schools call it a day. So, avoid Dubai roads between then and 7 pm if you can.

Charges and Tolls to Expect on Dubai Roads

Interestingly, Dubai also has an allowance after setting a driving speed limit. You are good to go if you don’t exceed the speed limit by 20km/hr.

Unfortunately, this extension has landed many drivers in hot soup. That’s because exceeding this window attracts fines of not less than AED 600.

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Unless you don’t plan to visit this city again, ensure you pay every fine before leaving. Breaking the rules may also attract an admin fee that rental companies demand.

It is also hard to go unnoticed upon exceeding the speed limit. After all, various cameras are everywhere, ready to identify any lawbreaker.

As for the tolls, Dubai uses Salik. It is an automated system responsible for handling tolls.

It will fit the rental car with a tiny sticker automatically registering the SALIK charge. It usually happens as one passes under toll barriers.

What’s next once you get the sticker? No need to worry because it is the responsibility of your rental company to charge you accordingly.

Do I Need an International Driving License to Drive in Dubai

In most cases, that’s a requirement if you want to drive in Dubai. However, that’s not the case if you come from one of the following countries;

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Brazil
  • Britain
  • Canada
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Lithuania
  • Luxemburg
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Netherland
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Oman,
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • USA

Nevertheless, an English translation is needed for South Korea, Slovakia, Japanese, and Quebec citizens.

The Dos and Don’ts When Driving in Dubai

As you drive on these roads, remember the following;

The Dos When Driving in Dubai

The dos include;

  • Understanding the traffic signs excellently
  • Keeping a safe distance between your car and the one in front of it
  • Be careful when changing lanes and also take note of others changing lanes since some can be reckless while at it
  • After the rain, it is advisable to apply brakes sooner than usual since greasy roads are often one of its aftermaths
  • Ensure that your eyes are always on the road and, most importantly, open
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The Don’ts When Driving in Dubai

The don’ts are as follows;

  • Avoid driving on the hard shoulder and, more importantly, overtaking from it
  • Another thing to avoid is rubbernecking, no matter how attractive your surroundings are
  • Overspeeding is a no-go zone too
  • Never drink and drive
  • Don’t run a red light either

So, Is Driving Hard in Dubai?

Having learned the facts, conditions, charges, and roads to expect in Dubai, you are a good judge of the right answer to this question. Understanding the dos and don’ts along these roads will also make a huge difference.

Important tips during driving have also proven to be making it easy. The bottom line is that driving in Dubai isn’t hard if you know what’s expected of you.

It is no secret that Dubai has some of the strictest road rules. However, understanding these rules and adhering to them ensures that you have an easy time on the roads of Dubai.

Expect many people to break these rules but don’t follow them. The hefty price one pays for failure to adhere to these rules isn’t worth it.

Nevertheless, some people will find it hard to drive in Dubai. If that’s the case, you don’t need public transport thanks to taxis, uber, and Careem.


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