Getting behind the wheel for the first time in a foreign country can be a daunting experience for any driver. There’s a lot to consider from unfamiliar traffic regulations on the opposite side of the road. But this shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your trip. The road system is modern and new in the UAE, and more importantly, petrol is not expensive. Here are some driving tips to help you prepare in advance.
Book a car rental
Although public transportation in the country is reliable, daily taxi and bus rides can take a toll on your budget. Thus, having a car is a very good idea if you’re going to stay for a long time. The good news is the rental market in the UAE is quite a competitive sector. It’s easy to find cheap car rentals in any city, and processing is fast. You need to choose your preferred rental provider and submit the relevant documents.
Get a driving license
The minimum driving age in the UAE is 18 years, and 21 years for you to rent a car. Tourists are allowed to hire and drive a car as long as they have a national permit and/or an international driving license, depending on the country of origin. Expats, however, are required to secure a temporary driving license of their emirate. They can either exchange their national license for a local one or follow procedures in obtaining a local license.
Know where to park
Emirates in the UAE are relatively young, so most buildings provide parking, such as malls, business establishments, residential properties and even some metro stations. Parking spaces and costs (per hour) may differ between facilities and emirates and can be paid for at meters, via prepaid cards and/or apps. Non-commercial areas may charge around AED 2.00 for an hour of parking to AED 8.00 for 3 hours. However, parking is generally free on Fridays and some holidays like Eid.
Road hazards & weather
The most frequent road hazards that you would have to deal with include goats and camels in the countryside. Be on the lookout for them when driving. You can either wait for them to pass by or maneuver around them. Fog and rainy weather conditions can also disrupt your driving. The safest option when you encounter these types of weather is to pull-over and wait it out. But if you need to keep driving, drive as slow as possible.
Know rules & penalties
General driving rules include obvious laws such as seat belts, child seats, and only hands-free phones. Bring your driving license, car registration, and ID with you at all times, especially if you’re driving a car rental in UAE. Driving is on the right, so you overtake on the left-hand side. The UAE has zero-tolerance when it comes to alcohol, so when you’re the driver, not even a small sip is allowed. If caught, you may be charged up to 3 years in jail and a fine of up to AED 30,000.
Another concern when driving abroad is getting lost. Thankfully, car hire UAE companies to provide their clients with a GPS to help you find some must-see attractions on your own. You can rely on EuroStar Rent-A-Car for a truly enjoyable rental experience and the most competitive pricing in the country! You may call 600 587005 (Dubai) or 600 587004 (Abu Dhabi) for more information.