Dubai travel guide



Dubai Travel Guide

Getting Around Dubai by Car

by Car Getting a driving permit in Dubai is not difficult for rented vehicles. The International Driving Permit is valid in the UAE. Tourists from USA, Canada, Germany, UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Greece, Turkey, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Cyprus, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand can get a temporary local driving permit from the Administration of Dubai if they donít have an International License.

In both cases, visitors have to present their passport, two passport-size photographs and credit card to rent a car. Fully comprehensive insurance is also necessary. Be aware that drivers must be at least 21 years old and that driving in the UAE is on the right-hand side. Cars may also be rented with a driver.

There are a large number of local and international car-hire agencies that operate within and out of Dubai. The costs are not too expensive, around Dhs. 150-200 (US$ 41-54)per day and and Dhs. 850-1000 (US$ 232-272) per week (an additional payment of Dhs. 20 (US$ 6) per day for collision damage waiver is also available). The procedure to get the vehicle requires little paperwork. Tourists only have to check that the renting includes a full insurance and Salik (toll tax) for passing through certain roads.

Car Hire Companies
Avis : +971 4 224 5219
Budget : +971 4 224 5192
Fast Rent a Car : +971 4 224 5040
Dream Car Rentals : +971 4 398 7345
Discount : +971 4 338 9060
DiamondLease : +971 4 885 2211
Dubai Transp. Corporation : +971 4 264 1111

The cosmopolitan Dubai has a well-signposted road network and the majority of roads have two to four lanes with signs in English and Arabic. However, road traffic regulation is somewhat different to other places in the world, and this may be quite confusing to foreigners at beginning.

But the biggest problem of Dubai is the local drivers. Some people consider that driving in Dubai is an extreme sport because Dubaian drivers travel at high speed, change lanes suddenly and make dangerous maneuvers all the time. Accidents occur very often and tourists are advised to drive defensively.

Dubai has not too many car parks, but the two larger are placed in the cityís' centre, close to the Spice Souk and Bani Yas Square. The car parks are operated by Dubai Municipality and it cost is about Dhs. 2 (US$ 0.50) per hour.

Limousines are offered by moat of the car hire agencies and Dubai Transport Corporation. The fare from the airport is approximately Dhs. 70 (US$ 19), and a daily rent cost around Dhs. 1, 500 (US$ 409). Some hotels hire out bicycles, but it is not recommended because the design of the city and the harsh weather don't allow free bike traffic. There are a dedicated cycle track only in Al Mamzar, where visitors may biking.

Note that

  • Outside the cityís centre, signposts are unusual, making a road map indispensable.

  • Increasingly traffic congestion is a serious difficulty, mainly in Deira district and along Jumeirah Beach during morning and afternoon peak hours, when a trip across a bridge may take up to 30 minutes.

  • Most of the junction numbers of the principal roads are not in logical order. For example in Sheikh Zayed Rd, Junction 13 is just after 18.

  • Road names are frequently confusing with slight variations in spelling, due to transliteration from Arabic.

  • There is zero tolerance for alcohol and driving with hard penalties that includes jail and deportation.

  • There are various car parks for disabled drivers as well as many facilities at hotels, museums, shopping centers and offices; regulated by Dubaiís Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing.

  • The older parts of the city, with their souks, captivating architecture and museums, are best perceived on foot, but walking long distances during day produces dehydration and heatstroke.

Driving schools

Driving schools in Dubai

Driving schools teach driving, and road safety. In the driving schools directory you will find information about road safety, driving knowledge, vechicles and equipment. A driver training course, or hight-school driver education program approved by the provincial government can teach you the skills, and attitudes you need to be a safe, and responsible driver.

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