Expatriates with valid residence visas who drive using driving
licences issued in their home countries will be prosecuted.
As per Federal Traffic law number 21 for 1995, amended by Law No.12
for 2007 — Article No.51, individuals who drive without obtaining
valid driving licences or are found to be driving categories of
vehicles not specified in their licences will be jailed and fined.
You can drive in UAE with a licence from these 36 countries
Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland,
France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait,
Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar,
Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,
Turkey, United Kingdom, United States. (Please call RTA on 8009090 for
any changes to this list)
Driving licence holders of some countries in the above list will
require translations or consulate letters. These countries include:
Canada: A letter from the Canadian Consulate in Dubai to verify
that the licence is genuine is required
Driving licence holders from Greece, Cyprus, Poland, Turkey, Japan and
South Korea will require a translation of their driving licence from
their respective consulates.
Driving License Validity (new rule from
The validity of new driving license in the country has been set to two
years for citizens, GCC nationals and other nationalities aged 21
years and above.
Licence renewal validity shall be 10 years for UAE citizens and GCC
nationals and five for non-citizens from other nationalities.
For those aged less than 21 years, be it citizens, GCC nationals or
other nationalities, the initial validity of the driver license
issued, replaced or renewed shall be one year.
Why drivers fail Dubai Road Test?
Fear of failure and nervousness are the main causes of drivers not
passing the road test, a senior licensing official at the Roads and
Transport Authority (RTA) said.
“Behaviour of the driver on road is crucial. The examiner will see
whether the driver is safe for other road users or whether he is a
threat to their safety,” he added.
However, apart from psychological and behavioural aspects there are
major aspects of driving that a driver has to follow to obtain a
There are five major criteria and if a candidate fails to fulfil even
one of those, then he is stopped from driving immediately. One of
these five is “failure to stop at red light, stop sign or stop line”.
“The most important thing to look for on the road is not how you drive
but how you stop, that matters the most. If you fail to stop where you
are required then you are gone,” Surprisingly, failure to stop at
signals is among the most common mistakes.
“This is common among experienced drivers, those who already have a
licence from other countries. What they do is they see the road open
and they go, because they carry their habits from their prior
experience and it is difficult to change old habits,” he explained.
The other major mistakes are not adhering to traffic signs like
entering a no-entry zone or yellow box, lack of vehicle control and
failure to ensure the road, lane or roundabout is clear before
Apart from control and confidence of the driver, examiners generally
look for adherence of rules and there are 16 things among these minor
rules that need to be taken care of.
If a candidate takes care of at least 12 of the 16 minor criteria then
he will succeed. These are pre-drive checks, mirrors and observation,
signals, lane change, overtaking, approach, stop position, judgement,
left turn, movement on roundabout and U-turn, right turn, progress and
speed, position on road gear use, safety margin, parking in and out.
“Drivers learn these rules during theory classes and road training,
but it is important to implement these rules or adhere to them. Young
drivers, who are driving for the first time, learn better and adhere
to rules better, that’s why they have a better pass rate,” he said.
To pass, the driver has to clear at least 12 of these 16 steps apart
from five major points that need to be adhered to.
“If a person drives well throughout his test but commits one major
mistake at the end of the test then he will fail,” he stated.
Expatriates of any nationality residing in any one of the GCC
countries and visiting the UAE are also allowed to drive using their
GCC driving licence.