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Essential Things to Know When Renting a Car in Dubai

Car in Dubai

Dubai’s Driving Laws and Regulations

Dubai is a dynamic city that attracts millions of visitors each year, and renting a car can be an excellent way to navigate its vibrant streets and explore its many attractions. However, before you embark on your adventure, it’s essential to familiarise yourself with the city’s driving laws and regulations to ensure a smooth and hassle-free rental experience.

Driving License Requirements

To rent a car in Dubai, you must possess a valid driving license from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP). It’s important to note that the minimum driving age in Dubai is 18 years old for UAE residents and 21 years old for tourists. Ensure that you meet the age requirements and have the necessary documentation before booking a rental car.

Understanding Traffic Rules

Dubai has well-maintained roads and an efficient transportation system. However, it’s crucial to understand the local traffic rules to ensure your safety and avoid any legal issues. Some key regulations include driving on the right-hand side of the road, wearing seat belts at all times, and adhering to the specified speed limits. It’s also important to avoid using a mobile phone while driving, as it is strictly prohibited and can result in hefty fines.

Choosing the Right Car Rental Company

Selecting a reliable and reputable car rental company is crucial to ensure a pleasant rental experience. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing a car rental company in Dubai:

Research and Comparisons

Do thorough research and compare prices, rental policies, and customer reviews from different car rental companies in Dubai. This will help you find a company that offers competitive rates, excellent customer service, and well-maintained vehicles.

Rental Policies and Insurance

Carefully review the rental policies, terms, and conditions of the car rental company. Check whether the rental fee includes insurance coverage, what the insurance covers, and if there are any additional charges or deductibles in case of an accident or damage. It’s advisable to opt for comprehensive insurance to have peace of mind during your rental period.

Vehicle Inspection and Documentation

Before accepting the rental car, thoroughly inspect it for any pre-existing damage and ensure that all existing damages are documented in writing or through photographs. This will help avoid any disputes regarding responsibility for damages upon returning the vehicle.

Road Etiquette and Parking

Understanding the road etiquette and parking regulations in Dubai is essential to ensure a smooth driving experience:

Lane Discipline

Maintain lane discipline and avoid sudden lane changes. Use indicators while changing lanes, and remember to give way to emergency vehicles and public transport.

Parking Regulations

Dubai has strict parking regulations, and it’s important to familiarise yourself with the designated parking zones, payment methods, and timings. Illegally parked vehicles may be subject to fines or towing.

Salik (Toll) System

Dubai operates a Salik system, which is an automated toll collection system. Some roads and bridges in Dubai are equipped with Salik gates, and a fee is deducted from your account each time you pass through. Check with the car rental company if the vehicle is equipped with a Salik tag and understand how the charges are managed.

Fuel Stations and Emergency Services

Lastly, it’s essential to know where to find fuel stations and be aware of emergency services in Dubai:

Fuel Stations

Dubai has an extensive network of fuel stations that offer both full-service and self-service options. Familiarise yourself with the location of nearby fuel stations and be aware of the type of fuel your rental car requires.

Emergency Services

Save important contact numbers, such as emergency services (999), roadside assistance provided by the car rental company, and the nearest police station, in case of any emergencies or accidents.


In conclusion, renting a car in Dubai can provide you with the freedom and flexibility to explore the city and its surroundings at your own pace. By understanding the driving laws, choosing the right car rental company, familiarising yourself with road etiquette and parking regulations, and knowing where to find fuel stations and emergency services, you can have a smooth and enjoyable car rental experience in this captivating city. So, buckle up, follow the rules, and embark on an unforgettable journey through Dubai’s dazzling streets.