Renting a Car in Dubai: What You Should Know about Driving in the UAE

December 15, 2021
Advice, Automotive

Dubai seems made for driving, and many tourists come to the city specifically to enjoy its excellent roads, lenient speed limits and relatively low car rental rates. In particular, luxury car rental in Dubai is pretty cheap by international standards, which gives you a chance to enjoy a comfortable spin around the city of wealth at comparatively low costs.

However, there are some things you should know about driving in the UAE if you want to have a safe and pleasant driving experience here. These include local traffic rules and general car rental terms in this country. Our intention in this article is to provide you with the essential information concerning car rental and driving in the Emirates so that you can prepare well for the most fantastic holiday in Dubai.

Traffic Rules

  1. You must be at least 21 years old and have a driver’s license to rent a car and drive in this country. Local traffic authorities recognise driver’s licenses from a long list of countries, and the chances are you will be able to rent a car here with yours too. Car rental agencies and police officers will care more about your visa, and you should always have your passport with you to confirm your legal status in the country.
  2. You will also have to obtain car insurance before renting a car here as the traffic rules in the UAE strictly forbid driving without it. Some agencies will offer you basic coverage, but it will not be enough to meet legal requirements. The required amount will depend on the type of car you rent, but AED5,000 will be fine for most models, although they might ask for up to AED10,000 in the case of convertible sports cars.
  3. There are many toll gates in the UAE, especially in Dubai, and you will have to have a special prepaid Salik card to pass some of them. Using a Salik card is, actually, cheaper than paying by credit card or in cash anyway, so you may as well get one as soon as you come to the country and have it with you at all times, just in case.
  4. Apart from that, remember that they drive on the right in this country, and the road signs are in kilometres, not miles. That might take some time for you to get used to, depending on your country of origin. The speed limits to expect in most cases are, in kilometres per hour:
  • 40 to 60 within the city areas
  • 100 on the freeways
  • 140 on the highways (a lovely bonus!)
  • Not less than 60 on some designated roads
  1. Since it is a Muslim country, drunken driving can land you in huge trouble here. The UAE traffic regulations do not stipulate a minimal level of alcohol in your blood, and a glass of beer will be enough to ruin your holiday in the case of an unforeseen contact with the police.

Rental Terms

  1. There are plenty of car rental agencies in Dubai, and the price list is quite competitive compared with big cities in other countries. However, the range is broad as well, and you should search for the right agency carefully so that you can avoid unnecessary expenses and hidden charges. Visit the companies’ websites to read their terms and conditions, and do not hesitate to ask their customer support whatever questions you might have.
  2. In particular, you should enquire whether the agency owns the vehicles in its fleet. Many of them don’t, renting the cars from other companies and subletting them to their customers at an additional charge instead. An agency that owns its fleet can afford to offer you much better rates, and you can even rent a Dodge Сhallengerfor as little as AED500 in that case.
  3. You will also have to leave a deposit of AED3,000 to AED5,000, depending on the agency and the car model. Plus, the rental price will not include the petrol, parking fees, traffic fines and 5% VAT.


You can rent an excellent luxury car for a comparatively low price and have an unforgettable driving experience in Dubai, provided you find the right agency, have all the necessary documents with you and observe a few simple traffic rules. We hope our article will help you prepare for a delightful and hassle-free drive in the most enigmatic city in the Middle East.

Featured Photo by Tesson Thaliath on Unsplash