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12 Things To Know When Driving in Dubai
Tamsila AliOct 21, 2022 8 min read

Driving in Dubai: 12 Key Points to Remember


Dubai is an ideal place to pursue careers or grow businesses and this is the main reason behind the high percentage of expatriates in the city. The diverse and high population of the city is the cause of the highest car ratio in Dubai, it makes driving in Dubai more demanding than driving in most other cities in the world. There is basically the concept of peak hours as roads remain crowded throughout the day. So we can say that driving in Dubai is very challenging.

Staying calm at all times despite the erratic driving of others is a perfect solution. There are some very erratic driving styles on the roads that need to be avoided. We are going to share the 12 important facts about driving in Dubai.

1: Distance

Safe Distance while drivingMany drivers do not keep a safe distance Remember the rule of three seconds, always stay three seconds behind the front car. This adjusts for speed. You will find that you have left a safe space.

There are many crashes on Dubai roads and traffic comes to a complete standstill usually on both sides of the roads- the gawpers on the other side cause tailback there too. But always remember, it’s actually to take care not to gawp too long.

2: The Hand Gestures

Hand Gestures during drivingMany hand gestures in the UAE are highly offensive and are punishable by fines or prison sentences. Never be tempted to give the finger, the vs point, or anything that could be misconstrued in any way. The same goes for swearing too- never ever swear at anyone in the UAE.


3: Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs is a Criminal Offense

According to the newly amended traffic law in the UAE, driving under the influence of drugs is a criminal offense. Always keep in your mind that there are radars and cameras on all main major roads in Dubai to track any reckless driving behavior. Other than these road monitoring devices patrolling by Dubai Police leaves no margin for anyone to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs without any notice. You can be caught on the spot and sent to jail immediately.


4. Visibility

Cars with dark windows will have very bad peripheral vision at night so make sure you allow for this. Many drivers do not use to put their headlights on, driver believes if they can see the road that they don’t have to need the lights, and other drivers can see them! So visibility,  driving conditions like nighttime driving, and driving in case of fog can create trouble for drivers and can also create the chances of dangerous road accidents. Drivers should, keep the headlights on their vehicles and should be turned on at all times when visibility on the road is significantly low. There are chances to bear heavy fines if you are caught by traffic police or by the traffic monitoring radars.

5: You Cannot Overtake A Vehicle From The Right Side

You Cannot Overtake A Vehicle From The Right SideDubai follows the right-hand driving rule so overtaking from the right-hand side is not allowed and it will be considered a traffic violation if anyone breaks the rule they will pay a fine or penalties. Drivers should know that they can only overtake from the left side in Dubai.

You cannot overtake a vehicle from the right side


6:  You Will Be Charged The Fine If You Are Driving Below The Speed Limit

You Cannot Overtake A Vehicle From The Right SideOn the various roads of Dubai, where speed limits are relatively higher, driving too slow can also be penalized by the traffic police. Driving too slow can disrupt the flow of traffic and it can be caused by dangerous accidents. There is a minimum and maximum speed limit set for every road in Dubai, so motorists should be aware of the speed limits and drive accordingly.

7:  Car Reversing Appeals To Serious Attention

Car Reversing Appeals To Serious AttentionReversing a car is very challenging for drivers even for the most experienced drivers as well. The hurdles can be increased, even more, if the right approach for reversing a car is not adopted. You cannot just reverse your car easily without using the back camera or the rear-view mirrorAny confused or unsafe car reversing practice can be detected by traffic monitoring cameras and drivers can be charged with heavy penalties. In order to reverse a vehicle safely, you should always check the road or the parking space from the rear-view mirror/back camera and make sure that there is enough space for you to reverse your car safely.

8: To Understand The Different Navigation Signs on The Roads

To Understand The Different Navigation Signs on The RoadsWhile driving in Dubai, you can find several navigation signboards which are helping drivers to reach different destinations without losing their way. If you know and can understand the signs properly, memorizing the navigations by signboard colors can be useful and helpful.

9: Placing Stickers On A Vehicle Without Permission

Placing stickers on a vehicle without permission might be allowed in many countries, but in Dubai, it’s not allowed and is banned. But with the permission of authorities might be allowed to place any sticker or anything in writing for the purpose of advertisement, but without any permission, you cannot place a sticker or write anything on your car as it will be considered a legal offense across the UAE. Additionally, you cannot paste a “car for sale advertisement” on your vehicle as that too is not allowed in Dubai.

10: Road Hazards

Road hazardThere are some road hazards as well, so be careful mostly Camels and goats are found on the roads outside of Dubai. you should always be conscious and fully concentrate on your driving.

Slow right down if you see camels or goats on the side of the road, they can move suddenly and are very heavy, they can hit and this accident can be caused death, severe injury, or car damage. If you kill a camel with your car you will also have to pay the owner blood money as camels are very valuable here. You should try and warn other road users by using your hazard lights if slowing right down and also flashing your headlights at oncoming traffic if you have passed a camel in the dark to give them a warning.

Lorries and trucks can often shed or drop some of their loads- so there has been everything from potatoes, and tomatoes to microwave ovens littering the roads of Dubai at some points over the years- again just keep aware of the road ahead to give yourself enough time to react to anything on the road surface that shouldn’t be there!

driving in dubai

11: Never Throw Waste Material From Vehicles Onto The Roads

_NeverThrowWasteMaterialFromVehiclesOntoTheRoadsIt is mandatory to know that you are driving in Dubai, where traffic authorities and municipal corporations have launched different rules and initiatives to keep Dubai clean, and because of the specific rules, Dubai is one of the cleanest and pollution-free cities in the world. If you are caught throwing waste material from your car onto the road, you will get 24 black points in a year, your driving license will be revoked for 12 months and you will be banned from driving any car in the UAE.

12: Indicating

The use of indicators is randomly found here, although the police do have crackdowns- especially on the trucks so there has been some improvement. So don’t rely on the fact that someone is indicating means they are going to move or that they are not moving if not indicating.


Question 1. What should be the minimum safe distance between cars while driving in Dubai?

A.The minimum safe distance recommended between cars is three seconds. This means always maintaining a gap that allows you to stay three seconds behind the car in front of you. This rule adjusts for speed and helps prevent collisions, especially in heavy traffic conditions common in Dubai.

Question 2. Are hand gestures considered offensive while driving in Dubai?

A.Yes, many hand gestures in Dubai are highly offensive and can result in fines or even prison sentences. Gestures such as giving the finger or swearing can be misconstrued and are punishable offenses. Drivers should avoid making any offensive gestures to ensure they adhere to local laws and maintain decorum.

Question 3. What are the penalties for driving under the influence of drugs in Dubai?

ADriving under the influence of drugs is a serious crime in Dubai. The updated traffic laws in the UAE have severe punishments for this, including immediate arrest and jail time.

The city employs numerous radars, cameras, and police patrols to monitor and apprehend violators swiftly.

Question 4. Is overtaking from the right side allowed in Dubai?

A.No, overtaking from the right side is not allowed in Dubai and is considered a traffic violation. Drivers must overtake from the left side only, in accordance with the city's right-hand driving rules. Violating this rule can result in fines and penalties.

Question 5. Are there fines for driving below the speed limit in Dubai?

A.Yes, driving below the speed limit can also incur fines in Dubai.Driving too slowly on roads with higher speed limits can mess up traffic and cause dangerous situations. So, it’s important for drivers to know and follow the minimum and maximum speed limits on each road.


Driving in Dubai can be tough because of the heavy traffic, different driving styles, and strict traffic rules. To drive safely, it's important to stay calm, keep a safe distance from other cars, avoid making rude gestures, stick to the speed limits, and follow the rules for overtaking.

Additionally, understanding the serious implications of driving under the influence and the importance of visibility can prevent accidents and legal issues. By being aware of and respecting these driving norms and laws, drivers can navigate Dubai's roads more safely and effectively.