Exploring the captivating streets of Dubai is a dream for many tourists and expats. This guide provides insights into the accepted international driver’s licenses, equipping you with all the necessary details for a hassle-free drive in the UAE’s centerpiece. Yet, before you embark on your adventure through this desert city, acquainting yourself with the local driving norms, especially regarding international driver’s licenses, is paramount. Numerous countries from continents like Asia, Africa, America, Europe, and Oceania have their driver’s licenses recognized in the UAE.
Accepted driver’s licenses in Dubai
Dubai recognizes driver’s licenses from several countries for direct transfer without requiring a road test, assuming the holder is above 19 years of age and their license is valid. Here is an updated list of recognized countries. You can use Ctrl+F on a keyboard or if you are using your mobile phone, you can use the “Find in page…” browser’s tool to find your country faster.
Austria, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada (Quebec), China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands (Holland), New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom(UK), United States of America (USA).
Additionally, licenses from certain GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries were also recognized.
If you hold a driver’s license from one of these countries, you typically don’t need an International Driving Permit (IDP) for short-term visits or to rent a car in Dubai, UAE.
However, as administrative decisions and agreements change over time, this list may be expanded or modified. Always check with the RTA’s official guidelines or consult a UAE embassy or consulate in your country before making any decisions. The RTA website of Dubai can provide the most updated information.
Getting an IDP(international driving permit) as a visitor to the UAE
If you are a visitor in the UAE and you possess a valid driving license from your home country, you may want to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) to facilitate driving in other countries during or after your visit to the UAE. Generally, it’s recommended to get the IDP in your home country before you travel. However, if you find yourself needing an IDP while in the UAE, here’s what you might consider:
Reach out to the relevant authority or automobile association in your home country that issues IDPs. Some countries might allow you to apply for an IDP online or through mail even when you’re abroad.
In some cases, your home country’s embassy or consulate in the UAE might assist in the IDP application process or provide guidance on how to obtain it while abroad.
The ATCUAE is the official body that issues IDPs in the UAE. Although they primarily cater to UAE residents, they might offer guidance or have exceptions for visitors. It’s worth reaching out to them to discuss your situation.
SAADATRENT as a top-tier company in the UAE, offers to rent a car in Dubai with foreign driving licenses. If you’re primarily looking to drive in the UAE, check with their customer support to see if your existing license is accepted.
Remember, the primary purpose of the IDP is to act as a translation and validation of your original driving license. It’s not a standalone driving permit, so you’ll always need to present it with your original license.
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