Driving in Abu Dhabi can be a totally different experience. In order to be able to drive in Abu Dhabi, you must have a valid driving license, but you do not have to be a resident of the country. If you are on a vacation to Abu Dhabi, you can rent and drive a car if you have an International Driving License from your country.
One of the pre-conditions for a driver’s license is that you should have a residence visa issued in any of the emirates. If you have a residence visa of one emirate but stay in another, you have to obtain a transfer form and then apply for a driver’s license. The minimum age for a driver’s license is 18 years for driving in Abu Dhabi.
The International Driving License which you hold is valid only till the date of obtaining the Residence Visa. You then need to apply for a U.A.E. driving license. Persons, who hold driving licenses from any of the GCC group (Gulf Cooperation Countries) or from selected countries, can obtain a U.A.E. driving license without taking any driving lessons or undergoing any tests. Only people desirous of staying in the U.A.E. need to obtain a U.A.E. driving license which will make them eligible for driving in Abu Dhabi.
Should you need to obtain the U.A.E. Driver’s License for driving in Abu Dhabi, the following conditions must be met:
• Persons who would like to transfer their driving license must be over 18 years old.
• They should hold a valid driver’s license.
• They should have a Residence Visa of the U.A.E.
• They should submit the duly filled license form with a passport size photograph, original passport with a photocopy, original driver’s license with a photocopy.
• 4 recent color photographs
• Letter of no objection from your work authority
• Eye Test Report
• Blood Group Report
• Fee of Dhs 200
• In case of non-GCC license, a letter from the Embassy or Consulate certifying the issue of the driver’s license.
• If the license is any other language other than English or Arabic, a translated copy duly certified by the Consulate or Embassy.
People desirous of driving in Abu Dhabi should obtain a U.A.E. Driving Permit, and would need to undergo driving lessons from authorized driving institutes as per their convenience. Later students will have to take a road test conducted by the Traffic Department. On successful completion of the driving tests, a Driving License is issued, which will enable you to start driving in Abu Dhabi. The Driver’s License has your digital photograph on it. Persons under 21 years of age are issued Driver’s License that is valid for one year and which has to be renewed annually. Persons over 21 years of age are issued Driving Licenses that are valid for 10 years. If a person fails three times in the road test, he is asked to go back to the driving school for more coaching and practice.
If you are driving in Abu Dhabi, drive carefully. Abu Dhabi likes you but not your speed and recklessness. So do take care of your safety as well as others safety.