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Drive in the UAE. Info, roads signs, speed limits, parking, documents, rules

Drive in the UAE

Drive in the UAE could be simpler than one might think. With the appropriate precautions. Here, below, some information, and advice, useful before getting behind the wheel.


In the country you drive to the right and you pass on the left. This is the general rule but, often, chaos exists. Drivers are well known for their unruly, dangerous and signal-free driving and speed limits. The use of radar on major arterial roads, such as the E11, has only partially reduced accidents. The mortality rate here is among the highest!


The advice is to drive rental cars exclusively. You will avoid bureaucracy and extra documents. After all, a trip on the road starting from Europe would be too long. For those wishing to rent a car and drive in the United Arab Emirates, a driver’s license will be sufficient in their own country, and a minimum age of 21 years.


Drive in the UAE

Photo ©, Imre Solt

The country has a very valid road network connecting the main cities. Our advice is to avoid private travel in desert areas, but to limit yourself to the northern coastal strip and, in particular, along the area from Abu Dhabi to Dubai. Right here, the E11 motorway runs, the most important of the whole country.

With a length of over 550 kilometers, the E11 is the most used highway in the entire Arab world. The road crosses the main cities and Emirates such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm al-Quwain, Ras al-Khaimah. We recommend to drive in the UAE, exclusively on this stretch and some major highways. These are identified by a signal with a blue background and the letter E followed by a number. Generally, some sections are paid.

The road signs are all in double Arabic and English.


Unless otherwise indicated, the speed limits on the Arab roads and motorways are as follows:

  • 60 km/h on urban roads and cities.
  • 80 km/h on the national roads.
  • 120 km/h on the highway.


The price of fuel is lower than in Europe and the United States. Distributors in large cities are quite numerous.

In Dubai, and in the main locations, you can park in dedicated areas. It is advisable to respect the parking time and avoid leaving the car in the forbidden areas. The fines are salty!

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