Driving in Dubai can be quite an experience full of emotions. Highways with 6 or more lanes, sports cars passing you on both sides and vans full of workers who seem to be disarming at any moment. In addition, at peak times, a journey of just over 20 minutes can take more than an hour and a half. And we say this from our own experience. But driving surrounded by skyscrapers is priceless. We consider it essential to rent a car and drive in Dubai .
The distances between the main points of interest to see in Dubai are enormous and the car gives you the freedom and the possibility of reaching each of them. It even allows you to visit Abu Dhabi and the extraordinary Sheikh Zayed Mosque ( click here to read the post).
The first time you get into a car in Dubai, especially if you are not an experienced driver, it can be a negative experience. The city center is a very busy area, especially at peak times with traffic jams of several kilometers. The city of Dubai has an excellent road network , where all of them have a minimum of 2 or 3 lanes in each direction. Sheikh Zayed Road is the main road, the one that crosses the city from north to south and reaches neighboring Abu Dhabi. Driving is on the right , speed limits are clear and strict, there is zero tolerance for alcohol on the road, and gasoline is very cheap. On my traveling side We bring you several tips for driving in Dubai, an experience different from doing it in any other European city.
DRIVING IN DUBAI
Requirements for driving in Dubai
To drive in Dubai you need to be over 21 , more than a year old with a driving license, own a credit card and passport . For high-end cars like if you Rent ferrari Dubai, they usually require being over 25 years old and a credit card with a higher limit. You should always carry your international driving license with you, in case you are stopped . And we advise you to also carry your national driving license.
Tolls in Dubai
Dubai has an automatic toll system called Salik . This payment system saves a lot of time on the road and makes driving in Dubai easier. When you rent the car at the Rent a Car office, it will have a sticker linked to your credit card . When driving along the toll roads (there are few and they are signposted before joining them) you will pass under some large arches that Salik will put up. It’s the Dubai toll system. When you pass under each arch, the amount of 5 dirhams (€ 1.25) will be charged to the card previously authorized in the rental company. Do not worry about the amount, there is a maximum limit per day. A few days ago we received the charge to our card for the 5 days that we have recently spent in Dubai and it was just over € 10.
Traffic in Dubai
Dubai is a city where most people travel by car. The enormous distances in the city practically force you to do so. It is advisable to avoid driving at these times (8 am-10am and 4 pm-6pm) .
How to drive in Dubai
Getting lost in the city, even when everything is perfectly signposted, is the order of the day. We rarely get to our destination the first time. The signs on the roads of Dubai are written in Arabic and English, and it is perfectly understood. The problem came from being on roads with 3 or more lanes. This makes you lose a lot of time until you manage to turn around.
Where to park your car in Dubai
Most hotels offer free parking for their guests. Depending on the hotel and the category, they usually have valet parking also free. It works the same as in Spain, using coin-operated parking meters placed on the sidewalk. Don’t do like us, we never had coins for the parking meter. There are also numerous areas where parking is completely free. For example, on La Mer beach, both times we were parked on the beachfront completely free. However, at JBR beach, underground parking costs € 5 an hour. If you want advice, don’t worry about parking in Dubai, it’s simpler and cheaper than it might seem.