Trips to the UAE are a popular choice for those wanting to holiday in the Middle East. With shimmering skyscrapers towering above the mosques and palaces, there’s a rich urban culture. It’s the perfect place to holiday for those with a love for retail therapy and taste of luxury.
The most popular place to stay tends to be Dubai, where the fabulous hotels boast a solid five stars. It’s an exotic paradise with miles upon miles of gorgeous sandy beaches – which are the perfect places to relax.
What are the roads like the UAE?
The UAE generally has a modern road system and while the majority of roads are in good condition, it’s worth considering other factors that may cause hazards, such as sand drifting onto the road.
How will I find drivers in the UAE?
The standard of driving in the UAE is generally pretty poor. Speeding along with dangerous driving, under-cutting and sudden lane changes are common on the motorways. Generally drivers are not particularly disciplined when it comes to following rules of the road.
Aggressive drivers are also commonly found here, it’s worth being aware that some aggressive drivers may tail you, flashing their lights indicating that they want to pass you. It’s also common to use the hard-shoulder to overtake, even though this is actually illegal.
What are the best times to drive?
It’s generally a good idea to avoid rush-hour traffic where possible. Rush-hour tends to last from around 6.30am – 8am in the morning and starts around 6pm in the evening. These vary depending on where you are staying, but it’s typically a good idea to drive once the traffic dies down.
What are the driving laws?
There is zero tolerance for driving whilst under the influence of alcohol, which means no matter how small an amount of alcohol you’ve consumed, it is illegal to drive. The penalty for drink driving includes jail sentences and hefty fines, so it’s advisable to have none for the road.
It is compulsory to wear seatbelts in both front and rear seats of the vehicle.
If you have an accident in the UAE, the law states that you must remain at the scene until the authorities arrive. In Abu Dhabi, if no one has been hurt and there isn’t much damage to the vehicle, then both vehicles should be moved to the side of the road. In Dubai, only move your vehicle if it is causing an obstruction.
You cannot use a mobile handset for calls, texts or internet while driving as this is against the law. It is recommended to use a hands-free kit if you want to speak on your mobile phone whilst driving.
Many roads have toll systems to reduce serious congestion issues. Prepaid toll tags can be purchased both at banks and petrol stations, and the amount of AED 4 is deducted from your account each time you pass through a toll.
You cannot park where a curb is painted black and yellow.
Unmarked speed bumps are common on inter-city highways so approach with caution.