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How to Get a Driving License in Dubai

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All of us in Dubai have dreams of cruising down Sheikh Zayed Road with the top down. There is just one thing standing in your way; the lack of a UAE driving license.

Wait… how hard can it be to get your license? Well, very hard.

Getting your license in Dubai is certainly a daunting task – there are many steps involved, you have to choose the right driving school and package, make sure you meet the minimum required hours, and most importantly, ensure you do everything right at the exam or risk failing!

Thinking of getting your license? If so, you have come to the right place! We have the complete guide that will help you get your license in record time minus all the hassle.

What documents do you need?

You will first need to decide where you want to enroll for driving lessons in Dubai. There are five authorized driving schools and they offer group lessons, private driving lessons in Dubai, and VIP driving lessons in Dubai.

  • Al Ahli Driving School
    • Contact number: 043411500
    • Has 10 branches in Dubai
  • Dubai Driving Center
    • Contact number: 043455855
    • Has 13 branches in Dubai
  • Emirates Driving Institute
    • Contact number: 042631100
    • Has 53 branches and shopping mall kiosks in Dubai
  • Belhasa Driving School
    • Contact number: 043243535
    • Has 18 branches in Dubai
  • Galadari Driving School
    • Contact number: 042676166
    • Has 14 branches in Dubai

There isn’t much of a difference in quality so your decision will depend on the price and ease of access. All the driving schools offer different packages at varying price points so if you are looking for cheap driving lessons in Dubai, it is worth shopping a bit before making a decision.

To register at any one of the driving schools, you will need the following documents.

  • A copy of your passport
  • Original Emirates ID
  • Eye examination receipt
  • 5 passport sized photos
  • No objection certificate from your sponsor

Qualifications

Qualifications

If you do not have prior driving experience or do not possess a driving license from the list of countries (listed below) you will need to go for driving lessons.

The countries are:

Sweden, Greece, Belgium, Slovakia, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Korea, Latvia, Japan, Portugal, Ireland, Romania, Austria, South Africa, China, Poland, Turkey, Norway, New Zealand, Lithuania, Serbia, Finland, Canada, Luxembourg, Singapore, Hong Kong, UK, Australia, Spain, United States of America

According to driving license requirements in Dubai, the minimum age to get a license is eighteen, although you will be restricted to a probationary drivers license in Dubai till you turn 21. You can start your driving lessons six months before your 18th birthday and work towards getting your driving license in Dubai when you turn 18.

Procedure

The journey to securing your drivers license in Dubai begins by signing up at one of the authorized driving schools and opening an RTA file. You have the choice of manual or automatic transmission but keep in mind that choosing the latter will make you ineligible for manual vehicles.

P.S: Some driving schools offer packages that cover unlimited attempts but as you might expect, they cost a lot more. If you feel you may fail a few exams, this is a good option. Moreover, there are frequent driving license Dubai offers that significantly bring down costs.

As I mentioned above, you will need your passport (both the original and a copy), a no objection certificate from the employer and five passport sized photos. In addition to that, you will need your eyes examined at an optician or clinic. Be sure to take two passport photos and inform the clinic that this eye test is for the driving license conversion. Some do the test for free but others will charge a small fee. Alternatively, check if the driving school has its opticians on-site which can help speed up the process. The receipt of this test should be submitted to the driving school.

Your training begins with theory lectures. You must take these lessons for eight hours before you can get behind the wheel for practical lessons.

You can take the theory test at any of the five authorized driving schools. Take your Emirates ID, two passport photos, and the driving file. Oh, and Dh 200 for the test.

There are thirty five questions on the exam that focus on road signals and rules, hazards and regulations on safe driving. For now, this exam is available in Arabic, English, or Urdu but the government has promised to include more in the future.

About the exam; the first 17 of the 35 questions are on general traffic scenarios and you have to answer at least 11 correctly to pass. The other eighteen questions are dependent on the license you apply and you need to answer 12 right to pass.

From 2015 onwards, a new test called Risks Recognition Test has been added where you are shown videos of specific situations and asked how you will handle the situation safely.

P.S: if you have enrolled for 20 or 30 lessons, you will have to sit for a pre evaluation exam.

Once you successfully complete the theory test (and the pre evaluation test if it applies to you), you can start your practical lessons.

The number of lessons you take depends on your previous experience.

If you don’t possess a driving license (from any country) you are required to take 40 practical lessons. If you have a license that is between 2 to 5 years old, you can sit for 30 lessons. If your license is over 5 years, you are required to do only 20 lessons. However, should you wish, you can always take more lessons.

Once you have completed the mandatory practical lessons, you can book the RTA parking exam and assessment exam. Once the latter has been cleared, you will train on Dubai’s highways before the final road test.

On the day of the final road exam, go to the location with the passport, driving file, and two photos. Complete the application form and pay Dh 200 for the exam fee.

Your name will be called up and you should go to the designated car with the RTA inspector and three other candidates. If you fail this exam, you have to go back to the driving school, enroll for a minimum of four lessons and repeat the exam.

On the other hand, if you pass, take the approval paper and submit it to the pass counter with your Emirates ID and Dh 100 to collect the test file. Submit the test file to the Control Counter. After the documents are processed, pay the fee and you will receive your driving license in Dubai. You are now eligible to drive anywhere in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates! (yay!!)

A quick rundown of the Dubai driving license fees:

  • For 40 classes
    • Admin Fees + Lecture Fees + Assessments = Dh 2600 to 3800 (depending on the driving school, class timings, and vehicle types)
    • For 30 classes = Dh 2000 to 3000
  • 30 classes
    • Admin Fees + Lecture Fees + Assessments = Dh 2600 to 3800 (depending on the driving school, class timings, and vehicle types)
    • For 30 classes = Dh 1500 to 2000
  • 20 classes
    • Admin Fees + Lecture Fees + Assessments = Dh 2600 to 3800 (depending on the driving school, class timings, and vehicle types)
    • For 20 classes = Dh 1000 to 1300

Transfer your current lessons

How to transfer your current lessons

If you are from one of the countries mentioned above, you can simply do a Dubai license transfer for a small fee.

Keep in mind that the UAE requires verification letters or translated copies (by the respective consulates) from some countries on the list.

For example, Canadians need to provide a confirmation document from the Canadian Consulate in Dubai proving the document is genuine while license holders from Greece, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Cyprus, and Poland should have their driving license translated from their embassies.

To complete a driving license Dubai transfer, you should possess the driving license from the country issued, a Dubai residence visa, a completed transfer form and a letter of no objection from your sponsor.

Here are the steps you should take to transfer your foreign driver’s license to a Dubai driving license.

Step 1: Get your eyes tested

The first step is to have your eyes tested. The process is described above.

Visit-the-driving-center

Step 2: Visit the driving center

Take your passport (a copy as well as the original), residency visa, eye examination results and at least five passport photos. The transfer fee and new driving file will cost you in the range of Dh 900. A breakdown of the cost is given below.

  • Dh 200 to open a new file,
  • Dh 600 for the new license
  • Dh 50 for the handbook manual
  • Dh 20 for the knowledge and innovation fees

P.S: If you are a lady, use the ladies section. It is less crowded and quicker!