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Travel & Tourism

Dubai Driving: Learning the hard way

Creative Commons/Ryan Lackey
Creative Commons/Ryan Lackey
If you are new to Dubai you may be a bit bewildered and a bit confused at first, trying to figure out the traffic rules in Dubai. Owing to the large number of nationalities, a lot of driving styles are witnessed in Dubai, from safe to average, to downright reckless.
Dubai has one of the highest per capita road deaths in the world. Tolerance level for driving with alcohol is zero and can result in jail and deportation. Seemingly rude hand gestures may land you in court or even jail. While westerners may find the roads chaotic, people from the Asian countries and the Gulf find them organized. A black points system and fines for certain offences operate to ensure safe driving conditions in Dubai. The offender earns black points according to the seriousness of the traffic violation and the driving licence is confiscated for a number of days in keeping with the black points earned. For serious offences like jumping a red light, driving without a seatbelt and failing to produce a valid licence you may need to pay fines on the spot in cash or card swipes. For other offences you can pay the fine online at Dubai police website. Garages and repair centres will not do any kind of repairs and restoration work without the issuance of an accident report from the Dubai Traffic Police. Minor dents and scratches will be repaired without a report.

Defensive and alert driving is required in Dubai to avoid a mishap. Drivers need to watch out for pedestrians darting across the road, appearing from nowhere. You may suddenly find your car being barred by a camel on roads outside the city. While it may seem humorous, crashing into one can cost you a fortune. You will not be, let go lightly, as camels are very expensive in Arab Emirates. Other animals you might encounter are stray dogs, goats and donkeys, though crashing into them may not incur heavy losses on your bank account.

If you are still not sure of driving in Dubai you can always rent a car in Dubai along with an experienced driver!

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