The UAE Traffic Rules and Regulations Explained

The traffic rules in the UAE are very different from those in other countries. Since it is a desert country, there are no roads or cars to hinder traffic. Here’s a quick guide on the rules and regulations of traffic in the UAE to follow when you rent a car in Dubai or in any other city in UAE:

Speed Limit

The speed limit on highways is either 50km/h or 80km/h depending on the type of road you are on. There are speed limit signs that mark your way through the city and tell you how fast you should be going so as not to get into trouble with the police or other drivers. Speeding fines start from 400 AED and increase to 2000 AED for speeding more than 80 km/hour over the set speed limit.

Pedestrians and Cyclists

There are also special signs for pedestrians and cyclists who have their own laws to follow when crossing intersections or roads. Cyclists must use a bell or horn when passing by cars, trucks etcetera, and pedestrians must also walk on sidewalks as opposed to walking in the middle of an intersection as this could cause an accident between cars or trucks and them.


Pedestrians have the right of way when crossing streets at crosswalks but they do not have this right if they are in a danger zone such as near construction sites or when driving a car near them.


In case of an accident, the police can confiscate your vehicle for 7 days if you don’t have insurance or Emiratrade coverage. If you’re on a rental car, it’ll be managed by your service provider. They have a special team that follows up on traffic violations such as speeding, reckless driving, and driving under the influence (DUI).

Damage It Due to Reckless Driving

The police will also confiscate your car if there is any damage to it due to public property reckless driving or fighting in public places like malls or restaurants. You will get it back after paying for its repair costs or replacement if it cannot be repaired within 15 days after being seized by police.

Driving License

All visitors from countries that do not have an agreement with the UAE have to obtain a temporary driving license upon arrival at Dubai International Airport or Abu Dhabi International Airport. This license allows you to drive for up to 30 days within these two cities only; after this period it expires and cannot be renewed until you return home again.

Left Hand Side Traffic

You must drive on the left-hand side of the road. The exceptions are for vehicles traveling through tunnels and underpasses, but even then you must drive on your right-hand side.

Overtake on Motorways

You are not allowed to overtake on motorways or dual carriageways except when passing another vehicle going in a single line (except if overtaking is necessary due to an emergency).

Parking on Pedestrian Crossings

You can’t park on pedestrian crossings, cycle paths, bus stops or near taxi ranks during working hours (7 am-9 pm Monday-Friday). Otherwise, there are no restrictions on parking at weekends and public holidays.

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