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What country licenses are accepted in the UAE while visiting Dubai?

If you are planning a visit to Dubai, you should know that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has strict rules when it comes to driving. Any driver wishing to rent a car in Dubai must have a valid international driving license or a UAE-recognized national license. This is necessary to be able to drive legally and safely on the roads of Dubai. The good news is there are several countries whose licenses are accepted by the UAE as valid for driving in the country.

Why do you need a license while visiting Dubai?

Visiting Dubai is an exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s important to be aware of the laws and regulations in place that you must abide by while visiting. One such regulation is obtaining a valid license for traveling by car or motorcycle in the UAE. 

To drive legally in Dubai, visitors must hold a valid driver’s license issued by their home country. However, not all foreign licenses are accepted in the UAE, so it’s important to check ahead of time whether your home country’s license will be sufficient for driving during your visit. 

List of Driving Licenses from Countries Valid In UAE

Below is a list of countries whose driving licenses are recognized in the UAE:

Australia:

Australian driver’s license holders are permitted to drive in the UAE for up to 6 months. After this period they must obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) or local driver’s license if they plan on staying longer than 6 months. 

Austria:

Austrian driver’s license holders are allowed to drive vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes within the UAE on a short-term basis with an International Driving Permit (IDP). If staying for more than 6 months, a local driver’s license should be obtained instead. 

Belgium:

Belgium driver’s license holders can use their original license while driving in Dubai for up to 6 months without needing an International Driving Permit (IDP). However, those staying longer than 6 months may need to apply for a local driver’s license instead. 

Canada:

Canadian citizens can use their original license when driving in Dubai for up to 6 months without needing an International Driving Permit (IDP). Those residing in the country beyond that time frame must apply for a local driver’s license instead. 

France:

French nationals can drive vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes within the UAE on a short-term basis with an International Driving Permit (IDP). If staying longer than 6 months, a local driver’s license should be obtained instead. 

Germany:

German citizens visiting Dubai require their original license as well as an International Driving Permit (IDP) if they intend to drive vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes within the UAE on a short-term basis. For stays over 6 months, residents must obtain a local driver’s license instead. 

Japan:

Japanese residents require both their original license as well as an International Driving Permit (IDP) if they intend on driving vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes within the UAE on a short-term basis or staying longer than six months and need to get a local driver’s license too. 

Spain:

Spanish drivers need only present their valid original license while visiting Dubai and do not need an International Driving Permit (IDP) except if planning on driving heavier vehicles or renting cars from certain car rental companies operating in the city that require it explicitly when signing contracts with customers before providing cars for rent and/or lease purposes. For those residing over six months, they will need to obtain a local driver’s permit too. 

United Kingdom:

British citizens can drive legally with their valid UK license upon producing it at car rental outlets also requires customers to provide them with additional documents such as passport copies, residence proof, etc., and does not require any special permits like IDPs when visiting Dubai unless they want certain services associated with leasing or renting out cars from companies dealing specifically into car rentals and leasing activities within its premises. Those presiding over a month will need to obtain either an international driving permit or eventually convert into a locally recognized one depending upon which is more convenient.

Other Countries:

International visitors from Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, and the United States (US) can present their respective country’s driving licenses as proof of their roadworthiness when renting a car in Dubai.

Additionally, the licenses of certain European countries such as Denmark, Finland, Italy Luxembourg Norway Portugal Sweden, and The Netherlands are also accepted by the UAE authorities for short-term visits.

Final Words

When traveling to Dubai, it is essential to be aware of the country’s driving laws and regulations. Check ahead of time whether your home country’s license will be accepted in the UAE, or if you may need to apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP). Make sure you also have comprehensive insurance coverage when renting a car in Dubai for month and familiarize yourself with local road rules before getting behind the wheel. Doing so will ensure that your visit to Dubai is smooth sailing and that you can enjoy the city without any legal issues.

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