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Driving license in UAE...

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by tzafar, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. tzafar

    tzafar New commenter

    Hi guys

    Just wondering can I use my provisional license to drive in uae ?
    I was third time unlucky today so frustrated that I won’t have a full driving license to take with me.

    Is anyone aware ( especially those already expats) how to go about obtaining a license ?

    Thanks in advance

  2. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    As a resident you don't drive on your own county's license, you "convert" your license to get a UAE one. You can't do that with a provisional.

    It's not an easy place to drive for the inexperienced, you would do well to get used to using the taxis - they're inexpensive and easily available.
  3. tzafar

    tzafar New commenter

    Would I not be able to apply for a fresh provisional license in UAE like the locals then ?
  4. stopwatch

    stopwatch Established commenter

  5. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

  6. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Occasional commenter

    I honestly don't know, my feeling is with a provisional you wouldn't get a full license here but i don't know what the equivalent is. I know 3 people who couldn't drive before they came to the UAE and have sat and passed tests here and they've all said it was easy/easier then the UK.

    As Stopwatch says, if you get your UK license translated into Arabic a trip to the Driving License office gets you a 2 year license here - it used to be 10 but they've recently changed it.
  7. tzafar

    tzafar New commenter

    Thank you very much for all the comments and support. Mr_Frosty, as always, a big thank you for your precise and encouraging words.
    Tasneem123 likes this.
  8. stopwatch

    stopwatch Established commenter

    We had a married couple in the school I worked in, in Dubai. They planned to pass their UK test before coming out. Both failed. I know that they were unable to get a UAE licence with their provisional.

    They took their test again in UK about 5 years later (yes, they managed for 5 years, with 2 children by using taxis and lifts off colleagues).

    I'm not sure if there is the option of taking lessons in UAE, using your UK provisional licence, with a view to taking the UAE test. Perhaps somebody else could clarify.
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  9. ecair

    ecair New commenter

    I was in this position a few years ago. You can't drive on your UK provisional. You will need to apply for a UAE learning permit and take the driving course. It consists of about 20 lectures and around 10-15 driving lessons (I can't remember the exact amount of time but it's around 40 hours in total). The whole thing, including tests, costs the equivalent of about £1000.

    The test is much easier compared to the UK as you'll do manoeuvre a few weeks before the driving test and they both last less than 10 minutes. Another thing to bear in mind is that if you return to the UK, they don't recognise the UAE license so you'll need to redo your test.

    I managed a year in Dubai without driving and was mostly fine but life was a lot easier with a car.
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  10. stopwatch

    stopwatch Established commenter

    You can get an International Driving licence based on your UAE licence. This allows you to drive in UK for up to one year. This can't be broken down into bite sized chunks ie you can't just use it over the holidays.

    You could use this for when you ultimately go back to UK to live.

    One downside is that your insurance may be higher in UK, on the International licence.
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  11. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Occasional commenter

    You can definitely manage without a car depending on your location - I've got a license but take taxi's almost everywhere - it was way better value until the taxi price rise last summer. I do hire a car if I'm heading to Al Ain or Dubai and not drinking though as my local rental place is 100AED for 24hours which is way way less than the taxi fare both ways.

    There are buses too which are pretty good - I haven't used them though.
  12. kendoddy

    kendoddy New commenter

    Taxi, taxi, taxi, depending on the Emirate the cost can vary but for me to get 8km to school it's £2.40 each way, buses are ok in the western emirates, (Fujairah is 3 hours by bus to Dubai) you will find other staff most likely have cars and will be driving around loads so lift sharing is a factor or day trips at the weekend.

    As for getting your licence out here don't bother, yeah it sounds cheap, and easy, wait really easy compared to the UK test as ecair said.... but and this is a big but... the roads can and will be mental especially for a new driver used to being a passenger in the west, I have 3 years experience in the UK and would not like to drive around Dubai or on some of the roads between the cities because of the other drivers
  13. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Occasional commenter

    I don't know, I think if you can drive here you can drive anywhere, so learning here wouldn't be so bad. But yeah taxis are still cheap - mine is 13AED each way but I always tip up to 20.
  14. pink_reindeer

    pink_reindeer Occasional commenter

    Yep, taxis are cheap and easy to order/flag down. Though I find it a pain that they only accept cash, and often don't have change - three weeks ago, my taxi driver took me to four different shops to see if they had change for me.
  15. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Occasional commenter

    I keep 100 in 5s in my desk at work and I've got about 1600 1 dirham coins in my apt. It is annoying you can't pay by card though, even if it meant getting a 'prepay' taxi card and topping it up so that the fees don't crush any profits.

    Careem have also just cut their prices down to 19AED min fare (down from 40) but I am still yet to use them.
  16. kendoddy

    kendoddy New commenter

    Its also so easy to get a regular taxi driver and they are often very good e.g. they organise replacements if they cannot collect you. You would probably have a few asking in your first week as it means definite income for them.
  17. pink_reindeer

    pink_reindeer Occasional commenter

    Good idea to keep a stash. I might use that tip for the next 12 days, haha!
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  18. pink_reindeer

    pink_reindeer Occasional commenter

    True. A friend of mine has a regular one, he does great deals!
  19. 03mkk

    03mkk New commenter

    Take it from someone that had a minor crash recently in Dubai... the roads are crazy and certainly not for the faint hearted. I have been driving for 8 years and I still get mini heart attacks by some of the dangerous things others do.
    Taxis are fine and fairly cheap but if you are doing regular journeys to work, get lifts in with someone you work with and pay some money towards petrol if needed.

    I know of one person to have not passed in the UK, who then took and passed the UAE driving test in an automatic..... but unfortunately this does not translate back in the UK. When they return to the UK, they will have to take the full UK driving test again.
  20. markedout

    markedout New commenter

    I've already ordered a new car and will be driving as soon as I get my UK licence converted to a UAE one. I've been driving in London for over 30 years and that's not for the faint hearted either. My husband has been there since February and says if someone indicates, they are British, and expect people to speed up and close gaps any time you try and change lanes. Many of the taxis in Dubai do take cards, but they seem to prefer not to.

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