Although Dubai has one of the best road networks worldwide, driving itself in Dubai is a bit challenging and can be extra tough for foreigners.
Since the country has a considerably high rate of car accidents, you need to be very careful driving around the city and stick to the rules to protect the value of your car. These rules were put in place to facilitate transportation and ensure both, driver, and pedestrian safety.
Here are some fundamental do’s and don’ts that you have to stick to before anything else:
Wear Your Seat Belt
Even before you start your car, buckle up your seat belt. It does seem like an obvious thing to do, but we can’t stress enough how important this is.
Seat belts were designed for the sole purpose of protecting the driver and passengers in case of a car accident.
To ensure the enforcement of this law, the government has increased what used to be a small fine for this offense, so people now must pay AED 400 per offender and get 4 black points on their license.
- Avoid Aggressive Driving
Just like anywhere else, some drivers in Dubai can be borderline silly, speeding, and cutting drivers off as if they are Fast & Furious cast members.
In this case, you only have defensive driving as a solution. Stay alert all the time but don’t play their game, as it can be very dangerous, and you pay the price for it with a lot of fines.
If we were to list some of these fines:
- Tailgating: AED 400 and 4 black points
- Overtaking through hard shoulder: AED 1000 and 6 black points
- Reckless Driving: AED 2,000, 23 black points, and impounding of the vehicle for 60 days.
Exceed the Speed Limit
One has got to admit, all of us have been guilty of speeding to some extent. But speeding once every blue moon, because you’re late to an important errand, is somewhat more excusable than some drivers in Dubai who love sports and race cars so much that they mistake themselves for being cast members of Fast & Furious.
This is especially dangerous as Dubai already has high speed limits on most of its main roads such as 100km/h on the Abu Dhabi-Al Ain (E22) and Sheikh Zayed (E11) highways. In these cases, there is absolutely no need to further exceed this limit.
Because speeding in Dubai is one of their most frequently occurring traffic violations, they had to make speeding laws stricter and fines higher.
According to the newest laws, the more you go above the speeding limit, the higher your charge will total up to.
So if you exceed the speed limit by less than 20km/h, then you will only have to pay AED 300. However, if you dare to go over the speed limit by 80km/h or more, then you will be in big trouble. You must pay AED 3,000, receive 23 black points on your license, and have your license confiscated along with your vehicle for 60 days.
Running a Red Light
Never let the idea of jumping a red light ever cross your mind while driving on UAE roads because, in addition to the harsh penalties and high fines, your reckless act can lead to massive collisions where vehicles coming from opposite or perpendicular directions crash.
The fine for running a red light alone is AED 1,000, 12 black points, and confiscation of your vehicle for 30 days, and if you own a heavy vehicle, your fine for the same violation will be AED 3,000 and license suspension for one year!
Know that your vehicle will remain impounded until fees are paid; otherwise, if the owner doesn’t claim their vehicle after three months, it will then be auctioned. You have the option for an early release of your impounded car by paying AED 3,000in Dubai (and AED 50,000 in Abu Dhabi).
Whether inattentive or deliberate, crossing a red light can lead to fatal accidents as the vehicle can hit pedestrians or other cars on the road.
To sell any car in Dubai and get a good market price for it, you need to have it in good condition. But if you keep violating traffic rules, you are at a higher chance of getting into a car accident and hurting the value of your car.
Follow these do’s and don’ts in Dubai for a safer driving experience for you, your vehicle, other drivers, and pedestrians as well.
Contributing writer is Managing Director at carwise.ae – Muhammad Omari