Obtaining a Dubai Driver's Permit
The procedures of obtaining a driver's permit in Dubai have constantly been changing, and the procedures currently being followed, as of April 2003, are described below.
Before you decide to get a driver's permit, you should first decide which driving institute you wish to take driving lessons with. Driving institutes in Dubai can be grouped into two types, which are described below.
Type A - These driving institutes are large institutes and there are less than 5 of them in Dubai. Initially a driving student needs to sign up with the driving institute and pay for the number of classes he/she will take, before beginning training. The student will also have scheduled lesson timings that has to be followed, and if a student misses a certain number of classes, then the classes will be cancelled without a refund. Most of these institutes have a typing office and eye test facilities, which will facilitate obtaining your driver's permit. Students are also able to take road tests normally taken at the Dubai Traffic Department, inside the institute.
Type B - These smaller driving institutes are the most common in Dubai. The student can request lessons from the driving institute's instructor whenever he/she has available time. The instructor will come to the driving student's residence in order for him/her to take driving lessons.
So if you chosen to undergo driving classes with a Type B driving institute, then it is very important to read through the following information. It is no longer possible to obtain the driving licence application form from the Dubai Police Traffic Departments, so you will need to pick one up from any driving institute near you. After obtaining the application form, you will then need to gather together 4 passport size photographs (4cm x 6cm), your original passport (which is only used for inspection) and a photocopy of it (main and visa pages), 'No Objection Letter' from your sponsor (indicating that they don't object that you apply for a driver's license), and either a photocopy of your sponsor's passport or your company's trade license. When obtaining the 'No Objection Letter' from your sponsor, you should have him/her sign and stamp in the required place on the application form. Then take the application form and the other items down to any typing office in Dubai and have them fill out the form in Arabic using a typewriter, as the Dubai Traffic Deptartment will not accept applications written by hand. The filled form should then be taken to any UAE government hospital, or any private hospital, clinic, or optical centre in Dubai for an eye examination. The eye examiner will fill out the necessary place on the back of the form and stamp it. The eye exam/test should cost around Dhs. 25. Lastly, you can submit your application form and other items to Mr. Ibrahim Koya of Marhaba Motor Driving Institute by contacting him at 050-4564708. If you decide to undergo training at another drivinging institute, then submit the items to that driving institute so that they can take them down to the Dubai Traffic Dept. for the issuing of the permit. A fee of Dhs. 100 should be submitted with the filled application form. The driving permit is valid for one year and will cost Dhs. 40 for it to be renewed.
Taking Driving Lessons in Dubai
Students can decide whether they wish to take driving classes using a manual or automatic vehicle. The cost for driving lessons will differ from institute to institute but normally it costs Dhs. 30 per class for manual lessons and Dhs. 35 per class for automatic lessons. Driving classes last for a duration of 40 to 45 minutes. The number of lessons required by a student will depend on the student's experience with a car, but students who have no experience will need around 40 to 50 classes, while students with some experience may need 10 to 20 classes. Driving institutes working hours are between 8:30AM and 1:30PM and again from 3:00PM to 5:30PM.
Driving Exams at the Dubai Traffic Department
There are two Dubai Traffic Departments. One is located in Deira, at the beginning of Dubai, and the second one is located in Bur Dubai, the central area of Dubai.
It is possible that your first test at the Dubai Traffic Department will be the Garage and Parking test. This test is randomly assigned to individuals, but it is up to your instructor to teach you how to handle the test. The first test most people take is the signal test, which is either oral or computerized. Students will have to identify road signs, as well as to be able to respond correctly to driving scenarios. Click here for traffic signs, here for more traffic signs, here for driving scenarios, and here for a 10 question online driving scenario test. There are no additional charges for failing a signal test.
The next test is the road test. The Dhs. 100 fee paid for the driver's permit, includes payment of your first road test. Each road test costs Dhs. 35 but an additional Dhs. 35 is required on the day of each test. This additional amount is a service charge for use of the vehicle you drive during the exam.
For additional information on driving license issues in Dubai, click here.