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Obtaining a Driver’s License in the UAE

If you are relocating to Dubai and you plan to drive, you will be required to transfer your driver’s license.  Since travel by car is essential to day-to-day living in Dubai, most relocating expats place transferring their license at the top of the priority list.  In order to transfer your license in Dubai, you must be at least 18 years old with a valid driver’s license and a residence visa for the United Arab Emirates.

The first thing to know about driving legally in Dubai is that the regulations differ depending upon your nationality and the driver’s license you hold at the time of your move.

If you already own a driver’s license in any of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar), then you can easily transfer to a Dubai driver’s license.  Once your residency is approved, you simply pay a small fee and transfer your license.  You will be exempt from having to take any additional driving lessons or tests.

The same, simplified exchange procedure applies for anyone holding a valid license and passport from one of the countries listed below:

If you own a license from any country not listed above or not within the GCC, then you will be required to complete a process that includes mandatory classes and driving tests. The amount of class time required depends on the length of time you have owned a driver’s license in your home country.

If your home country license is not in English or Arabic, then it must be translated into one of these two languages by the your embassy in advance of exchange.

Information on additional required documents for driver’s license exchange can be obtained from the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) or from your Move One consultant.

If you are only visiting Dubai, and you wish to drive a rental car, the same division of countries applies.  If you have a valid license from a GCC country, or from a country on the exempt country list above, you can drive a rental car with your home country license.  If you are not from one of these exempt countries, in order to rent a car you will need to present your home country license as well as an international drivers license issued from that same country.

On the topic of rentals, whether or not you are from an exempt country, once you have your residency in Dubai you will not be able to rent a car without a valid UAE license.

If you would like additional information, details or support regarding obtaining your UAE driver’s license, as well as possible VIP solutions, please contact a Move One specialist at

12 Responses to “Obtaining a Driver’s License in the UAE”

  1. Adela says:

    Me and my husband love your posts. Keep up the good work!

  2. Guy says:

    Really great blog. Thank you so much for your time in sharing this info!

  3. Sarita says:

    Can I exchange my Oman driving licence for a UAE driving licence. Ism an Indian and have had a Oman driving licence for 15 years. Thanks

    • Louise says:

      No you are not eligible to transfer your existing driving license, without having to take a driving test or going to a driving school,

  4. zhel says:

    Can I use my Qatar Driving License if I drive a vehicle in UAE?

  5. Peter says:

    I am holder of Croatian passport (European Union) living in Qatar and having Qatar Driver’s Licence.

    If I move to Dubai can I transfer my Qatar Driver’s Licence to UAE Driver’s Licence???

    • Louise says:

      No, because you have to be a citizen of Qatar and Croatia is not on the list of 36 countries that can transfer their driving licenses.

  6. Frasat says:

    I am from india and i have saudi valid license can i
    transfer it to UAE without any test? or do i need to give any test?

    • Louise says:

      No, as India is not on the list of 36 approved countries that you can transfer your license. Here is the list
      The countries from which citizens can transfer their driving licenses are given below:
      Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States. (Please call RTA on 8009090 for any changes to this list)

  7. Roopesh says:

    Nice post.
    I already have an Oman Drivers Licence, if I do a transfer of licence to Dubai after my residency as mentioned above, I believe that I can still keep my Oman licence after obtaining my UAE licence as well. Please advise.

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