Can Dubai tourists drive only hired cars?
I have a family member coming to stay soon and would like to lend them my car to drive while I am at work, but I have found conflicting information as to whether this is legal. Some people say that visitors can only drive a rental car, others that they can drive any car with the owner’s permission. Which is correct? HK, Dubai
It is no longer the case that someone on a visit visa can only drive a rental car. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has confirmed that a tourist or visitor can drive in the UAE if they have an international driving licence. The terminology is a little unclear, but provided a person has a driving licence and a passport from certain countries that is all they require. (These countries include those in the GCC, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Germany, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Italy, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Greece, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Romania, Poland, Finland, Portugal, Canada, the United States, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.) All other nationalities must also obtain an international driving permit, which is available in a home country or through Emirates Post in the UAE. Note that this must be obtained whether specifically requested or not. Also check that the vehicle’s insurance company is happy with the situation, as it is important to be properly insured. Ideally confirmation should be obtained in writing to avoid any potential problems in the event of a claim.
Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 years’ experience. Contact her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE.
The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only.
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Updated: April 22, 2016 04:00 AM