Motoring in the UAE
If you are a visitor to the UAE you should hold an international driving licence before hiring a car. It’s best to apply for this before you arrive in the country but the process to apply for one in the UAE is fairly straightforward and can be done at any Emirates Post Office. You will need your passport, at least two passport photos, your home country driving licence and Dh140 and the licence will be issued on the spot.
If you intend to live here and are from one of the accredited countries, you will have to transfer the licence from your home country but will not be able to do this until after you have completed the visa process for residency.
The list of approved countries is: Britain, the United States, France, Japan, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Sweden, Austria, Ireland, Norway, Turkey, Canada, Poland, South Korea, Finland, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
It is best to check with the authorities if you are unsure or will be on a residency visa for Ajman, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah or Fujairah.
Driving licence holders from Greece, Canada, Turkey, Japan and South Korea will require a translation of their driving licence from their respective consulates.
In May, the Emirates Identity Authority announced that access to vehicle registration would only be available to those who hold a valid ID card. This plan was postponed due to the volume of people that applied for an ID card but will be implemented at a later date.