Dubai has a fair standard of road rules and laws like most other countries. People belonging to western countries while driving in Dubai will get a feeling of chaotic free-for-all driving in Dubai. Dubai is a refreshingly calm place to drive for people arriving from somewhere like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, or Iran. People from Asian city can find out that using of gears other than first or reverse is actually possible in a city.
Roads in Dubai
The standards of roads in Dubai and UAE are extremely good. Roads with an ideal asphalt surface make one feel relaxed even while driving in 120 kph. There are barriers in between the lanes in almost all roads, thus reducing the chance of fatal frontal collision on the speed of 120 kph to almost zero.
Fundamentals of road rules in Dubai
- Cars are left-hand drive, and traffic is supposed to stay on the right hand side of the road.
- Driving through a red light will cost 500 dhs (possibly 1500 dhs) if flashed by traffic light camera.
- Speed Limits- adherence to speed limits.
- Safety Belts – wasn't law until around 1996.
- Drinking and driving – is prohibited.
- Mobile phones – use of only hands-free kit while driving is permitted.
- Indicators – should be used while lane changing.
- Driving- should be to the left of the innermost lane on highways.
- Driving with a license- driving license is a must. International Driving Permits and overseas driving licenses are not valid for residents driving private cars in UAE.
- Safe distance – safe distance to be maintained between vehicles.
- Overtaking – overtake on the right is prohibited.
- Using your horn and flashing lights – are quite common.
Penalties for violation
Dubai roads have their own specific rules of fine like any other country. Strict fines are imposed in the event of violation of road rules. Minor traffic offenses are usually deal with Dubai Police. In event of a traffic offense involving injury and/or significant property damage, the case is referred to the courts and a judge decides the penalty. (http://www.dubaipolice.gov.ae/dp/english/e_services.jsp?num=INF&mainlayid=196&num2=INF&ItmType=4&Id=11137&Page=A26&)
Monitored Speed limits
Almost all big roads in Dubai are monitored by radars which are set to the speed limit + 120 kph on big roads like Sheikh Zayed Road, Emirates Road and Al Khail Road. There is usually a tolerance of 10-20 kph built into the speed cameras. Speed limit signs are usually posted just after a speed camera and cameras in Dubai take photos as you drive towards them. The cameras are set to go off when the vehicle crosses the speed limit.
Speed limits in Dubai-
The general prescribed speed limits are as follows: •120 kph on highways like Emirates Road, Dubai by-pass road, the road to Abu Dhabi. •100 kph on big roads like Sheikh Zayed Road, Sheikh Rachid Road, Al Khail Road •70-80 kph on medium-size roads like Umm Suqeim Road, Jumeirah Road •40 kph in residential areas However, it is advised to watch out the speed limit signs as this may differ. (http://www.dubaipolice.gov.ae/dp/english/e_services.jsp?Page=A26&Id=25495&num2=INF&num=INF&mainlayid=196&ItmType=4)
Road Junctions and traffic lights
In Dubai generally a junction is an intersection of 4 roads. There is no requirement to wait for the green light in order to turn right. When the light turns green one can drive straight, left or take a U-turn unless there is a sign prohibiting the same. Jumping a red light will incur a fine of 800 AED (145 EUR, 217 USD). Camera which automatically flash offenders are installed in many traffic lights.
Parking in Dubai
All big malls usually have provisions for free parking. But some malls like Mall of the Emirates have recently developed paid-parking system. Parking in streets of Dubai is also very simple. Orange signboard means ‘paid parking’ and the parking is free in absence of orange signboard.
Parking Fee and Parking Card
The parking fee is normally 1 AED (0.2 EUR, 0.3 USD) per hour, 2 AED for 2 hours, 4 AED for 3 hours. It goes up with every next hour. Parking fee may be more expensive in some areas. Parking fee for 24 hours is normally 10 AED. Parking is free from 13:00-16:00, 21:00-08:00 and is also free on Fridays. Alternatively, one can buy a parking card which is beneficial in frequent parking as that will be cheaper than paying coins.
Parking fine is 100 AED (18 EUR, 27 USD). Parking fine can be paid online at the Dubai Police website. (http://www.dubaipolice.gov.ae/dp/english/e_services.jsp?Page=A26&Id=13370&num2=SRV&num=SRV&mainlayid=194&ItmType=4)