Can I drive on an existing drivers’ license when I arrive in Dubai or must I take another test?
This depends on your country of origin. Those from Europe, Australia and the US do not have to take the test. Instead you must go to the Roads and Transport Authority with your existing licence, passport and resident permit. There you will be required to take an eye test before being issued with your UAE license. Prior to receiving your residence permit you may drive a rental vehicle using your license from your home country. A comprehensive list of who is exempt from retaking the test is available from the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority.
Both men and women are permitted to drive in UAE. Visitors to the UAE can drive as long as they have an international driver’s license and passport. Citizens of certain countries must also have an International Drivers Permit (IDP).
For those working in the UAE holding residency status, they must apply for a UAE driver’s license. To apply for a UAE driver’s license, you will also need to present your original driver’s license that is issued from the same country as your citizenship; make sure you bring your original driver’s license with you as well as several copies of your license. Without it, you will not be able to easily obtain a UAE license — in fact, without it, you may not be able to obtain one at all. Please note, Canadian and American citizens do not need to take a driving test to obtain a UAE driver’s license. They are also not required to obtain an International Drivers Permit (IDP).