How to Get a Driving Licence in Dubai

Getting a driving licence in Dubai is a critical goal for many residents and expatriates.  A driving licence can give you much more mobility within the city and even across the country.

The process for getting your licence in Dubai can seem daunting, but don’t fret! We will walk through all the steps, from the documents required to the driving test and more.

With the right information, it can be a smooth and straightforward process, and you’ll be behind the wheel in no time. 

dubai driving licence

The Process

What Are the Steps to Get a Driving Licence in Dubai?

Getting a driver’s license in Dubai can be a straightforward process as long as you meet the necessary requirements and follow the proper steps. 

Here is a general overview of the process:

  1. Open a traffic file in one of the driving institutes approved by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)
  2. Take an eye test at any centre approved by the RTA
  3. Complete all required driving lessons, both theoretical and practical. 
  4. Take all internal tests at your chosen driving institute 
  5. Go through the final test at the RTA
  6. Receive your UAE driving license.

Note that you must take driving lessons from an RTA-approved driving school before taking the RTA driving test.


1. What Are the Requirements to Apply for a Driving License in Dubai?

You need to meet the following criteria in order to apply for a driving license in Dubai:

  • Be at least 17 years and 6 months old or above. 
  • Complete driving training and qualifications at a RTA-authorised driving institute.
  • Pass the driving tests, both theoretical and practical.
  • Pay the required fees to issue the driving licence.
  • If you want to obtain a commercial driving permit, you must also pass a medical examination for drivers.

It is important to note that only individuals who are 18 years or older will be issued a driving license.

Requirements for Special-needs Individuals to Get Driving Training.

  • Individuals with mental or physical disabilities must create a training file based on the recommendations outlined in their relevant medical report.
  • The number of training sessions required must be determined by the driving school in conjunction with the Drivers Affairs Department, depending on the type of disability specified in the medical report.

2. What Are the Required Documents to Apply for a Driving Licence in Dubai?

To open a traffic file in Dubai,  you need to submit the following documents to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA):

  • A copy of your passport and residence visa page (for foreigners)
  • A letter of no objection from your sponsor
  • Your Emirates ID card and a copy 
  • Four passport-sized photos
  • An eye test report.

Driving Lessons

If you are required by the RTA to take driving lessons before you can obtain your licence, you must register with one of the RTA-approved driving institutes listed below. 

These institutes have met the RTA’s standards and are authorised to offer a wide range of driving courses and programs. 

This includes classes for beginner drivers, advanced drivers, and specialised training for commercial and heavy vehicle operators.  For more details on driving institutes in Dubai, check out this article.

Driving Institute Contact 
Emirates Driving Institute+971 (0)4 263 1100
Belhasa Driving Center +971 (0)4 324 3535
Al Ahli Driving Center+971 (0)4 341 1500
Dubai Driving Center+971 (0)4 345 5855
Galdari Motor Driving Center+971 (0)4 267 6166
Drive Dubai+971 (0)4 885 5118
getting driving license in dubai


What Are the Different Tests You Should Pass?

To get your driving licence, you must pass the following three tests in this order:

  1. Theory test
  2. Parking test (also known as the Yard Test)
  3. RTA Road Test.

In this section, we will take a closer look at each of the driving license tests and what you can expect during the process. From the initial theory test to the final road test, we will guide you through everything you need to know to successfully obtain your Dubai driving license.

Theory Test

In Dubai, to obtain a driving license, individuals must first pass a theory test at an RTA- approved testing centre. You should pass the it before taking the parking and road test in Dubai.

It will assess your knowledge of traffic laws and regulations, road signs, and safe driving practices. It is conducted in English and can also be taken in Urdu, Arabic, or Telegu. 


  • Carefully read and study the RTA Handbook
  • Download the RTA driving test app for access to sample questions of the theory test
  • Practice using online mock tests to gain confidence in your understanding.

Parking Test (Yard Test)

You will take the parking test at your chosen driving school. During this test, you will need to demonstrate that you can perform the two common parking methods: parallel parking and reverse parking.  

Moreover, if this is something that makes you a bit nervous, don’t worry, as it is common that your driving instructor will dedicate sufficient time specifically for parking. 

This means that before your exam, you’ll have plenty of practice under your belt already. 

road test dubai

RTA Road Test

This is your final step before getting your driver’s licence!

You will take the road test at the RTA. During this test, you will be driving on public roads along with an instructor. You are going to be assessed on your ability to drive safely along with other cars on the road, as well as to navigate turns, as well as U-turns. 

In addition, you will receive the results immediately after the test. If you fail the test, you will be required to attend seven more driving lessons before you can retake the road test. 


1. How Much Does it Cost to Get a Driving Licence in Dubai?

It can cost between AED 4,500 to AED 7,000 to get your driving licence in Dubai, including administrative fees and the cost of driving lessons. 

A significant factor that will impact how much it costs is the driving school you choose, so do your research before registering at a driving school.  

Furthermore, if you don’t pass the test on your first try, you will need to take more driving classes, which would result in increased costs.

2. How Long Does it Take to Get a Driver’s Licence in Dubai?

Getting your driving licence in Dubai can take as little as two months. If you fail one of the tests, then this will obviously prolong the process, especially because there are waiting periods between test attempts.  

Besides, you should note that the number of training hours you are required to take will impact how long it takes to get your licence, and it is based on your level of driving experience:

Expected Training Hours:

  • No driving experience: 40 hours
  • 2 to 5 years of driving experience: 30 hours
  • Over 5 years of  driving experience: 20 hours 

3. When Do You Have to Renew Your Dubai Driving Licence?

A new driving license in Dubai is valid for two years, after which you will need to renew it. Upon renewal, it will be valid for 10 years if you are a GCC or UAE citizen and five years if you are a UAE resident.  

It costs AED 120 to renew your driving license if you are under 21 years of age and AED 320 if you are over 21.   

4. Can You Exchange Your Driving Licence from Another Country for a Dubai Driving Licence? 

According to the RTA, if you have a valid driver’s licence from the following countries, you can exchange it for a UAE driver’s licence without having to take a driving test in Dubai: 

BelgiumLatviaSouth Africa
BritainLithuaniaSouth Korea
DenmarkNew ZealandThe Republic of Montenegro
FrancePeople’s Republic of ChinaUnited States of America
Hong KongQatar
IcelandSaudi Arabia

5. Can You Use an International Driving Licence in Dubai?

You can rent a car in UAE as a tourist if you have a valid international driver’s licence. The international driver’s licence also allows you to drive a car that is registered to yourself or one of your immediate family members.

Getting a driving licence in Dubai has many benefits. It not only gives you greater mobility to explore the UAE, but it can also open up job opportunities, as many jobs in the UAE require a valid driver’s licence. 

Overall, despite the potential challenges, with the right preparation and training, obtaining a driver’s license in Dubai is definitely achievable and worth the effort. 

Once you’ve got your license and are ready to hit the roads, you’ll need to register with Salik first, Dubai’s electronic road toll system. 

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This Blog is made available for educational purposes only, in addition to providing you with general information and a general understanding of its content, including referenced laws and regulations, and not to provide specific legal advice. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent advice from a licensed professional.