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Driving in Sharjah


In the UAE, traffic drives on the right. There are good tarmac roads running along the west coast between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah; between Sharjah and Dhaid; and linking Dubai with other northern states and the interior.

A good road network system exists in and around Sharjah city with impressive multi-lane highways linking to other emirates. Traffic congestion does exist and driving can be erratic.

The speed limit in built up areas is 60 kph and on highways cars may be driven at 100-120 kph, as indicated on the road signs. Many areas are controlled by stationary and mobile radar. The wearing of seat belt is compulsory.

In the unlikely event of an accident contact the Traffic Police or Anjad (999). In case of minor accident the vehicle can be moved to the side of the road and call for the Police to make a report. In case of major accident do not remove any of the vehicles until a report has been made and permission given by the police.

Displaying parking coupons on the dashboard provides an alternative to using car parks. Coupons vary in price depending on the length of time required and the area of the city, and are available next to the parking area. Public car parks can be found at shopping centers and elsewhere around the city.

Driving Licence

To obtain a driving licence in the UAE, you need to be a resident of country, with a residence visa issued in any of the emirates. However, if you are a resident of an emirate but have a visa issued in another, then you need to obtain a transferral form allowing you to obtain your driver's licence from the former. The minimum age for obtaining a drivers licence is 18 years. An International Driving Licence is valid for use only up to the date on which you obtain your Residence Visa, after which you will need to apply for a UAE licence.

Transferring an International Licence

Individuals who have driving licenses from any of the GCC countries or any of the countries mentioned below, can transfer to a UAE driver's licence without having to take driving lessons or tests. It is only important to transfer to a UAE driving licence if you are planning to reside in the the UAE.

• Australia
• Austria
• Belgium
• Canada
• Czech Republic
• Cyprus
• Denmark
• Finland
• France
• Germany
• Greece
• Holland
• Iceland
• Iran
• Ireland
• Italy
• Japan
• Luxembourg
• New Zealand
• Norway
• Poland
• Portugal
• Singapore
• Slovakia
• South Korea
• South Africa
• Spain
• Sweden
• Switzerland
• Turkey
• United Kingdom
• United States of America

Those who want to transfer their license must be at least 18 years old, have a valid driver's license, have a residence visa in the UAE, and fill in the driver's license form with one passport size photograph, original passport and one photocopy, original driver's license and one photocopy, eye test report, and Dhs. 100. For none GCC license, it is also required to obtain a letter from the Embassy or Consulate from which the driver's license was issued, confirming that the driver's license is valid. If the driver's license is not in English or Arabic, it is also required to have the license translated at the Consulate or Embassy.

Note: Individuals with an Indian international drivers licence will require to obtain a new licence in order to drive a car.

Obtaining a UAE Driver's Permit

Before you decide to get a driver's permit, you should first decide which driving institute you wish to take driving lessons with. Driving institutes in the UAE can be grouped into two types, which are described below.

Type A – These driving institutes are large institutes. Initially a driving student needs to sign up with the driving institute and pay for the number of classes he/she will take, before beginning training. The student will also have scheduled lesson timings that has to be followed, and if a student misses a certain number of classes, then the classes will be cancelled without a refund. Most of these institutes have a typing office and eye test facilities, which will facilitate obtaining your driver's permit. Students are also able to take road tests normally taken at the Traffic Department, inside the institute.

Type B – These smaller driving institutes are the most common in the UAE. The student can request lessons from the driving institute's instructor whenever he/she has available time. The instructor will come to the driving student's residence in order for him/her to take driving lessons.

So if you chosen to undergo driving classes with a Type B driving institute, then it is very important to read through the following information. It is no longer possible to obtain the driving licence application form from the Police Traffic Departments, so you will need to pick one up from any driving institute near you.

After obtaining the application form, you will then need to gather together 4 passport size photographs (4cm x 6cm), your original passport (which is only used for inspection) and a photocopy of it (main and visa pages), 'No Objection Letter' from your sponsor (indicating that they don't object that you apply for a driver's licence), and either a photocopy of your sponsor's passport or your company's trade licence. When obtaining the 'No Objection Letter' from your sponsor, you should have him/her sign and stamp in the required place on the application form. Then take the application form and the other items down to any typing office in the UAE and have them fill out the form in Arabic using a typewriter, as the Traffic Department will not accept applications written by hand.

The filled form should then be taken to any UAE government hospital, or any private hospital, clinic, or optical centre in the UAE for an eye examination. The eye examiner will fill out the necessary place on the back of the form and stamp it. The eye exam/test should cost around Dhs. 25. Lastly, you can submit your application form and other items to the driving institute, so that they can take them down to the Traffic Department for the issuing of the permit. A fee of Dhs. 100 should be submitted with the filled application form. The driving permit is valid for one year and will cost Dhs. 40 for it to be renewed.

Driving Lessons

Students can decide whether they wish to take driving classes using a manual or automatic vehicle. The cost for driving lessons will differ from institute to institute but normally it costs Dhs. 30 per class for manual lessons and Dhs. 35 per class for automatic lessons. Driving classes last for a duration of 40 to 45 minutes. The number of lessons required by a student will depend on the student's experience with a car, but students who have no experience will need around 40 to 50 classes, while students with some experience may need 10 to 20 classes. Driving institutes working hours are between 8:30pm and 1:30pm and again from 3:00pm to 5:30pm.

Obtaining Driving Licence

On successful completion of driving tests, it will cost Dhs. 100 to issue a driver's license. The driver's licence will have a digital photograph on it. Individuals under the age of 21 will be issued a driving licence that needs to be renewed yearly, while individuals over 21 will be issued driving licences that last for 10 years.





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