Dubai is a city comprised majorly of people from other countries that flock there to fulfil their dreams. Once the resident visa is approved, most of them first tend to get a driver’s license. Comically, It is easy to get a car in Dubai than get a driver’s license. To top it off, trying to abide by traffic rules in Dubai is another mini-challenge for expatriates.

In Dubai, vehicles are aligned to left-hand drive and being a well-developed city, the roads are very new, broad with a few paths and flyovers. Around 60% of Dubai’s population use their own transport. A resident visa is a mandatory document for getting a valid driving license. There are traffic new rules in 2017 which have been put forward by keeping several things in mind such as child safety, driver safety, speed limit enforcement etc. It’s seen that one out of three families is losing their child because of accidents. In order to make roads more secured under the UAE Vision 2021, these rules have been put into effect.

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Road Safety Rules in UAE  

  • A kid below 4 years is supposed to sit in a child seat in the car
  • Everyone in the car must wear a seat belt including the people on the rear seats
  • Children below 10years and under 145 cms of height are not supposed to sit on the front seat
  • The driver should be above 18 years of age and must hold a valid driving license
  • Overloading the vehicle with more people is strictly restricted
  • Carrying illegal items is offensive (with jail terms)
  • Drunken driving and/or driving under the influence of drugs is strictly prohibited
  • The speed limit should not be crossed
  • Mobile phones should not be used while driving
  • Overtaking, careless driving is not allowed
  • Driving without a number plate is also not allowed
  • Sudden diverging the car, jumping signals, blocking traffic etc is offensive

Failure to comply with these regulations usually results in fines. Regular offenders may find their license suspended permanently. More serious offences will result in a jail term.

How many passengers are allowed in Private Cars in Dubai? (December 2021)

As per the statement from Dubai Police in December 2021, in Dubai, the number of people allowed in a private vehicle is 3 including the driver if they don’t belong to the same family. There can be more than 3 passengers (excluding the driver) in a car if they belong to the same family. While in taxis, not more than 3 passengers (excluding the driver) are allowed.

Penalties associated:

  • Crossing speed limit charges Dh 300-Dh 1000(depends on the limit) with 6-23 penalty points inclusion
  • Careless driving which includes jumping signals, overtaking, driving without a number plate etc would be charged Dh 1000-Dh 2000 with up to 23 penalty points
  • Drink and drive would fine you up to AED 20,000 and/or a jail term with 23 penalty points
  • Using a phone while driving also will cost you much up to Dh 400
  • Throwing garbage on the roads while driving would be fined Dh 1000
  • Driving without fastening a safety belt would fine Dh 400
  • Driving with the kids in the front seat who are underage and height would fine Dh 400
  • Driving under the influence of drugs  – what this would cost you will be decided by the court including the suspension of license

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The intention behind this is not to make money, but to curb the death rates due to road accidents. No one would love to spend their hard earnings on these fines so increasing the fines or having huge fines would definitely make people think before breaking the rules voluntarily or involuntarily. Besides huge fines, violating the traffic rules would affect your driver’s license from getting banned temporarily/permanently due to the penalty points.

Apart from the implementation of these rules, many awareness campaigns were held by Dubai Police in early 2017. The campaigns continue to educate people the best and totally avoid deaths and road accidents.

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Even though all these traffic rules are almost similar in other countries too, Expats have to make sure they abide by the rules to avoid affecting their resident Visa in UAE.   

Disclaimer: Visit for an actual set of rules and charges of violating the rules. The information provided above is just for reference. The authority may change the rules, regulations and fine structure at any time. Discretion is advised.

Meet the author
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Nikitha is a Senior Analyst at She has been writing about personal finance, credit cards, mortgage, and other personal finance products in the UAE. Her work on Mortgage loans has been featured by the GulfNews and other popular Financial Blogs in the UAE.

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