6 Things You Need to Rent a Car in Dubai

how to rent a car in dubai

Dubai is called the city of lights and truth be told, there are plenty of places to explore in Dubai! Renting a car makes it easy as it gives you the freedom to explore Dubai in the way you want, at your own time and pace. Even though public transport facilities and metro services are really good in Dubai, renting a car can give you added freedom. It will also save much of the time and money that you otherwise spend on taxis! Fortunately, there are many rental car companies available in Dubai. The prices are reasonable as per the international standards and they provide good quality cars. A rental car can be useful to do your shopping in Dubai, to visit nearby and places farther away, as well. Even if you are on a stopover, a rental car can be helpful in that few days!

6 Things You Need to Rent a Car in Dubai

If you are going on a visit to UAE as a tourist and prefer to rent a car to explore the city, you must hold a valid international driving permit and the original driving license from your home country. If you are a passport holder of the USA, UK, Canada or a few other countries you can drive using your home country license. You need some documents to rent a car with a driver in Dubai. If you have a residential visa or work permit in the UAE, you must have a valid driving license. To obtain a driving license, you must have undergone driving lessons and passed the driving test from an approved driving institute.

The Documents Needed to Rent a Car in Dubai

The basic documents needed are a passport, a visit visa, and your home country driving license. The following additional documents are needed in certain cases.

  • an Emirates ID;
  • a driving license (both the original and photocopy);
  • a no objection certificate
  • a certified eye test and medical screening;
  • a letter from the embassy or your consulate;
  • the legal translation of your driving license.

Depending on which country you come from, you might also need an international driving permit. Your age must be 21 years or older and certain companies will only permit you to rent a car if you are above the age of 25. If you have a driving license from any of the exempted countries you can rent a car using only your driving license without providing your passport or visit visa.

Can I convert my existing driving license to a UAE license if I come from an exempted country?

Yes, you can certainly convert your existing driving license to a UAE license. Generally obtaining a UAE license requires you to undergo a few hours of training. You also have to do a driving test. But for a person coming from a county that is exempted, transferring or converting the existing license to a UAE license is much easier. You need to prepare and keep ready certain documents like your Emirates ID, your original driving license and a photocopy of it, a NOC from your sponsor, a certified eye test, a medical screening, a legal translation of your driving license, a letter from your embassy, also a theory test taken by Deira Licensing Department.

Diplomatic passport holders have to present the following documents:

  • the original driving license and a photocopy of it;
  • the original diplomatic passport and a photocopy of it;
  • a letter from the Ministry of foreign affairs;
  • a certified eye test from DHA;
  • a diplomatic card from a consulate, embassy, or international organization.

If you hold a driving license from an exempted country and are also a GCC national, you must have an Emirates ID, the original and photocopy of the driving license, and a certified eye test.

renting a car in dubai steps

The process to convert or transfer the license to a UAE driving license is quite simple. You must have gone through a certified eye test from DHA. The way to do this is to go to the RTA customer center and fill in the application form and submit all the documents. The application will take some time to get verified. Once that is  done, you have to pay the fees at the cashier. They will take a photograph and you should receive your UAE license within a few minutes. Renting a car in Dubai is affordable and you can get an even better price if you make your bookings well in advance. The advantage of renting a car is the freedom that it offers, e.g. you don't have to wait for public transport. Take your own time to go wherever you want!

What type of rental car should I choose in Dubai?

The roads in Dubai are excellent and hence you can choose whichever rental car. Choose a car depending on the number of people and the luggage you are traveling with. A small economy car is sufficient if you are traveling within the city. But remember that you will spend long hours in your car traveling because of Dubai’s traffic. Larger cars are more comfortable, with better air conditioning than economy cars. Go for a car that offers good air conditioning, especially in summer when the temperatures are extremely high. Having good air conditioning in your car will definitely add to your comfort!

Insurance, Excesses, and CDW

Dubai car rentals will usually cover third-party damage. You can add extra cover to your car to reduce any damage otherwise caused by taking up a CDW (collision damage waiver) to waive off the excess that you can pay in case of accidental damage. Having full insurance offers you peace of mind, free of worry about the additional charges and the procedure can be quicker when you return your car.

Wrap Up: Renting a Car in Dubai

Renting a car in Dubai is easy with minimal documents. A security deposit needs to be paid. The amount varies depending on the vehicle that you choose and the rental company. The deposit for a basic Sedan car is around 900 AED. The deposit amount will be blocked on your credit card as a safety for the fines incurred. If there are no fines incurred, the amount that is blocked will be released within 14 to 29 days.

What about you, have you ever rented a car in Dubai? Feel free to share any tips & advice below!

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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