3 Obscure Driving Laws in The UAE


If you want to sell any car in Dubai, you need to stand out as the good driver who knows all about traffic laws, and therefore road safety rules, to sound credible to your potential buyers. To be honest, there are some weird driving laws in the UAE that are not so common amongst drivers.

If you’re an expat, then you might be shocked by some of these laws as even UAE nationals can find them hard to understand. Here are 3 driving laws in the UAE that you probably have not heard of or known existed:

Maintain the cleanliness of your car

If you think this is a matter of personal preference, then you are wrong. In the UAE, you are not expected to have your car clean and shiny the second after the sandstorm has ended or right after driving on a muddy pond following a heavy rainstorm. However, you are basically required by the law to keep your car’s exterior looking pristine, or otherwise, you can get fined for a mucky vehicle.

To be precise, there is no schedule listed out by the government for how often you need to take your vehicle to the car wash, as long as you don’t let it get covered with dirt for a long time. But if you wait for too long to have it cleaned, especially if it’s parked out on the streets, then you will be fined AED 500 for “tarnishing the aesthetic appearance of the city.” Inspectors will leave a warning on your windshield and come back to check it in three days. If your car still hasn’t been cleaned or moved by the time they are back in 3 days, your car will be towed.

After that, you’ll need to pay AED 1,500 to get it back and AED 3,000 if you wait for more than 30 days. You better keep your car looking good to protect Dubai’s public image and your pocket as well.

Too much window tint

Tinting car windows in the UAE is a common method for protection against harmful UV rays. This way you can stay cool while driving your car, and also look cool at the same time. New laws in 2017 increased the stipulated limit for tinting car windows (excluding the windscreen) from 30% up to 50%.

Drivers caught violating this specified limit will be charged AED 1,500 as a fine except for car owners who have received authorization from the RTA or Dubai police, then they can surpass the stipulated limit.

You probably don’t need to worry about this a lot when you take your car in for window tinting, as any garage in the UAE is probably already aware of these guidelines. But when you are importing a new vehicle from abroad, for example, check by yourself to make sure that it follows these specifications.

Beware the Camels

Camels make an important status symbol in the UAE as they represent the Emirati heritage. They have been at the center of life for so long that they remain intrinsic to the culture. They are often referred to as ships of the desert and gifts from god due to the huge role they played in making life in the desert a possible thing for the Bedouin. The respect and love UAE people have for camels go as far as giving these lovely creatures the right of way.

Though this is not a law that’s written on paper and has a fixed penalty for it, it is still socially expected of you if you’re ever in a situation like this to slow down and let a camel pass. Otherwise, if you choose to pull out in front of the camel or do anything that might be considered disrespectful, people will not be happy with you and you could even lose some friends for not being considerate of Emirati culture and traditions.

You are advised to stick to these laws, tough might be bizarre, for a bunch of reasons. You are staying respectful to the people and country of the UAE, avoiding fines, and staying away from trouble. Moreover, you are also maintaining the safety of passengers riding with you and protecting the value of your car from accidents at the same time.

The contributing writer is Managing Director at CarWise.ae – Muhamad Omari


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