Reflections of a 6 Week Old Driver in Dubai

Sheikh Zayed Road

Getting a driving license in Dubai is tougher than getting your MBA.

– Emirates Driving Intitute Instructor.

After getting my license 6 weeks ago, I’ve been, tentatively, let loose by my family on the roads of Dubai. My first drive was to my home from Ghurair centre, with my husband in the passenger seat, hanging on for his precious life – just in case. For the next few times, I drove on highways such as Dubai-Al-Ain Road, Dhaid Road etc. While my confidence grew with every long drive, I have yet to face extreme traffic. The kind that’s on Dubai-Sharjah road at 6 am.

From the little I have driven in Dubai, I’ve noticed a few things that seem to be taken for granted on the road.

1. If the car has an Abu Dhabi number plate, it’s expected that there will be reckless and attitude-ish driving involved and you’d be better off keeping a safe distance.

2. A four wheeler has the right of way even when it’s going the wrong way.

3. Seasoned drivers can sniff a new driver from miles away and will either avoid you or tail you before changing lanes. Unless you’re in a 4×4.

4. The left lane is for race car drivers – or those with lots of money to pay the fines.

5. Taxi drivers will give you the way if you’re a female driver. I think that is mostly because a lot of taxi drivers are Pakistani, and that’s how it’s done in Pakistan.

6. The above mentioned taxi driver will also keep a safe distance if he’s behind a female driver. This has more to do with lack of faith in your driving than courtesy.

I’m sure I’ll observe more and more things as the frequency of my driving increases. If you’re driving in Dubai, what kind of things have you noticed on the road?

Oh P.S! I drive a 4×4 ;)

Photo Credit: Dopesmulgar

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11 Responses to Reflections of a 6 Week Old Driver in Dubai

  1. gh says:

    Congratulations! You are a good observer, keep driving for building more confidence!

    And ops, i drive a four wheeler too but it’s a 4×4!! :)

  2. Samar says:

    Lol! Oh you know what I meant. I’m not known for my technical jargons :P

    And thank you! Getting a license is tough work here!

  3. gh says:

    Why is that you don’t get much traffic here?

  4. Samar says:

    Because I haven’t done anything to promote it. And I don’t update it as regularly as I should.

  5. silentmantra says:

    i certainly dont agree with #5…no one gives way to you here!!!
    and hi-5 on the 4×4 :) which one is it? planning to try wadi bashing??
    warning: u will have to unlearn all ur road disciplines when u come here and drive. and u will feel claustrophobic in the reg car…unless of course u get to drive a 4×4 hre as well.
    and congrats again on the almost impossible to acquire license :)
    happy and safe driving!

  6. Samar says:

    Thanks! Sorry I’ve been completely out of touch. Glad to know your vacation went great :)

    And I don’t plan on driving when I come here. Will borrow dad’s driver.

  7. UTP says:

    The funny part is that its only about passing the test and getting the license…then you can drive as you wish….

    Did you hear about the lady driver who got fines worth AED72,000? Wife of an RTA guy hhehe…wonder if she paid or not?

  8. Antony says:

    I see that you reside in Dubai.
    Regarding observation No. 1, the same can be said for a vehicle with a Dubai number plate in Abu Dhabi.

  9. Antony says:

    The other points……..I’m with you 100%

  10. Samar says:

    UTP: I heard about the lady but I didn’t know she was the wife of an RTA officer! Wow. Just, wow.

    Antony: Welcome :) I’m sure that’s what Abu Dhabi people think of Dubai drivers too :) Instead of watching our manners when we visit a neighbouring emirate, we tend to display our worst driving behaviour.

  11. That’s a funny post – I’m an instructor here in the UK, so it always amuses me seeing how people in different countries drive – I thought Dubai wasn’t too bad, but we did have one taxi driver there who was a maniac! And the roads with many lanes were a bit hairy – everyone overtaking all over the place on all sides! I didn’t see many female drivers there.

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