Former resident visiting the UAE: Can I drive if my UAE licence is still valid?

Dubai: If you are a former UAE resident who is returning to the UAE on a visit, your driver’s licence might still be valid. But can you legally drive in the UAE with that licence? A Gulf News reader wrote in asking the question. Former resident visiting the UAE: Can I drive if my UAE licence is still valid?

The reader asked: “Can I drive in the UAE with a valid UAE driving licence when I am visiting the country on a tourist visa? My UAE licence was issued when I was a resident and the licence is still valid.”

Gulf News raised the query with Ministry of Interior (MOI), which provided the following statement: “As long as the visitor has a valid UAE driver’s licence he or she is able to use it.”

How long is a UAE driver’s licence valid for?

A new driving licence is valid for two years for citizens, GCC nationals and other nationalities. When you renew your driving licence, it’s validity would be for 10 years for UAE and GCCC citizens and five years for residents.

However, you can only renew your driving licence if you have a valid UAE residence visa and Emirates ID, as per MOI.

How can visitors drive in the UAE?

If you are not a former resident of the country, you still have options to drive in the UAE, if you have either of the following driver’s licences:

1. International driver’s licence

According to the website of Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), if you are on a visit to the UAE and holding a valid international driving license, accordingly you can rent a car or drive a car registered to your name or one of your first degree relatives.

2. Driver’s licence issued by certain countries

Visitors who hold the driving licence from the following countries can drive on their home country’s licence:

  • All the GCC nations
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Netherlands
  • Italy
  • United Kingdom
  • Turkey
  • Greece
  • Switzerland
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • Romania
  • Poland
  • Finland
  • Portugal
  • Canada
  • United States
  • South Korea
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa

2 thoughts on “Former resident visiting the UAE: Can I drive if my UAE licence is still valid?

  1. Suresh Adireddy says:

    Hi I have my driving license till August 2022 but I am not in UAE I wanted to renew my license can I renew it without uae residence visa is their any chance like that.When can I apply for renewal if I have residence visa

  2. Dananjaya Fernando says:

    I am having my international driving license but i am not a visitor i am a resident in uae..can i drive with the international driving license?

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