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Tips on car rent in United Arab Emirates

Tips on car rent in United Arab Emirates

08.06.2015
The United Arab Emirates is a very strict country about alcohol, don't drive drunk to avoid large fines.

The UAE is a rich country with ruling sheikhs, luxury limousines, manmade fabulous beaches and incredibly high skyscrapers. Driving under the scorching Arabian sun, an inexperienced traveler will get a great experience.

Most Russians prefer to rent a car to travel freely in the UAE. It makes sense not to look only at Dubai, but also at other big cities. Moving with your own vehicle is easier and cheaper. This is for tourists who are always curious to get themselves to unfamiliar conditions.

It's better to rent a car before arriving in UAE. We ordered the car through the online agency and got it immediately at the Sharjah airport. On our way, we rented the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Malibu and Toyota Previa to travel with more passengers. All the cars had an automatic transmission, but there was a choice of a manual transmission. There is no dominance of the AT like in America. With full tanks the cars were completely ready for the trip. You have to return the car with a full tank too – it's a typical requirement.

To sign a rental agreement, you need a Master Card or Visa card to block the deposit in case of an accident and a photocopy of your international driver license. Your domestic license is not accepted. Get the insurance policy too. The insurance is more expensive when the class is more prestigious.

All the cars had air conditioning, but sometimes it didn't work. Ask your agent to double check it in advance. If you get broken air conditioning, immediately request another car.

There are a lot of Japanese cars on the roads: Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi and others (different models, mainly modern). The most vintage car we've seen was a 1980s Nissan Sunny.

Accroding to the Emirates government, «great cars are not for terrible roads». They have built an amazing network of highways, some of them are paid.

In general, road rules are identical to ours, as well as signs and markings. Arabic information boards are duplicated in English. Speed limits: in the city – 60kmph, outside – 100kmph.

The rules are strict. Fines for overspeeding are 100 dirhams or even more. Parking in a prohibited place is about 50 dirhams plus penalty parking.

Never drive if you are drunk. The UAE's attitude to alcohol is intolerable. In the best case, it will lead to a large fine (even for residents of other countries). In the worst case (if the judges are incorruptible), you will go to jail for 2 months.

Local drivers hate rude behaviour on the roads, especially from tourists. Be careful, keep your distance, use turn signals in time. The roads are wide enough, stick to your lane and don't «sit on the tail» of the vehicle in front.

To summarize, we got the most positive impression from the trip around the UAE. Roads don't have flaws, customs are calm. The only con is a very hot weather. We'll talk about it in another article about the United Arab Emirates.

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