One of the most simple and inexpensive ways to get around Dubai is with taxis. You can flag one down from the street or from any hotels and malls. Taxis are comfortable and clean, you only pay what is on the meter, although hotels often have "limos" that charges more so confirm for a regular taxi instead. Most of the drivers speaks English. 

  • 'Deira' gold, spice souks - about 20 minutes to half an hour journey 30 -40 dirhams about £6.00.
  • Karama area 35 - 50 same time journey. £6.50 - £7.00
  • Deira to Dubai Festival City - about 15 to 20 min and cost about 20 dirhams
  • Deira to Emirates Mall / Jumeriah resorts - about 30 minutes to 45 minutes and cost 50 to 60 dirhams

At rush hour it can be very difficult to flag down a taxi, be warned locals do not queue! It is a case of every man/woman for themselves. Taxis are cheap and friendly. Traffic can be very heavy in the evenings making it impossible to get from the beach area to old Dubai.

All the usual car hire companies – Enterprise, Hertz, Alamo, etc. – are accounted for here if you have a specific company that you prefer.  Useful to visit the rental car brokers, as the deals of major (Autorent car rental, Thrifty, Avis, Europcar, Budget, Hertz, SixT, National, Alamo) and local car rental companies (suppliers) are compared in one site. They offer online booking, live support and 24 hours hotline. 

To drive in the UAE you may need a International Driving Permit. However, some rental companies in Dubai will not insist on this and will accept a European or USA driving licence.

Countries allowed to drive in the UAE with their local license include, UK, USA, France, Japan, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Denmark, Italy, Germany, Greece, Austria, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Romania, Australia and more. The car rental companies would be able to provide the complete list.

Driving in UAE is on the left hand drive. The infrastructure is quite new and based on the American model, with wide roads and large junctions.  If you venture into the old city centres, remain vigilant as you will encounter impatient drivers who may cut you off.  Obscene hand gestures are illegal; typically this will not result in a penalty, unless you send a gesture to a person of importance. 

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident or have any other emergency, call 999 for an ambulance or police response. If you have a local mobile, they will send you a SMS with your case number and the unit number that is responding to you. The response is usually fast- 10 minutes or less for police, 15 minutes or less for an ambulance. 

For traffic accidents, the laws in UAE are similar to any other industrialized country as far as trying to determine who is at fault.  In Abu Dhabi, traffic accident investigation is outsourced to a private company called SAAED, so once the initial police response has arrived, they will turn the case over to the SAAED officer for the investigation.