Can I hire a car and drive in the UAE with my UK license?
Yes but some rental places may want you to have an international driving permit too.
If you are just travelling around within the city of Dubai it's much easier and more convenient to use taxis/metro/buses.
Take your international driving licence with you.
Ask yourself, if you need to drive yourself really. If the answer is yes, then spend some time to understand the laws in the UAE, how people are used to drive and about risks driving here.
Key are: 0.0 alcohol (even the next morning), in multi lane round-abouts the outmost lane should exit (but they not always do), if you have an accident, you have to call the police (also if there is only a damage to the car), if you have an accident with a person severly injured or killed you will may be arrested and your passport could be taken away.
Here are some more information: expatwoman.com/dubai/monthly_motoring_Dubai_…
In general tourists are better off not driving themselves. As long as you stay in Dubai only, there is no reason to rent a car.
Forgot to mention. If you are a tourist, it is illegal to drive a car of a friend. You have to rent a car from a rental company.
You can always drive with your UK license but it is far better to use taxis, particularly if you have never driven in the Gulf
Answer to your question is yes, you can hire a car and drive in UAE with UK License. That said, it is better also to bring an international d/l, since it limits your liability in some cases, should an untoward incident happen. Driving in UAE is not that scary as it appears. It is left-handed (like Europe or USA).Self driving gives a tremendous flexibility, and if you use it for longer trips, is cheaper than taxi. Be sure to take all insurance cover, like CDW etc while hiring. For an experienced and confident driver, it is not much of a problem to drive in UAE.
If you wish to drive , please bring an international Driving Permit (IDP) available from RAC AA Post Office etc. Most reputable car hire companies and insurance companies require it. The less honest will allow you to drive without one but just wait and see what happens if you get in an accident or called in by the police..
Take notice of Phil
Thanks for your response's to this question! We actually lived in Dubai for nearly 4 years so we are well aware of what it is like, but we are back after more than 2 years visiting, and there seems to be a lot of contradiction regards what you need.
My cousin was just here from the UK and I put her on my insurance (lease vehicle) and they required a copy of her IDL, so that would be my advice.
Nothing has really changed since you left.
You are required by law to have an IDL to drive as a tourist.
You are not allowed to drive a privately registered car as a tourist. If you put somebody on the insurance (like BedouGirl) that does cover then the insurance bit but not the fact that it is still illegal.
Traffic has become denser since you left. Driving style is unchanged.
There are more speed cameras.
BedouGirl Car is a lease vehicle, not a private car so putting her cousin on the insurance is fine and legal. As I have stated before ( and I spent 3 years with one of the largest car rental fleets in the UAE) reputable companies will require an IDP ( affectionately known as a licence) the dodgy ones may not BUT you will be totally responsible if things go wrong on the road.