Driving in the UAE

If you fancy a quick dash to Dubai Do Buy, then this news may be of some use to you.

It appears that the gentlemen over in the UAE have finally decided to start actively enforcing road fines on foreign-registered vehicles visiting their emirates. An email has been doing the rounds on the expat circuit for some time now, so it may be old news to some of you.

Some of the pictures in the email are clearly dated, I mean, just look at the cars in the pictures.

In fact, it may be worth wondering about where exactly these pictures were taken - any evidence that they were even taken in the UAE?!

Anyway, the next two pictures in the email did grab my attention:

It appears that the boy's in Dubai have figured out that they can turn a tidy profit catching people speeding in residential area's - and about time too! Now here's the key facts rumoured in the email:

1. The speed limit in residential area's (eg where all those villas are) is 40 KM/h.

2. Don't drive down the hard-shoulder on any high-ways - harsh penalties will be levied if you're caught.

3. Unless otherwise noted, speed camera's have been set to 10 KM/h over the posted limit.

4. The Jumeirah road is apparently pegged at 80, and the camera's are set at 81 KM/h.

5. A first offence nets a fine of Dhs 1,500, a second offence lands you in jail for 3 days.

Now it's most probably nonsense that has been emailed around, but there's usually some elements of truth to these rumours.

Rather amusingly, James from Oman Oman Oman recently went to renew his registration on his car, and was alarmed to have been informed that he had a fine levied on him from Dubai, and he had to pay it before he could renew his registration. Interested, he looked at the apparent speed he was fined for, and was rather shocked to see that the Dubai police reckoned he was going 3225 KM/h. And rather than handing him a medal for breaking the land-speed record, the ROP guy simply said, "you must pay the fine - RO 63". The fact that there was clearly an error on the ticket and that it's just simply not possible to get any car to go even remotely as fast as that, or that anyone driving that fast should be put in jail, that was just conveniently ignored by the ROP officer manning the desk.

It appears that there is no method to question these UAE-levied tickets, and that you must pay them in order to renew your registration. It would seem that they have us all over a barrel - and surely some sort of QA/QC process must be in place? I mean, come on, 3225 KM/h and that doesn't even raise the slightest of questions that perhaps, maybe, the recorded speed was wrong? Just maybe?

Have you been fined for speeding in Dubai lately? How about driving through SALIK gates without a valid account?

le fin.
Driving in the UAE Driving in the UAE Reviewed by Sythe on Sunday, August 22, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. There has been heavy complaints lately of Ghost Fines (check 7 Days local paper) - yep you know the ones you get when you are safely tucked in bed at 4.00 in morning or in the middle of your meal in a restaurant with plenty of witnesses. Cant argue - just pay or get fined a bigger penalty. RTA Dubai has become a joke - 'money,money,money' even in Ramadhan they are out in full force sitting on top of bridges with their radars and cameras to scam for all they can get.

  2. My colleague at work ended up with 250 Rials of fines from Dubai. He was shocked when he went to renew his car registration. He's in his sixties and 'speeding' to him is 70.

  3. Poor OPNO: -2000 OMR for UAE fines. Ouch:'( but alhamdulilah for the wasta to sort it all out:D. I do speed, but I doubt THAT MUCH somehow, being I only go to UAE once every two months and that for less than 24 hours.

    Yes, I know, aiding the corruption. Your friend, he REALLY MUST get some ROP wasta. I think it is a must for driving in Oman.

    LOL @ 3225 KM/h

  4. I'm not bothered about the wasta. It would just be nice to be recognised in the Guiness Book of Records. :o)

  5. Ive had a UAE fine - but thank goodness they dont fine foreigners like this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10960230 otherwise it really would be irritating about this one http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100707/NATIONAL/100705957/1010/NEWS

  6. Makes a lot of sense when you're a gazillion in debt doesn't it?

    UAE - 'Best Avoided'

    Can we at least get our own revenue collecting service going, and fine the hell out of those Dubai and Abu Dhabi plates over here??

  7. I have seen those camera-in-a-wheelie bin photos before, and they are from Germany/Holland. Look at the trees and greenery and the fact it is winter in the background.

  8. slim - yeah my wife was just making the same remark - the background didn't look right.

  9. Here: http://www.ukspeedtraps.co.uk/gatso22.htm



  10. Hey guy check out the local website - www.7Days.ae - full of complains on letters to editors page. Its definately an eye opener as to what citizens in UAE think of life there.


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