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Driving License Guide


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You have: An international licence 
You cannot drive using the international licence – you must obtain an Abu Dhabi one. But the good news is, this is simple – your international licence can be transferred over directly. To get your Abu Dhabi licence, you must visit the Abu Dhabi Drivers License Department (location below) with the following documents:

• A passport photo
• Original and one copy of your passport
• Emirates ID
• Original and one copy ofyour foreign driving licence
• A copy of a valid Abu Dhabi residency visa
•A letter of no objection from your employer or visa sponsor
•An Arabic translation of your existing licence (this can be obtained at anytranslation outlet in the city).

When you visit, you will be required to take an eye test and then you will be able to collect your Abu Dhabi licence. It will cost Dhs200 in processing fees.
Abu Dhabi Drivers License Department, 2nd and Al Dhafra Street, Al Mushrif, opposite Mushrif Mall (600 577 7777).

You have: A licence from home 
The Abu Dhabi traffic department does recognise some foreign licences, which means you’ll have to go through a process similar to transferring an international licence. For this to be the case you must own a current licence issued by one of the following countries:

• GCC countries
• Australia
• Austria
• Belgium
• Canada
• Denmark
• Finland
• France
• Germany
• Greece
• Netherlands
• Ireland
• Italy
• Japan
• New Zealand
• Norway
• South Africa
• South Korea
• Spain
• Sweden
• Switzerland
• Turkey
• UK

If your country is not recognised, see ‘No licence at all’, below, as you will have to participate in the theoretical and practical testing. If the licence is in this list then it will need to be translated into Arabic, and you will need the same paperwork as for the international licences (above) to take to the Abu Dhabi Drivers License Department.

You have: No licence at all 
If you’re starting from square one, you will need to obtain a learning permit. To do this, you need to sit a theory test.

Firstly, you need to go to Emirates Driving Company and open a driving file. This will enable you to participate in theoretical courses. The light-vehicle education course costs Dhs830, and the theory test is Dhs50. Emirates Driving Company administers the eight units you need to pass to be given a licence:

Lesson one: Traffic rules, road markings and road signs
Lesson two: Inside city limits
Lesson three: Outside city limits
Lesson four: Driving under difficult conditions
Lesson five: Critical situations
Lesson six: Driving behaviour and road manners
Lesson seven: Vehicle knowledge
Lesson eight: Safety

Once the classes are taught – over a two-hour period – trainees sit a theoretical test to apply for a learning permit.

After the learning permit is obtained, drivers must take practical lessons. The number of lessons is dependent on the driver’s capability but is generally 30 hours for complete beginners, 20 hours for intermediate learners or 10 hours for advanced students. The lessons are conducted in a contained environment within a driving rink.

Once you are ready to take the practical test, administered by the Emirates Driving Company, your instructor will give you a ‘certificate of readiness’, which you must present to the Emirates Driving Company to book your practical test.

Once you pass your practical driving test, you must take your certificate to the Abu Dhabi Drivers License Department in Mushrif (listed above) as proof of your completion.
Emirates Driving Company, Musaffah, (02 551 1911).

About the Emirates Driving Company (EDC)

The EDC was founded in 2000 as a part-Government-owned initiative to administer road safety awareness and licensing. The EDC works in partnership with Swedish Road Authority to ensure a high-quality driver education system.
Open Sunday-Thursday 7.30am-3pm, next to Dalma Mall, Mussafah, (02 551 1911). 

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