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Car hire is readily available in the UAE and very reasonably priced. You can use a UK driving licence so no need to apply for an International Driving Permit.
There are specific driving regulations that are worth knowing - particularly if you are involved in an accident. You should know if you are allowed to move the vehicle or not. In some of the Emirates it is an offence to move your car before the police arrive unless it is causing an obstruction, but certainly do not leave the scene until the police allow you to. Not surprisingly for a Muslim country, drink driving is a criminal offence (zero limit). More details here.
One area not to worry about is the price of fuel, though the locals may complain that they have to pay the third highest petrol prices in the Arab world, these things are relative and the price works out at around 35p per litre!
Dubai does have a toll road system called Salik. It uses an RFID chipped sticker attached to the windscreen for overhead gantries to recognise the car and take the toll of AED 4 (about 70p) each time you pass a toll point. There are six toll points - one of which is at the Airport Tunnel. Rental cars will be equipped with a Salik tag, expect to pay locally for any tolls incurred.
Most car rental comes with full insurance packages and excesses are typically lower than in Europe but they have the usual exclusions leaving you liable for damage to tyres, windscreen and undercarriage of the car. You can protect yourself from these with a worldwide car hire insurance policy.
Most car rentals come with unlimited mileage, though longer term rentals may impose limits.
Using a vehicle off road for desert excursions and sand duning should be left to specialist adventure sports outfits with proper guidance and appropriately equipped 4x4's.
This content was last reviewed on 19/11/2019