08 April, 2007

Headline: "Expats with GCC licences to take fresh driving test"

Khaleej Times:
Shihab Hamad Bu Shihab, Manager of Driving Licences at the RTA, said the step had been taken to unify the driving styles of these drivers with those in the UAE to make the country's roads safer for motorists.

Bu Shihab said the new rule was implemented on January 15 this year. The official did not explain why passport holders of these countries, including Oman and Kuwait, would still be allowed to convert their licences to the UAE's, after paying Dh100. "Licence holders from these 36 countries will have to attend a minimum of 21 classes before qualifying for a driving test conducted by the RTA," the official noted.
My emphasis.

Previously drivers with a valid license from some countries - like the US - could acquire their UAE license without taking a test, let alone lessons. The end of special treatment, I guess.

I do wonder to whose standard of driving are styles being harmonized.


Anonymous said...

Utter crap. As if taking classes and a test means someone is driving safely! With the quality of driving around here I think now it will get even worse, since expats from "the 36" will be taught the same "styles" as everyone else!

I don't mean to point the finger at any particular nationality, everyone knows what the stereotypes about bad driving habits are already (sometimes stereotypes exist for a reason!). But this move would only make sense if the expats from those 36 nations were causing the problems. Are they? Other than the trashy nouveau riche Jumeirah Janes in their SUVs who think they own the road with their maids in tow, I don't know.

Actually, I don't think anything in the license process will change. I'll believe it when it actually happens.

Anonymous said...

No, it's simply meant to delay the number of licenses they have to issue.. thus easing congestion. Pure statistics. Of course, the delay, IMHO, is negligible and doesn't address the problem.

I've had my license transferred (Bahraini license).. and by what I am seeing here, a Bahraini driver's license is worth a 100 Dubai ones.

Oh well..

Anonymous said...

Get off your high horse. you "36" drive just a notch better than the pakistani taxi cab drivers in AD. not much to be all bloaty about.

Yeah, stereotypes exist because you're a frikkin tool.

You shouldnt have been getting "special treatment" at all. this is exactly what Emaraties of my generation have been after. and this is going to continue. I couldnt transfer my license in the US, you cant anymore either.

Poetic justice really. (Well, maybe not poetic, but hey, I'll take what i can)

the UAE just spent (and is spending) a buttload of money on their new driving schools both in the UAE and in other nations (Jaza'ir, Oman...) so they have to make their cash back somehow.

Example, it now costs 1,000 AED to enroll in classes, buy the books, and take the driving tests in Abu Dhabi. now since this is going to apply to everyone, WOOWEE! can you hear the chaching?

Brn said...

Death rates from road traffic injuries

UAE 29 per 100,000

US: 14.6

fellow atheist said...

Despite you being a complete idiot, Bit(ch).. I would dare say that it is fair to not give special treatment to most of those countries. However, I am a bit surprised that the GCC licenses are not recognized here.

So, if I have a driving license in Oman and I'm not Omani, I can't transfer it. I think that's absurd, considering that the GCC is sort of.. well, the GCC.

On the other hand, I wouldn't mind them saying, "we will transfer it, but you need to pay 1000 dhs. instead of a 100". Do you get it?

Oh wait, you're too stupid to get anything.

Anonymous said...

And why should a GCC holder get special treatment? for that matter, why should an Omani holding an Omani license get special treatment. This is the UAE, not Oman.

Who the hell are you arguing with? cause you sort of half way agreed with me.

B.D. said...

The driving school requirement part is a scam. A test should be sufficient if it is administered properly. Perhaps they wouldn't want bad drivers just repeating the test endlesses if they fail. In that case, require that tests are spread out and require only repeated failers to complete a course.

Al Ain Taxi said...

Blessing in Tragedy:

'Driving Schools' ha ha, that's a joke. There is no such thing as a 'Driving School' in the UAE. A school is somewhere where you go to learn something. If people who have already learnt to drive (and yes, the UK and US teach people drive safely)then what they're going to is not a school but a cash cow.

Anonymous said...

The justification given in the article is that the change would "unify driving styles".

To pick two "styles"- a national in an SUV cruising along at 200 in the left lane and an Indian expat barely moving at 70 - they both went to driving school here, and have utterly different styles produced by the same education system.

And 21 classes? In the US I only had to attend 6 hours, in three sessions. Never been in an accident or gotten a ticket in my life.

I can see the moral justification for it (everyone follows the same rules, I have no problem with that) but it serves no practical purpose whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

It serves a financial purpose. Best motive in the world for anything.

Anonymous said...

As per the revised rule of RTA , people holding valid licenses above 7 years , from any of the approved 36 countries can directly go for the sinal / road test , they need not go for the classes(20), some relief atleast.

Anonymous said...

I am relocating to Dubai from Oman and hold a valid Omani Driving Licese since the last 2 years. Royal Oman Police states that they are not aware of expat GCC license holders undergoing tests in UAE. Could someone tell me what is the procedure now as the rta site is under development. Thanks.

babu said...


Anonymous said...

This country has their shit all backwards. To be completely honest, most of the people who get into accidents in Dubai are either the indians or the local Emiraties.

Driving school wont help neither of them.

Anonymous said...

1. UAE Driving License is convertible to any GCC license.
2. But GCC Driving License is not convertible to UAE Driving License "EXCEPT" if you are GCC National.

1. Why is it that other GCC D/L cant be converted to UAE D/L?
2. Why is it that only GCC national can convert their D/L to UAE D/L? Do they drive differently to non-GCC nationals but with the same D/L?



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