Make sure you have the necessary paperwork and permits before renting a car. Because rules can change, it’s best to double-check just before you travel.
- International Driving Permit: Passport holders from all GCC countries, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada can use their home country’s driving license to drive in Dubai. Foreign visitors must have a valid International Driving Permit (IDP). Because the rules can change, it’s best to check with rental companies directly to see if your home country’s license will be accepted or if you’ll need to obtain an IDP ahead of time.
- You must be at least 21 years old to rent a car in Dubai.
- Credit card: Most Dubai car rental companies will require you to pay with a credit card, which will then be automatically charged if any fines or fees are incurred.
- Insurance: By law, all car rentals in Dubai must include third-party insurance. Some travel insurance policies may cover car rentals, but most rental companies will charge an additional fee for additional insurance, which can be expensive if you decide on the spot. Plan to ensure you have the right insurance at the best price.
- Travel outside the UAE: If you intend to drive to a neighboring country, you will need additional paperwork from your rental company, as most do not permit it. Before you rent a car, think about your itinerary.
Consider your car rental options.
There are numerous car rental companies in Dubai, including extensive international chains such as Hertz and Avis and local options. Before making a decision, research, including reading online reviews. You can rent a car from various locations throughout the city, including Dubai International (DXB) airport, though you may pay a little more. If you only need a car for a few days, you should be able to find one near you, such as the most prominent shopping malls.
Unless you’ve pre-booked, renting a car should be as simple as walking up to a car rental counter or office and signing a contract. You’ll usually have to return the vehicle to where you picked it up, so plan accordingly.
Most businesses will have a variety of vehicles to choose from, ranging from compact cars to SUVs. Choose one that is appropriate for you and your plans; while your family of five may be able to fit in a Nissan Micra, it may not be very comfortable for anyone. However, if you visit during peak times, especially during a large trade show, fewer cars may be available.
Smart rental apps like Udrive and Ekar are relatively new options. These services provide vehicles throughout the city, accessible via their apps. Once you register and confirm the rental, you can drive away and keep the car for as long as you want – from a few minutes to days, weeks, and even months.
Whatever company and car you choose, keep two critical rules in mind when renting a car anywhere in the world:
1: Go over the paperwork: Before you sign anything, make sure you understand what you agree to. This includes all fees, insurance policies, extras you accept, and the rules you must follow.
2: Inspect the vehicle: Before you leave, go around the car and take note of any dents, bumps, or scrapes, and make sure they are mentioned in your documentation. Check that everything works, including the air conditioning, inside the automobile.