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Can I legally drive my friend’s or colleague’s car in UAE?

Frequently asked expat questions..

Need to go for an urgent work meeting and don’t have your car with you? Perhaps you could request a colleague to lend their car to you? Or maybe your friend just bought a brand new sports car, which you would like to take out for a spin. What are the legal implications of driving a car that is not registered under your name in the UAE? Here is all you need to know…

1. You must always have a valid driver’s licence Regardless of whose vehicle you are driving, it is imperative that you have a driver’s licence which is accepted in the UAE. This could be a UAE driver’s licence or in the case of tourists, an international driver’s licence. Article 51 of the UAE traffic law stipulates that a person who drives a vehicle without a driving licence, or drives a vehicle he/she is not licensed to drive shall be jailed for up to three months, or fined up to Dh5,000, or both.

In the case of UAE residence visa holders, only a UAE driving licence is accepted. If you are on a tourist visa, you can drive in the UAE on an international driving licence.

2. You must have permission to drive the vehicle Whether it is a friend or colleague, it is essential that you only drive a vehicle if the owner has provided his or her permission. Article 394 of Federal Penal Code states that a person shall he sentenced to detention for a term not exceeding one year and/or to a fine not in excess of Dh10,000, if they use a car or scooter or the like without permission or approval of its owner.

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