This page provides information about options and facilities for transportation by road. Also read about driving and traffic laws, how to get a driving licence and register a vehicle.
Federal Law No. 9 of 2011 on Land Transport (PDF, 472 KB) regulates land transport activities for persons and goods, within and to and fro the UAE via licensed transport means.
Land transport includes any vehicle, bus, truck or tractor-trailer driven on roads, including the vehicles moving on railways.
Obtaining a licence for land transport activities
To practise any land transport activity, one must obtain a licence from Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MoEI).
The applicant of the licence must:
Additionally, the means of transport must be equipped with safety equipment and be compliant with all the technical conditions. The conditions governing the granting of the license must be met during the entire term of the licence.
The licensee must obtain an operation card from MoEI and keep it permanently in the means of transport.
Drivers of means of land transport
The drivers of means of land transport must abide by the following rules. They must:
International land transport
Operators of international land transport must provide insurance for the whole trip and obtain a customs pass card from Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security.
The licensed person and the carrier of the international land transport are responsible towards passengers’ safety and goods.
The law mentions penalties for violating its provisions.
The UAE has the best road network globally. According to the Global Competitiveness Report issued by the World Economic Forum for the year 2019, the UAE occupies the seventh position in the index of road quality.
Ministry of Interior Development replaced traditional lights with power-saving LED lamps on all federal roads spanning 710 km. The LEDs are less pollutant to the environment with less carbon emission than traditional lights. They also have a longer life that hits 10 years and save 50 per cent of consumed energy.
The UAE continues to construct and maintain roads in accordance with international standards, using the best technology that fits the country's environmental conditions. The roads' projects aim to improve efficiency of traffic and connect parts of the country with a modern road network. The UAE has a road network, which connects different emirates with each other. These roads include:
E11 - It is the longest road in the UAE; it stretches from Al Silah in the emirate of Abu Dhabi and ends in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. It has various alternate names: Sheikh Maktoum Road in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai and Sheikh Muhammad bin Salem Road in Ras Al Khaimah.
E311 or Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road - It was known as Emirates road. The road links Dubai to the rest of the emirates.
E611 or Emirates Bypass road - It is 110 km long. It provides an alternative route to Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed roads for drivers from Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman and Sharjah, heading to Abu Dhabi without having to go through downtown Dubai.
Sheikh Khalifa highway - It links Dubai and Fujairah; shortening the distance by 20 to 30 km as opposed to older routes.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed road - It links the villages in the eastern region.
Dubai-Fujairah road - It passes through the Hatta mountain range and goes through the emirates of Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.
Dubai-Al Ain road – it links Dubai with Al Ain city.
Sheikh Zayed Bridge - It is 842 metres long and 64 metres high. It is the third traffic route connecting the mainland to the island of Abu Dhabi.
All vehicles including taxis are subject to a toll of AED 4 when they pass through the toll gates in Dubai. Vehicle owners are required to buy salik tags which are available online and at petrol stations. After purchasing the salik tag, vehicle owners must stick them on the front shield of their car/bike. Check the salik balance from time to time by calling on 800-Salik (80072545) and re-charge it online. Read about additional top-up channels.
Passing through salik gates without the tag may attract fines. Moreover, in case of passing through Salik gate without sufficient balance in Salik tag car and not charging the card within 5 days, a fine will be levied on the vehicle.
The emirate of Abu Dhabi started collecting road tolls on 2 January 2021. Toll gates are located on the four bridges leading to the Abu Dhabi city:
Activation of account on the toll system
If you own a vehicle or vehicles, you must set up and activate your account with ‘Darb’, the toll gate system, through the website of Darb or the ‘Darb’ mobile application available on App Store, Google Play and AppGallery.
Vehicles will be automatically identified by their plate number; you don’t need to stick a tag on the windshield.
Exemptions from paying toll