Insurance decides whether private car can be driven by UAE tourists

My UAE driving licence expired last year when I was out of the country. Now that I am coming back on visit visa, is it possible to request a temporary licence so I will be able to drive a private car instead of a rented car? BN, The Philippines

Only someone who has a residency visa may apply for a new or replacement driving licence in the UAE. Until such time as BN has this, she will be restricted to driving a hired car, unless she has specific permission from the insurance company of a private vehicle. The RTA appears to have relaxed the rules a little regarding driving private vehicles, but the final decision rests with the insurance company. While only a resident can insure a vehicle in the UAE, as proof residency is required, I have heard of cases where visitors have been permitted to drive a resident’s car. In this case it is essential to get the approval in writing in case of dispute.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 years’ experience. Contact her at Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE.

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only.

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