Road safety in Fujairah
Being the second smallest emirate in terms of population, perhaps it’s not surprising that Fujairah – with 300 vehicles per 1,000 people – has a fewer vehicles per head (known as lower vehicle density) than the larger emirates. Dubai has 540 cars per 1,000 people.
In 2019 there were 45,046 registered vehicles in Fujairah (according to the Fujairah Statistics Centre) and the population of the entire emirate is approximately 152,000 – but this still means there is more than one vehicle for every three people.
There were 13,688 accidents in Fujairah in 2019, which is an average of 37 a day. Of those accidents 13,237 or almost 97% were collisions. The Fujairah Police have recently introduced measures to improve road safety by reducing the speed limit on Shaikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Road by 20km/h to 120km/h.
Adverse road conditions often lead to accidents, so drivers should take care in the months of October, November, April and December when rainfall is at its peak in the Fujairah.
Starting to drive in Fujairah
Before you start driving in Fujairah, you will need a) car insurance (third party at least) b) a driving license c) a Mulkiya (or car registration card). There are a number of ways to acquire a driving license that is valid for Fujairah. You can use an International Driving Permit (IDP) combined with your home country license, or you can convert your home country license to a UAE license, or you can get a new driver’s license from scratch.
Getting a UAE driver’s license in Fujairah
If you are an Emirati citizen or resident, you can apply to get a UAE driver’s license. The first step is to take driving lessons at a registered driving institute and pass your test. The local government-registered institute in Fujairah is the Fujairah National Driving Institute. To pass your test you need to attend four lectures on driving theory and then take some practical lessons on the road with an instructor, this will be followed by a four tests: a parking test, a theory test, an assessment test to make sure you are eligible for the final road test.
You will need the following documents to open a traffic file and get a driving license: your passport and residence visa, your Emirates ID card, two passport photographs, an eye test report, a ‘no objection’ letter from a sponsor.
Getting an International Driving Permit (IDP) for Fujairah
Foreign nationals have been able to legally drive in Fujairah with an International Driving Permit (IDP) since 1968. Remember that you must also have a valid driving license from your country of origin. You can apply for an IDP from the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) website. Your IDP will be valid for a year, and then you have to renew it. It will take five days from ordering your IDP online until it is delivered to you, but they can be issued within half an hour if you visit the ATC offices. An IDP cost AED 170, plus VAT.
Converting your home country driver’s license into a UAE license
Alternatively, if you are from one of 34 eligible countries, you can convert or transfer your home country driver’s license into a UAE license. For this you need a number of documents: your passport and residence visa, your driving license from your home country, eye test results, and two passport photos.
You can convert your license into a UAE driver’s license if you are from one of the five other GCC countries, as well as the following European countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Finland, France, Ireland, Norway, the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK, as well as the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, South Africa, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong.