The roads of the United Arab Emirates can be rather intimidating to drive on, with cars often moving between lanes without giving an indication of their intentions and other vehicles going over the limit and too close to the bumper of the car in front.
These activities have resulted in an increase in demand for a new kind of education for drivers in the form of defensive driving.
The content of the course includes vital elements, including the likes of observation, system of vehicle control, circle of safety, traffic hazard recognition and safe following distance, says Fatima Raees from the Emirates Driving Institute (EDI).
Raees, who is the director of customer service and marketing at the company, adds that other driving techniques taught include use of speed, the correct driving line, and how to position the car to advantage.
A UAE driving licence and an Emirates ID is all that is needed for enrolment at the Galadari Motor Driving Centre (GMDC), which will kick off a programme with a theory class lasting 45 minutes following RTA approval.
The next step is practical training, which takes between four and five hours, after which students are given a certificate.
Students can expect to pay between Dh450 and Dh850 depending on the kind of programme they choose, according to GMDC’s chief operating officer Elrayah Omer Ibrahim.
Those drivers who choose not to wear seatbelts, who drive recklessly and at high speeds, and who use their mobile phone when in charge of a motor vehicle are among the biggest dangers on the roads of the UAE, Ibrahim notes.
Fast-track and specialised programmes are also offered by GMDC and EDI for drivers who want a more convenient way of obtaining their licence, with both schools also offering learners premium services and providing dedicated staff and zero wait times.
There are also options for drivers to do their training at a faster rate.
Raees says that 24 hours of learning can be completed by Gold learners in just a single week, in comparison to the standard six to eight hours, with customised training schedules also available, which results in higher pass rates.
Gold students receive a personalised experience that comes with a devoted client-liaison manager who manages the registration process and offers personal attention to training requirements while organising the booking of training and tests in a timely way.
These managers also arrange the schedule for pick-ups and drop-offs and receive training from senior trainers who have more than a decade of experience.
Anyone who drives a motor vehicle in the UAE is under a legal obligation to do so while under a minimum of a basic third-party car insurance policy.
However, there are also more comprehensive car insurance policies offered in the country for drivers who want to be insured against all eventualities, including the likes of their car being stolen or damaged by bad weather.
Some of the best UAE car insurance companies include AXA Car Insurance and Noor Takaful Car Insurance.