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Driving & Public Transport

Abu Dhabi - Driving & Public Transport

An expatriate can obtain a driving license in Abu Dhabi once he has acquired his residence visa. Expatriates can use the International Driving License till then, but this license is not valid after the residence visa has been issued.

Expatriates from the GCC countries, US and most of the European and South Pacific countries listed below are exempted from a driving test in Abu Dhabi in order to have their driving licenses issued. The countries are: UK, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Finland, Malta, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

A new driving license is issued to those who clear the final driving test, or those who wish to have their license transferred from another emirate to Abu Dhabi. For further details on the procedure and the documents required for obtaining a new driving license, click here.

The General Directorate of Abu Dhabi Police is the authority for all other issues related to Driving Licenses as well. You may refer to this page for detailed information.

Matters pertaining to registration of vehicles are also attended by the Abu Dhabi Police. For all the services that they offer, click here.

Public Transport

Bus services have recently been introduced in Abu Dhabi. The Department of Transport runs a network of air-conditioned buses on 4 routes. 60 buses offering free services network the city's five shopping centres of Abu Dhabi Mall, Marina Mall, Al Wahda Mall, Al Mina Shopping Centre and Carrefour. The service will be charged from 2009 onwards.

Before buses were introduced in Abu Dhabi, taxis were the only way you could commute within the city. Taxis are inexpensive, plenty (almost 10,000) and available easily outside on the roads at all hours of the day.

The older taxis painted white and gold charge Dhs 2 per trip. The Al Ghazal taxis are rated higher than other cab operators, and can be called at 97124447787.

Taxis can be metered or unmetered. In case of the latter, it's important to agree on the charges before you board it. Also, make sure that your driver knows how to get you to your location since places are known more by their surroundings in Abu Dhabi than by street numbers.

Taxis charge you an extra fee for the air-conditioning, and tipping the driver is also a common practice. English is understood and spoken by all taxi drivers in Abu Dhabi.

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.