Expat Life in Dubai
5 min read

Driving in Dubai: Speed Limits, Useful Apps, and Road Signage

Read this guide to learn all you need to know about driving in Dubai.

Published on
July 10, 2023

Dubai, one of the most vibrant cities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), offers a well-developed road infrastructure that allows residents and visitors to navigate the city with relative ease. However, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the local driving rules, speed limits, and road signage to ensure a safe and enjoyable driving experience. 

We have prepared this comprehensive guide on driving in Dubai to help you move around the cities hassle-free.

Close Up of Car Speedometer Against Black Background
Close Up of Car Speedometer Against Black Background

Speed Limits in Dubai 

When driving in Dubai, it is crucial to adhere to the specified speed limits to ensure the safety of all road users. The general speed limits on most roads within Dubai city limits are as follows:

Residential Areas

The speed limit in residential areas is typically set at 40 kilometers per hour (25 mph). It is essential to drive cautiously in these areas, as they are commonly populated by pedestrians, children, and cyclists.

Main Roads

The speed limit on main roads and highways within the city is generally 60 to 80 kilometers per hour (37 to 50 mph), depending on the specific road and prevailing conditions. It is advisable to check for signage indicating the speed limit on each road.


On major highways, the speed limit is typically set at 100 to 120 kilometers per hour (62 to 75 mph). However, it is essential to follow the posted speed limits and adjust your speed based on the traffic flow and prevailing conditions.

Speed Limits in Abu Dhabi

In Abu Dhabi, the speed limits are similar to those in Dubai, with slight variations on certain roads. Effective June 4, Abu Dhabi has revised its speed limit, reducing it from 140kmph to 120kmph. This adjustment aims to prioritize road safety and create a more controlled driving environment. 

Furthermore, Abu Dhabi introduced a minimum speed of 120kmph on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Road on May 1. Violators who fail to maintain this minimum speed will be subject to a fine of Dh400. It is crucial for motorists to adhere to these speed limits to promote safe and responsible driving practices throughout Abu Dhabi.

Useful Driving App: Waze

Close up on Mobile app icons of Waze and other navigational apps on iphone
Waze App

To enhance your driving experience in Dubai, it is highly recommended to use the Waze app. Waze is a popular navigation and traffic app that provides real-time updates on road conditions, accidents, road closures, and traffic congestion. 

The app offers alternative routes to help you reach your destination faster and alerts you to potential hazards along the way. Waze is particularly useful during peak traffic hours, as it can guide you through less congested routes, saving you time and frustration.

You can also use Google Maps and Apple Maps.

Road Signage in Dubai

Dubai utilizes a distinctive color scheme for its road signage, which may differ from what you are accustomed to in other countries. In Dubai, highway signs are predominantly blue, while main roads are marked with green signs. 

This color scheme is the opposite of what is commonly used in countries like Switzerland and Italy, where highway signs are green and main roads are blue. It's important to familiarize yourself with the color-coded system to identify and navigate the roads in Dubai easily.

Additionally, road signs in Dubai are displayed in both Arabic and English, making it easier for international visitors to understand and follow the directions. Pay close attention to the signage and follow the instructions provided to ensure a smooth and safe journey.

Final Words

For a safe and secure driving experience in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it is essential to prioritize adherence to traffic rules and regulations. Good luck!

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