We look at everything you need to do to get your motorcycle licence here
21 February 2019| Last updated on 19 January 2020
Wanting to get your motorcycle licence in UAE? Here’s our complete guide.
For many, it’s a dream to ride a motorcycle – the ability to interact with your environment, the thrill of the speed, and not having to worry in traffic jams.
In the UAE, it is possible to ride a motorcross or dirt bike in the desert without a licence. But it is advised you get an official motorcycle licence in to arm you with the right knowledge to help you ride safely.
If you’re wanting to get a motorcycle licence in Dubai, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you, as we answer all the questions you probably have.
Firstly – do you need a motorcycle licence in Dubai?
Yes, yes you do. To operate a motorbike in the emirate, you must have the correct motorcycle licence as per the Roads and Transport Authority’s (RTA) requirements. And according to the RTA’s motorcycle handbook for bike riders, all riders must obey the same rules as drivers.
What age can you drive a motorcycle in Dubai?
The minimum age to drive a motorcycle bike in Dubai is 17 years old.
If I already have a UAE driving licence, do I need to apply for a motorcycle licence?
Yes. Even if you already have a full, valid UAE driver’s licence, you must apply for a motorcycle licence in Dubai. As per Emirates Driving Institute, students who do not currently possess any motorcycle licence are considered ‘beginners’ and must register for a mandatory minimum of 15 hours.
Students who have held their country’s motorcycle licence for more than two years can register for 8 hours and must acquire an affidavit from their consulate stating they have a valid motorcycle licence.
It’s worth noting – if you have any traffic fines in your name, you won’t be able to open a motorcycle licence file until you’ve cleared it.
Transferring your motorcycle licence to Dubai
If you come from any one of the 41 listed countries provided by the RTA, you can directly transfer your licence by visiting an RTA office with the necessary documentation and fees.
How much does it cost for a motorcycle licence in Dubai?
The cost varies depending on which driving school you register with.
For instance, Dubai Driving Center costs up to AED 3,860 for their motorcycle course, but this price can be lower based on the schedule and timings you choose.
There’s also extra knowledge and innovation fees, as well as costs for opening a file and your permits. There are additional costs for the tests and licence issuance, as well as an evaluation and assessment test. In total, extras cost up to AED 1,460.
At Emirates Driving Center, their package – which includes all lessons, tests, fees – costs AED 4,605 but may increase depending on Friday, shift or gold training. Al Ahli Dubai also offers a package, which costs AED 4,960 – this includes all paperwork, lectures, theory tests, practical lessons and the RTA test itself.
Mandatory theory training is required for all motorcycle licence applications, regardless of your driving school.
Documents required to open a motorcycle licence application
To open a motorcycle licence application in Dubai, you’ll need the following documentation:
- Original Emirates ID with copy
- No objection letter (with stamp and signature if applicable) from sponsor
- Eye test
- Original country licence with copy
- Passport copy with valid Dubai residence visa
- 2 passport size photographs
Other requirements vary between driving schools – best to check their websites for further information and clarification.
Step-by-step guide to getting your motorcycle licence in Dubai
- Step 1: Visit your driving school, open a file and register your application
- Step 2: Attend 8 hours of theory lectures
- Step 3: Sit for the theory test, which consists of 40 questions
- Step 4: Attend 15 hours of practical lessons
- Step 5: Pass the driving school’s assessments
- Step 6: Pass the RTA tests
What a motorcycle course in Dubai includes
Most, if not all, motorcycle course in the emirate include the following topics and skills in order for you to acquire your Dubai motorcycle licence:
- Vehicle balancing and control
- Vehicle positioning
- Observation of traffic signs
- Lane discipline
- Use of gears, clutch, accelerator, horn, brakes, side mirrors, etc
- Traffic signs
- Risk management
- Rules of the road
- Command and control
- Sudden stops
- Rotation and turns
- Driving with a load
What to wear to motorcycle lessons in Dubai
Students on all motorcycle courses must wear heavy-duty ankle boots, full length sleeves shirt and full-length trousers. You must also have a helmet with a visor, plus elbow and knee pads.
Is Dubai a motorcycle-friendly city?
Unfortunately, there are very little dedicated parking spots for motorcycles in Dubai, so sometimes bikers must park in normal parking spots to avoid being fined.
Otherwise, it’s generally friendly for motorcycles – and there’s routes across Dubai and the UAE that are very inviting to bikers.
Challenges of riding a motorcycle in Dubai
Dubai is renowned for its roads, and the varying levels of driving you experience in the emirate. Do not assume that you are seen by drivers on the roads; despite laws in place, a lot of Dubai drivers still use their phone whilst driving, or smoke or eat when behind the wheel. As a result, drivers can be inconsiderate of bikes and bikers sometimes.
You are responsible for your own safety, and as the RTA points out, do not expect other road users to look after you. Even if you are wearing bright clothing and making eye contact, do not assume that they have seen you. See, and be seen.
Always remember to keep a safe space – at least a 3 second gap – between you and the vehicle in front of you, make sure to place yourself in view of other drivers and not in their blind spots and remember to plan your journey ahead.
Even the most experienced riders can have problems on Dubai’s roads, and as an unprotected driver, you are at a higher risk if a collision happens. Make sure to always wear your helmet, wear proper clothing and proper fully-closed shoes.
Laws regarding motorcycle riding in Dubai
Lane splitting is against the law in the UAE, whereby a driver moves between lanes of traffic, or rides on the hard shoulder, or moves into a space that other drivers may not be observing. All of these pose risks to other road users – and these laws apply to motorcycles, too.
In Abu Dhabi, motorbike riders have been banned from overtaking other vehicles while waiting at traffic lights and junctions. An offender faces a week-long impoundment of the motorbike, a fine of AED 200 and three black points on their licence.
Any biker that does not wear a helmet in Dubai risks a AED 200 fine, and four black points on their licence.
All other laws and fines in place that affect other light vehicle drivers, also apply to motorcycle users. To find a full list of Dubai’s highway code, click here.