Car Rental in the United Arab Emirates
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
Why rent a car in the United Arab Emirates?
From grand metropolises like Dubai and Abu Dhabi to traces of Bedouin culture, endless desert to golden beaches and green oases, the United Arab Emirates is a surprisingly diverse country. While most visitors stick to one of the two large cities, getting a rental car will let you explore everything the UAE has to offer, including desert escapes and mountain villages.
Top ways to enter United Arab Emirates
- Dubai Airport: One of the busiest in the world, Dubai International Airport (DXB) serves over 60 million passengers every year. It is the hub airport for Emirates and dozens of international carriers, as well as discount airline flydubai.
- Abu Dhabi Airport: A hub to Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) is also served by two dozen other airlines.
- Sharjah Airport: The UAE’s third largest airport, Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) has flights to and from destinations in the Middle East, Europe, South Asia, and Africa.
Top cities and places to visit
- Dubai. The trading and finance center of the country, Dubai is one of the most opulent destinations in the Gulf states, if not the world. While there are plenty of futuristic attractions like man-made islands and the Burj Khalifa, the tallest structure in the world, traces of the old Arab culture can also be found in this metropolitan city if you scratch beneath the surface.
- Abu Dhabi. Not far behind Dubai in terms of skyscrapers and status symbols, the capital of the UAE is also a sophisticated destination. Some of the highest quality museums, galleries, and cultural centers of the Arab world can be found in it, as well as the impressive Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Presidential Palace Qasr al Watan and the scenic waterfront of Corniche.
- Sharjah. The third-largest city in the UAE, Sharjah has a beautiful skyline and plenty of modernity but is also known as the place of the best-preserved classical architecture in the country. Most of the landmarks, including the Al Hisn Fort and many museums, are located in the Heart of Sharjah. Other interesting parts to explore include the Blue Souq (or fish market).
- Al Ain. Also referred to as the Garden City, the green oases of this border city in Abu Dhabi emirate are home to the country’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ancient civilizations can be dated back 4,500 years, and the city is home to many historic forts, museums, and archaeological parks.
- Jebel Jais. Found in the Northern Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, Jebel Jais is the tallest peak in the Hajar Mountains, which run along the country’s eastern coast. Home to adventure sports and lush wadis, this is an outdoor-lovers dream in the winter months.
Most popular rental car
The most popular rental car in UAE is the Chevrolet Spark. Travelers also pick the Hyundai Accent and the Mitsubishi Pajero a lot.
Driver's license requirements
- The United Arab Emirates recognizes valid foreign driver’s licenses from around the world if you are visiting as a tourist. If you’re living in the UAE permanently, you need to obtain a local license.
- If your driver’s license is printed in neither Arabic nor the Latin alphabet (Cyrillic, Chinese, etc.), you’ll need an International Driving Permit (IDP).
- Important: There are reports that despite Arabic being the official language of the UAE, some rental car companies do not permit picking up a rental with a license printed in the Arabic alphabet (e.g., licenses from Egypt or Tunisia). If your driver’s license is printed in Arabic, get in touch with your rental car company in advance to find out their policy.
- Similarly, if your driver’s license doesn’t show your photograph, you might be required to have an IDP.
- Even if you have an IDP, you need to also carry your original driver’s license as you might be asked to show both.
- You must carry your driver’s license, not a copy, with you at all times.
- You need to have had your driver’s license for at least two years.
- Some rental car providers charge a young driver fee for drivers between the ages of 22 and 25 and a senior driver fee for drivers over the age of 65.
- There may be additional requirements depending on the car provider and car category, so make sure to check the rental conditions before booking.
You can cross the borders within the emirates of the United Arab Emirates without any sort of border crossing checkpoint. There was a temporary border placed between Dubai and Abu Dhabi emirates during COVID times, however, this has now been suspended.
The UAE has land borders with two countries, Oman and Saudi Arabia. With a rental car, the former is significantly easier to visit than the latter.
You should obtain and pay for a tourist e-Visa online in advance before crossing into Oman, though technically you can still be issued an Oman Visa at the land border crossing. You will have to pay an exit fee of 35 AED when leaving the United Arab Emirates.
You will need permission from your rental car company before crossing the Oman border with a vehicle. Not all car rental companies will allow this — check the Geographical Restrictions section of the Rental conditions. You will need to be able to show a NOC (No Objection Certificate) and have the vehicle's original registration card.
The final step is to have valid car insurance for Oman. Some car rental companies can provide this for you; otherwise, you can purchase it from a broker at the border.
There are several border crossings from the UAE into Oman, just make sure you choose one which is open to non-GCC residents if you are an international tourist. The Hatta - Al Ajajah border is the closest to Dubai. If coming from Abu Dhabi, use the Meyzad-Hafeet or Khatm Al Shikla border crossings in Al Ain
Visiting Saudi Arabia with a rental car is more difficult. Although the country made itself significantly easier to access in 2019 by introducing an eVisa for citizens of 49 (mainly Western) countries, there are only a couple of rental car companies that permit cross-border trips (entry is easier for the citizens of the UAE and some other Gulf states like Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait who do not need a visa).
You can find the companies that permit cross-border travel by entering your car pickup and dropoff dates on our website’s search. Do keep in mind that even if your entry documentation is in order, you still have to ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit you to cross the border.
Most popular types of rental car
The most popular rental car types in the United Arab Emirates are fullsize, mini, and an economy. Getting a fullsize or a similarly powerful car is a must if you plan to travel away from the main highways and into the desert.
Top driving routes
- Dubai to Abu Dhabi. The most popular driving route in the UAE is between the two largest cities. Although public transportation and tours are regularly available, having your own car will increase your flexibility. Parking is easy to come by at popular tourist spots. We’d recommend going on a day trip to see the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Presidential Palace Qasr al Watan, and the Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island.
- Al-Ain. Located in the southeast of the country practically on the border with Oman, Al Ain is a beautiful oasis town. Much more relaxed than the coastal area of the country, it is notable for attractions like Jebel Hafeet mountain, the Hili Archaeological Park, and the Camel Market, a fascinating place to visit even if you’re not planning to buy one. The drive from Dubai takes about an hour and 35 minutes. Allow 30 minutes longer to drive to the peak of Jebel Hafeet for spectacular views over to Oman.
- Ras al Khaimah. Also simply called RAK, the northernmost emirate in the country is an adventure lover’s mecca. Characterized by its rugged mountains, wild beaches, and nature reserves, the area is the best place in the country for outdoor activities. Driving to the peak of Jebel Jais is a popular route, Don’t miss out on the emirate’s historical sites either, chiefly the ancient settlement of Shimal.
- Fujairah. A popular weekend getaway for locals and foreign visitors alike, cozy Fujairah has everything for a hassle-free holiday. Situated on the Gulf of Oman, this emirate is best known for its scenic coastline, but also boasts historic forts, a heritage village, and easy access to neighboring Oman (if your rental car provider permits it and if you have a visa). With newly opened highways, the drive from Dubai to Fujairah takes only about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Hatta. The mountainous Dubai exclave of Hatta sits in the Hajar Mountains, you will need to cross through the emirate of Sharjah to get to this popular outdoor adventure destination. Make a stop en route at the ghost town of Madam before hitting Wadi Hub, home to a great range of adventure sports from kayaking to mountain biking and home to several luxury glamping destinations. You should also stop in at the Heritage Village, and learn more about the exclave's history, changing hands between Oman, Sharjah, and Dubai.
Car Rental Prices
- Convertibles - from $118 per day
- Large cars - from $21 per day
- Medium cars - from $20 per day
- Vans - from $48 per day
- Premium cars - from $54 per day
- Small cars - from $18 per day
- SUVs - from $21 per day
How can I save money on my rental car?
You can do a number of things to get a good car rental deal in the United Arab Emirates:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting UAE is the cheapest in September when renting a car is about 33% cheaper than the yearly average and about 50% cheaper than renting in February.
Top 6 Most Popular Cities in the United Arab Emirates
Top 19 Most Popular Locations in the United Arab Emirates
Car Rental at Dubai Int. Airport from $17.64 per day
Car Rental at Abu Dhabi Airport from $20.25 per day
Car Rental at Sharjah Airport from $21.17 per day
Car Rental at Dubai Al Quoz from $20.38 per day
Car Rental at Dubai Deira City Centre from $20.93 per day
Car Rental in Downtown Dubai Marina from $20.93 per day
Car Rental at Dubai Business Bay from $21.17 per day
Car Rental at Dubai Silicon Oasis from $20.93 per day
Car Rental at Dubai Mall of the Emirates from $24.54 per day
Car Rental at Dubai Jumeirah from $20.93 per day
Car Rental at Al Maktoum Int. Airport from $18.28 per day
Car Rental at Novotel Abu Dhabi Al Bustan Hotel from $22.08 per day
Car Rental in Dubai (Downtown) from $20.93 per day
Car Rental at Dubai Arenco Building Karama from $22.78 per day
Car Rental at Dubai Atlantis The Palm Hotel from $22.48 per day
Car Rental at Dubai Festival City from $22.26 per day
Map of Car Rental Locations
What is the cheapest month to rent a car in the United Arab Emirates?
This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. How much your car rental will cost will depend on the type of vehicle you rent, how long you’ll rent it for, and how far ahead you book. Simply enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see the exact prices.
What’s the average rental length in the United Arab Emirates?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in the United Arab Emirates?
Car Rental Information
|Car rental locations||93|
|Popular suppliers||Thrifty, DRIVUS, Hertz, Dollar, Alamo|
|Popular car categories||SUVs, Small cars, Medium cars, Large cars|
|Lowest price||$18 per day|
|Cheapest supplier||Ace Rent a car|
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Thrifty||Kia Picanto||4||1||Small cars|
|Alamo||Ford Figo||3||2||Small cars|
|Hertz||Toyota Camry||4||2||Large cars|
|GreenMotion||Kia Picanto||5||1||Small cars|
|Dollar||Kia Picanto||4||1||Small cars|
|AddCar||Kia Rio||4||1||Small cars|
|Thrifty||Mazda 3||4||2||Medium cars|
Our Customers' Reviews
Because we want to make sure each review listed here is left by a real customer, we don’t have an option to post a review here. Instead, we ask each and every customer to leave a review after they return their rental car. This way, you know that all reviews are authentic, verified, and trustworthy.