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Renting a car in Dubai

If you’re traveling to Dubai, it’s important to consider how you will get around. Some travelers suggest renting taxis to bring you everywhere you need to go, to try an Uber-type service or rely on public transportation. But it has become increasingly popular to rent a car when visiting Dubai, and for good reason. 

Renting a car gives you ultimate freedom and independence. You don’t have to wait for a taxi or wait for the bus. Public transportation doesn’t go everywhere and it may not be 100 percent reliable. It’s pretty cheap, but it’s not customizable or private. For families especially, traveling on the metro may be less comfortable and relaxing. 
It’s not a good idea to plan on walking everywhere in Dubai because there aren’t as many well-groomed walking paths as there are roads. 

Why Not to Rent a Taxi in Dubai
While a taxi in Dubai can sometimes be reasonably priced, it can be more expensive than renting a car, especially if you need to get around a lot. In addition, there may be communication problems, if you get a driver who doesn’t speak English. And there’s always the roulette of not knowing which taxi driver you are going to get; will he or she be a good driver or a wild one? 

In addition, it can be hard to find a taxi, especially during busy times. You don’t want to rely on a taxi to get you home and then find yourself unable to flag one down. 
Driving in Dubai can be congested in some areas, but generally, the streets are well marked and not too hard to navigate. Dubai essentially follows a creek. There is one long, main road, and then different regions along this road. Plus, with a rental car, you can go off-roading and explore the areas more, especially if you request a four-wheel-drive vehicle. 

If you like driving fast, you will love driving in Dubai. The locals love speed. 
If you plan on visiting more than a few destinations every day (which is common during an exciting trip to Dubai), a rental car will be your most convenient and cheapest option. 

How to Rent a Car in Dubai
Renting a car in Dubai is not that much different than anywhere else (renting a car at Dubai Airport too, here more info). You can find car rental counters in the airport. For a better deal, you can book before you fly online. Often, you can find cheaper rental car companies beyond the airport walls. Also, these companies typically offer an airport shuttle service that can pick you up for free and drive you to the rental car location. 

However, depending on where your home country is, you may need an international driver’s permit or local driver’s license to rent a vehicle anywhere outside of the airport. People from many first-world countries can rent a car using their regular license, but it’s best to check first, especially if you want to have the freedom to shop around for different prices. 

You can usually find many of the major rental car companies in Dubai, companies that you’re probably already familiar with, like Budget, Avis and Dollar. There are also locally owned rental car companies that may be a bit more expensive, but they also may have a bigger fleet of options. If you want the security of knowing the familiar name, rent from an internationally known company. If you want to support a small, local business, you could take a risk on a local company. 

It’s common to rent a luxury vehicle in Dubai, and you can often find a good selection at rental car companies there. Ever dreamed of rolling out in a Rolls Royce? A Beemer? A Mercedes convertible? Pick your dream car and ask around.

It’s the Dubai way to do it. 
The bottom line for renting a car in Dubai is to book in advance online and shop around. Many websites will compare rates for several different rental car companies, to help you get the best deal and the best car for your needs. 

Getting Around Dubai
At the airport, it’s easy to find your way around to the rental car area, and once you leave, it’s generally easy to find your way around the streets. Of course, you can use your smartphone’s navigation app for help. 

People in Dubai tend to drive quickly and erratically. Just drive carefully, keep plenty of space between you and other cars and pay attention. Also look for camels and goats on the roads outside of the main city area. Do not hit a camel. The residents really value these animals. 

More Tips on Renting a Car in Dubai
● If available, plan valet parking into your Dubai budget, because parking here can be tricky. 
● Make sure you familiarize yourself with local driving laws. 
● Keep your eyes on the speed limits and adhere to them. 
● Always check your auto insurance to find out what is covered with a rental car in Dubai. 
● Make sure you take photos of the inside and outside of your rental car to document any scratches or damage to it, so you don’t get charged extra upon return. 



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