In most places, private transportation is much more convenient than public transportation. It’s no different in Dubai.
Therefore, if you’re planning to stay in this emirate for a while, you should consider renting a car. In fact, it can make a lot of sense in some instances to rent a car with a driver in Dubai.
The following are reasons why renting a car is a logical choice for Dubai expatriates and long-term visitors.
1. You’re staying in the suburbs or away from public transport.
Yes, Dubai has a well-established public transport system comprising the Dubai Metro, the Dubai bus service network, the Dubai taxi fleet, and marine transport options (e.g., water taxi, Dubai ferry, etc.).
However, these public transport options are not universally available. For instance, the Dubai Metro has only two routes. It is a wonderfully convenient transport option, but only if the places you’re visiting are along the metro’s red or green lines.
How about the other places? Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority says on its website that buses cover 87% of the urban area of the emirate of Dubai. That means 13% of the metropolitan area is beyond the bus line’s reach.
For the sake of argument, one might say. Well, aren’t their taxis, anyway? Indeed, there are taxis aplenty in the populous areas of Dubai. However, if you venture further than the city boundaries and the nearby neighborhoods, you may not find taxis as easily.
There are taxi-hailing apps, of course. But using them can mean a considerable wait.
Therefore, if you are staying somewhere in Dubai that’s beyond the usual reach of public transportation, rent a car instead.
2. It’s hot and humid for several months in Dubai.
Even if the places you frequent (home, office, and mall) are along the metro or bus service routes, you may have to walk a fair distance (five to 10 minutes) to the metro station or the bus pickup point.
For instance, if you’re on your way to do some shopping at Dubai Festival City Mall and you’re coming from Downtown Dubai, you will have to do one of the following:
- Walk to the metro station to take the red line, walk to transfer to the metro green line, walk to the BM2 water taxi pickup point, and walk from the water taxi drop-off point to the mall.
- Walk to the metro station to take the red line, walk to the 32C bus pickup point, and walk from the bus drop-off point to the mall.
- Walk to the metro station to take the red line, walk to take the 32C bus, transfer to the F08 bus (so you’re closer to the mall), and walk to the mall.
- Walk to the metro station to take the red line, walk to transfer to the 53 bus, then walk to the mall.
Walking to stations, pickup, and transfer points is the default unless you’re lucky enough to depart from or go somewhere outside your designated stop.
Now, a walk of five to 10 minutes in other places shouldn’t be too bothersome. However, that’s not the case in the middle of the day at the peak of summer (around May to September) in Dubai.
Yes, you can ride a taxi from almost everywhere. However, you’ll have to battle the heat as you wait for a cab.
3. You want convenience.
Convenience is the primary reason you’ll want to rent a car in Dubai.
Public transport fleets run on fixed schedules. You’ll have to rush to make your train, tram, or bus, especially during peak hours. If you get delayed, you can miss the last bus or train.
In contrast, when you rent a car, you can come and go whenever you want. You can take that extra time in the shower or bath. You have time to read the newspaper, finish the Netflix documentary you started, or check out your friends’ social media posts or your business network’s LinkedIn content.
It gets better if you rent a car with a driver. You won’t have to walk or get shuttled to the parking lot so you can get to your car. You just have to call your driver to tell them you’re ready to depart. Then you can wait comfortably inside your air-conditioned apartment lobby for your chauffeur to come to the driveway.
4. You enjoy riding in exceptional cars.
Where else but in Dubai can you get the chance to rent a different sports car or luxury ride every day?
Some days, you can drive up in a yellow Lamborghini Huracan sports car, a Ferrari F8, a Porsche Carrera, or a McLaren 720s. Some days, you can go with a Maserati Levante or a Mercedes-Benz GLE AMG crossover.
Have some company? Rent a Cadillac Escalade Limo or a GMC Fendi Limo with a driver.
There is a great variety of luxury cars available for rent in Dubai. If you’ve ever felt curious about how a particular car model drives, rent it to find out.
Even if you’re not renting sports cars or limos, renting a car will ensure your comfort. You won’t have to suffer through long queues or packed trains and buses during rush hours.
5. Safety and efficiency are a priority.
If your rental comes with a driver, you can also work in the backseat. You can even grab a quick bite on your way to your next meeting or appointment —something you can’t do in a taxi.
You’ll also avoid the stress of long traffic jams and getting lost on the streets because your driver knows the city very well. They’ll know the fastest way to get to anywhere in Dubai and know all the traffic rules and regulations by heart.
Did you know that on some roads, you can be fined AED 400 for driving too slowly (i.e., below the minimum speed limit)? If your slow driving endangers other motorists, you’ll also earn black points that can eventually lead to a driver’s license suspension.
That’s not the worst of it, either. There are traffic transgressions in Dubai that can earn you time in jail. For instance, reckless driving (e.g., overtaking on a hard shoulder or sudden lane swerving) can land you in jail, plus cost you a hefty fine.
So, if you haven’t mastered Dubai roads and the emirate’s traffic regulations, it’s worth considering getting a car rental with a driver.
If you live in a villa in suburban Dubai (maybe even outside Dubai borders), it makes sense to rent a car. It’s also reasonable to rent a car if you don’t want to walk or stand around in the heat or rush to make train and bus schedules.
A valid international driving license is a legal requirement for renting and driving a car in Dubai. Failure to comply may result in heavy fines or even imprisonment, so having one is a must.
It’s also one way you can drive and try different luxury cars. Finally, riding around in a rented vehicle, particularly a chauffeured one, is undoubtedly more comfortable and convenient than riding a train, bus, or taxi.