I am finally road legal in the U.A.E. after having lived here 20 months! It was a relatively painless getting the license, which was a great surprise. In life whenever it comes time to deal with a government building I always assume the worst.
The first document required for me to get my license was a “No Objection” letter from my sponsor, AKA my spouse. Basically I can’t drive without my husband’s permission. This is so insane to Americans that it is hard to understand, but it’s just the way life is over here. We had no idea exactly what the letter should say, nor could anyone tell us, so Shawn winged it.
They accepted it so good job honey!
The only other documents required were my Emirates ID, a vision test signed by an optometrist, my passport with visa stamp, my U.S. driver’s license, Shawn’s passport with visa, and 410 dirhams cash (about $120). No driving or paper test.
While we waited for it to get printed Clare had fun as there was a kid’s section with toys. I enjoyed some peace and quiet as we were the only customers there. Different than what I remember DMV visits being like!
We bought a 2010 Honda Pilot from a friend. It is an 8 seater so plenty of room for 3 car seats – yikes! I love driving it but it is so large it is extremely hard to park. Getting around town is getting easier, the first time Clare and I ventured out we tried to go to the mall literally 6 blocks away and it took almost an hour. I made a wrong turn and ended up in an area I didn’t know, and google maps wasn’t helpful at all. Luckily I have found a GPS app that is made by the local transport authority and it is much more accurate. It’s so nice to have the freedom to come and go as we please!