Because driving in the UAE is on the same side as the States, it is quite simple to transfer licenses across.
In Abu Dhabi (AD), you will need to make a trip to the Transport Authorities (AD Police) after receiving a residence visa. You will need a no-objection letter from your company, a copy of your passport, original driver’s license, residence visa, two passport-size photos, and a total of 200dhs. When you arrive at the police, you’ll tell the people at the information desk why you are there and they will first direct you to a room for your eye test, which will cost 50dhs. Then, you return to the information desk, and get directed with a number to the main area.
You’ll then hand over your documents, money and wait for your new license to be made! It was actually a very quick process and fairly painless.
There are two ways to get an international driver’s license. The easiest way is through a post office. You will need a copy of your UAE license, passport copy, two photos and 150dhs. When you arrive at the post office, the person at the information desk will give you a form to complete before directing you to a window where you’ll hand in your documents. Again, another easy process.
The other way to get the international license is through the Arabian Automobile Association. Their main office is located in Dubai and thus you’ll have to go there to get the license. It’s only 50dhs through AAA, so if you’re in Dubai already, it’s not a bad method.
More tips to come!