The three main speed restrictions you need to be aware of in the UAE are: 80kph in urban environments, 100kph in rural environments and 100-160kph on the highway.
But beyond that, speed limits in the Emirates get a little more complex to understand. And it’s easy to get confused if you don’t know the finer points. And this is true for expats, tourists, and UAE nationals alike!
Take Abu Dhabi for example. Across the rest of the UAE there is a 20kph buffer on all speed limits. This means you can exceed the speed limit by 20kph without getting caught by the cameras.
In 2018 though, officials in Abu Dhabi removed the speed buffer on all their roads — so there’s no more leeway for speeding, even if it’s only ever so slightly.
But don’t worry, we have all the information you need about speed limits in the UAE so you can enjoy the stunning roads in safety and confidence.
Breakdown of Speed Limits in UAE
Aside from Abu Dhabi’s little quirk surrounding speeding buffers, the speed limit is the same wherever you are in the Emirates. How fast you’re legally allowed to travel will depend on what type of road you are on:
Urban Roads (80kph)
The definition of an ‘urban road’ is a bit of a loose one. And, in turn, the speed limit for these road types isn’t quite as straightforward as it could be.
Service roads — the ones which run parallel to a main road, giving access to houses, shops, or businesses — have a speed limit of 25kph. And single lane urban roads have a speed limit of 40kph.
What’s more, the speed limit on big urban roads, Tripoli Street in Dubai, could be 90kph or 100kph depending on which stretch of road you’re on.
Essentially: always keep your eyes on the speed signs.
Rural Roads (100kph)
The speed limit of 100kph on rural roads is pretty universal, with almost no exceptions.
If you ever find yourself wondering if you are on a rural road or not, just take a quick look around. Can you see the buildings next to you? If the answer is no, you’re on a rural road.
All you need to do is sit back in your car and enjoy — although, don’t be tempted to push for your top speed, as you’ll be breaking the law!
Highways (100-160 kph)
There’s a big difference between going at 100kph and 160kph, both in how risky it is, and how much trouble it could land you in if you get it wrong!
There are not many highways that operate a 100kph speed limit, but 110kph might feel frustratingly slow along Mohammad Bin Zayed Road. Meanwhile, going at 160kph down Sheikh Zayed Road allows you to really open up with some of our high-end models, like the Nissan Patrol.
Speed limits on highways will always be signposted so pay attention when you’re driving is the best advice we can give you!
What happens if you get caught speeding in the UAE?
You’ll find speed cameras all across the UAE.
Many of them still operate the 20kph buffer, but remember that roads in Abu Dhabi do not. Also, any roads with a 160kph limit do not have a buffer.
Now, while you might be tempted to put the pedal to the floor in your fully kitted Infiniti QX-70, be warned! The penalties for breaking the speed limit and other types of dangerous driving are severe, no matter where you are in the Emirates.
If you get caught breaking the speed limit by 20kph then the fine will be small, but the penalties get much bigger if you get caught at higher speeds.
Here is the full breakdown of possible penalties for speeding:
- 20kph or less over the speed limit: fine of AED 300
- 30kph or less: fine of AED 600
- 40kph or less: fine of AED 700
- 50kph or less: fine of AED 1,000
- 60kph or less: fine of AED 1,500, 6 traffic points and your vehicle will be confiscated for 15 days
- More than 60kph: fine of AED 2,000, 12 traffic points and confiscation for 30 days
- More than 80kph: fine of AED 3,000, 23 traffic points and confiscation for 60 days!
The maximum fine is equivalent to over 800 USD!
If you get caught for one of the more severe offenses, you could be hit with 23 out of the maximum of 24 black points before you risk being banned from driving for a year!
So be smart and be prepared if you plan to drive while in the UAE. And make sure you do it in ultimate style and comfort, but minimal fuss and paperwork, with Inyvgo.