Renting a car for cheap in Dubai is the best transportation option

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The Dubai News (Issue #23)
  Dubai City Information Site

Renting a Car in Dubai

Hi Sunil here to
talk about renting a car in

A lot can go wrong when you are away from your home and are
renting a car, especially in a new place you don't know much about. I hope you
find this discussion informative and valuable in preparing you before renting a
car in

has many transportation options, there is no predominant public transportation
option. As
has evolved, it has become like the
United States where it's hard to
get around without your own car.

There is no reliable public transport system. But all that might
change after 2009 when the Dubai Metro is complete. The metro is supposed to be
the world's largest subway system. A lot of progress had been made when I was
there in early 2008. It was quite a site to see.

You may find it more convenient renting a car in
Dubai like many others do. The road
infrastructure is very good (the freeways and main roads at least) and renting
a car in
isn't very expensive.

The only thing to worry about is the crazy speed racers on the
freeway. It is best to let them do what they are doing and stay out of their
way in your own lane. But I definitely recommend renting a car in
Dubai to make the most
out of your holiday.

If you rent a car in
Dubai, you
will be able to leave the city and explore other areas like Jebel Ali and the
village of
Hatta. This is how you get to see the
true scenic areas of

City is overdeveloped (heck there are artificial islands on water) and
there is not much to see in terms of desert nature within The City. If you want
to experience the desert environment, the sand dunes, desert landscapes and
mountains you will have to take a hike towards the outskirts of

If you go to the
Hatta you can visit the Old
Portuguese fort from
early days. The fort was built to resist opposition forces from nearby
neighborhoods. In fact upgrade your rental to an SUV and ride on the sand while
you are in the area.


Check Your Car Thoroughly When Renting a Car in

I recommend arranging your rental car in
Dubai before getting there. With the Internet
and phone so predominantly used today you can do this within minutes from
anywhere you are.

Make sure you ask about supplemental rental insurance. Because you
will be driving in another country, your original insurance policy might not
carry over to your rental car.

Before you pull out of the rental parking lot, make sure you read
the rental contract in details. You should also check the function of the car
lights, mirrors, etc and ensure they are all working. Make sure the wipers and
the washing fluid is working. You will need this if and when it sand storms.

Most importantly make sure your rental car is insured. When you
finalize your rental agreement, ask for supplemental insurance that covers the
rental car. If you are using a credit card to book your rental, ask your credit
card company if they automatically cover rental cars. Many cards do that now as
an added service.

If your car is not covered, it is worth paying a bit extra for the
added peace of mind. I recommend getting supplemental insurance for your rental
car. And if you are not given the car you were promised, ask for a similar one
or better. Rental companies are obligated to do this for you.

Finally, check the gasoline gauge. Confirm with your contract to
see what you are paying for and in what condition and fuel level you must
return the car. Drive away only once you are comfortable knowing everything you
have to know about your rental.


Road Rage & Road Rules

There is no concept of road etiquette in
Dubai. Well there is but no one really cares
to follow them. Some do but most don't. So be careful. If you are going to move
away from the city to experience "real
be on the look out for camels crossing the roads. You don't want to hit these
beasts. Trust me it will be your loss.

If you are driving in the city, pay attention to the signal lights
and roundabouts where it can get quite congested especially during rush hour.
Dubai driving is quite
fierce and people speed a lot on the freeways.

Dubai has one of the deadliest freeway systems in the world. You will
see a lot of road rage around you. It is best to stay in your lane and let the
racers pass you by.

Because road accidents are already such a big problem, drunk
driving in
is strongly discouraged through severe penalties. You can face heavy fine
amounts and even get kicked out of the country. And if you misbehave badly,
they will never let you reenter in the future.


Road Names & Signs

Dubai is really just now building its road infrastructure. Many side
streets and roads are still made of sand. They don't have street names either.
Only the major freeways and roads have names.

And even those can be confusing because of translations and
misspellings. There are roads that sound alike so be particularly careful when
asking for directions. It is easy to mishear something because of similar

Dubai is also the world's largest ongoing construction project, so you
will find workers and equipments everywhere. You will find many road blocks and
detours. The only thing is that you may not find the signs for the detour which
makes it extremely difficult to navigate, especially if you are new in town.


Dubai Rush Hour

rush hour is one of the worst I have seen in the world. The area is just too
small for the current 2 million or so residents. This number will only increase
over time and I can't imagine how traffic flow will be in the future if
Dubai keeps booming the
way it has been.

Morning and afternoon peak hours cause a ton of traffic jams and
even accidents. A 5 mile commute can take you more than an hour at times. This
absolutely frustrates me! You have another battle to fight once you reach your
destination - parking!

Just like in
Boston or
New York City, finding
parking can cause you a lot of time and pain. The best option is to find the
closest parking garage and pay to park even if it costs you your arm. There is
no other way as street parking is very scarce. Bigger shops and malls have
their own parking however so there is some good news.

Hopefully you are a bit more
comfortable renting a car in
now that you have read this discussion. As always, let us know about your
experiences and if you have any questions for us. 

Rent a car through our pre arranged partner to
significantly save on your booking
. You won't be disappointed
with the excellent 24/7 available customer service.

- - - - - - -

I know that a newsletter on Dubai hotels is long overdue. The requests have been piling in.  So stay tuned for the next issue which will guide you on the best deals on Dubai hotels.


Take care
and see you soon


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