Driving is one of the most essential skills, especially in a city like Dubai, where owning a car makes your journey convenient andcomfortable. Hence, here’s a comprehensive guide to successfully getting your Driver’s License.
Firstly, it is important to organize everything in mind before making a definitive decision. Set aside at least Dh 6000, even though some schools offer the entire package for as low as Dh 3500. You must also consider the training venue, timing, benefits, etc. Personally, I had a wonderful experience in Belhasa Driving Center, Jaddaf and I recommend everyone to consider this as a serious option as training and testing takes place on the same roads. Tests are offered within a couple of days and both the staff and instructors are very friendly.
Here’s a list of the documents required to enroll yourself:
(i) Emirates ID and copy
(ii) Passport Copy
(iii) NOC from Employer/Sponsor
(iv) RTA Eye Test
(v) Home Country Driver’s License (if valid for more than 2 years)
Tip: If you have a valid Driver’s License from your home country, you can train for lesser number of hours.
Once registered, you will receive your learning permit, which contains your Traffic File Number. Make sure you carry your permit every time you have training/test. Then finish 8 sessions of online lectures on the driving school’s portal. This is the most convenient option but the same sessions are available in the branch as well. After completing all 8 lectures, book your RTA Theory Test, which is a breeze provided you are thorough with the Driver’s Handbook and all Road Signs. Download the official RTA App and take a few Practice Tests as you will face identical questions on the Test. The exam consists of 40 MCQ questions, of which 5 will be HPT (Hazard Perception Test). You are required to score 30 or above to clear this test.
Next you begin with training. The first few classes should be easy to handle, as you will not go above 40 kph. Pay close attention to your instructor when you begin lane changing and merging, as these are one of the tougher tasks for a beginner. Make sure you conduct 5 point checks before switching lanes, and are constantly throughout the manoeuvre. Mastering the head/shoulder check might seem difficult, but you will learn in time. The only precaution while doing a head check is your body, especially shoulders must not move as it will gently steer the vehicle away from your desired lane change. After this, you will be trained on various obstacles, like roundabouts, T-junctions, U-Turns, Signals etc. Roundabouts require a certain level of judgement, as you need to plan in advance which lane you will enter according to the exit. Always remember, the vehicles on your left have Priority. Your instructor might enroll you for the Assessment Test if he/she feels you are ready.
Next you will be trained on the Yard. This consists of tree types of manoeuvres: (A) Parking: Garage(3 min), Parallel(5 min) and Angle(2 min); (B) Slope(90 sec); (C) Emergency Stop(90 Sec, 25-30 kph). Be very cautious when you are trained as in your Yard Test, you will be assessed by the system, hence expect zero leniency and you will immediately fail the test if you touch a line. Each section has an
assigned time limit. Stay within the limit and try to complete each parking in one shot, especially Garage Parking.
After passing every section, of both Internal Assessment and RTA Yard Test, you will move on to final stages of training. Each course mandates a minimum of 2 hours training in Independent and Highway Driving each. Independent Driving implies you will be given the minimum amount of instructions and will be asked to follow a particular destination visible on the signboards. Do not ask the instructor/examiner which lane you are supposed to be on as the whole point of this part is to be able to figure it out yourself. Highway Training, as the name suggests, takes place on the highway where you are required to maintain 100 kph and overtake when necessary without any instructions.
If you’ve reached this far, congratulations, you are just one step away from getting your Driver’s License. On test day be calm, make sure you are aware about all minor mistakes and immediate failures. You fail the test if you make a total of 13 minor mistakes and/or any immediate failure. Do not fear, as it isn’t difficult to pass the RTA Road Test in your first attempt. Your examiner might brief you before beginning the test. Keep checking the centre mirror every 3 seconds, before braking, changing gear and indicating and make it obvious by moving your head. Always look 10-15 seconds ahead and maintain a 2 second gap from the vehicle in front of you. Achieve the maximum speed on every road as the examiner wants to see confidence in your skills. Try to have minimum and to-the-point conversations when at the wheel, and if you receive a compliment by your examiner, remember that you are still being tested. At the end of the Test, you will be informed about your performance and whether you passed or failed.
Do not think about failing any test, especially during/just before an exam as these thoughts will hugely affect your performance. Be informed about the procedure though, as it is important to consider worst case scenario. Generally, you are required to train for 1 hour if you fail any Yard Test, and 4 hours if you fail an Road Assessment.
Thanks for reading and good luck!