Re-Register a vehicle in Abu Dhabi

When you first buy a car in Abu Dhabi, you must register it at the Vehicle Licensing Department, you must also re-register each subsequent year.

If your car is 3 years or older you must have an inspection carried out before you can re-register.

This post provides information on the process, cost and documents required in order to re-register your vehicle, as well as getting around some common problems.

First of all you will need the following:

  • Your vehicle
  • Insurance certificate, with your insurance starting on the same day as the day (Some readers have recently confirmed they successfully registered 7 days after getting their insurance) you want to re-register your vehicle
  • Driving license
  • Vehicle registration card
  • 100 AED for registration fees
  • 5 AED for the year sticker
  • 10 AED for any late registration fees (10 AED for every month)
  • 120 AED for an inspection if your car is over 3 years old

Location of Vehicle Licensing Department

Location of license an traffic department: on murour rd (4th or new airport rd) in between 25th and 27th street

The opening hours are: Sunday – Thursday: 7:30 AM – 9:00 PM

Google Maps Link

You will not be allowed to re-register your car unless all fines for all vehicles registered to you are paid. It is strongly recommended to check for fines and pay online before visiting the licensing department. The easiest way to pay, check and keep up to date with traffic fines is by registering on If you have any fines that show “Un-Payable” on the website, please see the related section below.

If you need to know the location of any of your traffic fines, you can check this article here.

If your car is less than 3 years old you can skip the inspection section and jump straight to Re-Registration.

Vehicle Inspection Process

  1. Pay 120 AED at the cashier, he will give you a piece of paper to give to the testing engineer
  2. Take your Vehicle to a workshop lane, the testing engineer will rip the bottom off your piece of paper and hand you back the top of it
  3. Once the test is complete take the piece of paper you were given to the vehicle test reception and you will be handed a piece of paper with passed or failed on it.
  4. If it fails for anything you can take it to the workshop just across the car park to get the work done. If the work can be done quick enough you can normally ask the testing guy to wait for the work to be done before he issues the test result. Otherwise you will need to go to the cashier and pay 50aed for a retest after you have correct the fault. Normally a retest does not need to be done, instead have a chat with the testing supervisor, explain the corrective work you have done and he should pass your car without a full retest.

Vehicle Re-Registration Process

  1. Take your Vehicle Registration Card, Insurance Certificate and Inspection Pass Certificate (if your car needed a test) to the main reception to get a ticket with a number on it
  2. Once your number is called, hand in everything at the registration desk
  3. You will be asked for the money and asked to pay any fines
  4. Once complete you will receive a sticker with the month and year of expiration and a new Vehicle Registration Card
  5. Place the sticker on your registration plate (For the location of the sticker, there is a small picture on each registration desk showing the correct location)

Un-Payable fines

You will be unable to pay the fine for some driving offenses online or at the registration desk, these are normally the more serious offenses such as driving 60+kph above the limit, there are also some occasions where they request to impound your car.

Update 2013: To pay un-payable fines you must now go to the Traffic engineering and road safely building which is on Street Number 21, just past Street number 4 on your right hand side (Google Maps Link).
You need to take your vehicle registration card and driving license to the traffic violations department. They will add your black points to your driving license there and this will allow you to pay your fine. You can pay by credit card or cash.

If they request to impound your car, you can normally pay a fine for each day they suggest it should be impounded to avoid loosing your car for a while.


Fantastic Tailors in Khalidiya!

My wife had Najla tailoring recommended to her by a friend and tried them out last week.
She was so pleased with the work they did that I thought I’d share it, so others can benefit too!

Various types of alterations were done to a number of dresses, all of which were perfect, even down to the perfect colour match for additional material used!

Take a look at the map below for the location.

If you use the tailors and had a good experience, why not leave a comment!

Etisalat Internet (E-Life) – Al Reef

We moved to Al Reef only a few days ago and have been in the process of moving services (TV, Internet) etc from our old place to the new one.

After reading the many blog posts complaining about waiting for weeks for Etisalat to install their internet connection, I was dreading all the hassle to come.

However, I can honestly say that I am really pleased with the service I received!

Those who know me will know that I normally spend more time cursing Etisalat than praising them, but “credit where it’s due” they really pulled it out of the bag, so I thought I would share with you all the process I followed in the hope that you experience the same 🙂

I first looked in the comms cabinet in the wall at the new al reef villa, saw the Etisalat box and wrote down all the reference numbers from the box.

I then went to the Etisalat desk in Marina mall and completed a moving form (As I already had E-life at my previous villa), entered my new address (Including the reference numbers I wrote down), handed over my emirates ID which they photo copied and waited for a few minutes.

The girl behind the counter said they needed to do a survey first and the whole process should take around 1 week.

2 days later Etisalat called around with their equipment ready to install!

They spent a few minutes installing a new box, then returned in 1 hour once the service was activated.

Everything tested out just fine and I now have E-life internet and a landline installed! Woohoo 🙂

Abu Dhabi Liquor License

If you wish to drink alcohol in Abu Dhabi you need to purchase an alcohol/liquor license.

Some employers offer to obtain a license for you, so it’s worth asking before setting out on a mission to obtain one yourself!

You can ask Spinneys to obtain a license for you, however this can take a while (2weeks+) in some cases. So if you would like to obtain your liquor license in under 1 hour, read on…

Firstly to qualify for a liquor license you must:
– Have a valid residency visa
– Earn more than 2,500 AED per month
– Be a non Muslim

Spouses can also either have their own liquor license, or be added to their partners liquor license. An additional form is required for this as well as 2 passport photos.

You will need to take the following with you to the liquor licensing department:
– Passport copy
– Residents visa copy
– 2 color passport photos
– Completed application form Link to application form (This is the best quality available from the liquor licensing department!!)
– Salary certificate from your employer (This must be in Arabic and addressed to the Directorate General of Police Abu Dhabi Criminal Investigation Department)
– Cash to pay for the license (This is 20% of the value of your license. So if you obtain a license for 2,500 AED, you must pay 500 AED)
– If you are of Arabic decent you must also provide a certificate of religion from a church or embassy confirming you are not Muslim

The liquor license department has recently moved from Khalifah City A Police Station to the City Click here for a location map.

Opening times are Sun – Thurs 8:00 – 12:30.

There are no signs on the building, so I have included a photo of the door you need to go through. Once in the building go to the 2nd floor, turn left out of lift and take the 1st door on the left. This is a small room and you should be greeted by a guy when you enter.
*** Update, this now on the ground floor ***

Just hand everything to the guy in the room along with the cash amount.
From what I can gather you need to purchase a license for the maximum amount first then you can reduce it if needed when you renew next year.

Enjoy your license!

If your experience was different, please let everyone know by leaving a comment, thanks!

UAE Speeding Fines

OK here’s the deal, if you drive in the UAE you are eventually going to get either a speeding fine, or a Salik fine, or some other type of traffic fine.

When you get a fine, if you are very lucky you may receive a text message, but in the majority of times the only way you are going to find out about a fine is to check the Abu Dhabi/Dubai/Sharjah etc police sites.

To search for fines on the police websites, you need a load of info that is very difficult to remember and it’s a real pain.

Enter …….

Register on the site for free and you never have to worry about any of the above again. You will receive an email whenever you get a fine and can pay all your fines from one link on the site by just entering your username and password.

Your UAE driving life has just got a whole lot better 🙂

Banking in Abu Dhabi

…. well that was an interesting experience.

Walking into the HSBC in Abu Dhabi I was immediately greeted by a very polite bloke asking me what I wanted and if he could help. I mentioned to him I wanted to pick up my atm cards, he pressed about 5 options on a touch screen faster than my eyes could register and 2 seconds later I was given a ticket and told to wait for my number to appear on the screen. Very efficient I thought.

After around 10 minutes my number appeared on the screen and off I went to cashier number 30.  I asked to collect my atm cards and after asking for my account number, off the cashier went to find my atm cards and paperwork. At several points in the stamping, checking and signing procedure I was sure I would be asked for ID, but suddenly I was handed my atm cards without being asked for any ID at all. I know crime is extremely low in Abu Dhabi but I didn’t expect that!

At this point I have my atm cards but no PIN, a quick query at the cashier desk was met with a very friendly “not at this desk sir, the next desk, I will transfer your ticket number over to desk 29″…. my bottom was back on the chair for less than 1 second when was summoned up to the desk 29 to collect my PINs!

I also had a deposit to make, but, yes you’ve guessed it, that was a problem for another cashier at another desk. So back to the computer screen I went, clicked the relevant options with much less grace than the bloke who met me at the entrance and out popped a ticket for one of the teller desks…..

Now in some ways the experience was really efficient, everything I needed was ready prepared and available at each desk, but to be honest I am sure it only seemed that way because there was hardly anyone else at the branch sdn there was very little waiting time between desks. If I had to wait 10 minutes at each counter I would have been in the bank for a total of around 45minutes!

Lesson learnt, only go to the bank when it is really quiet 🙂

Getting Medical Checks Done

Well, after a few nightmarish comments including “There were hundreds of people queueing right round the outside of the building” and “Take a good book with you when you go, cos you’ll need it” I have returned back from the medical centre after a Ferrari style check up!

In Abu Dhabi you need to have a medical card before you can recieve any treatment anywhere, luckily I had the help of people at work to apply for my medical card and make and appointment for me, all I had to do was simply turn up at the medical centre, pay AED250 and wander around a medical centre following signs…

As soon as I arrived and handed over my passport copy and employment visa copy,I waited 2 minutes to have my picture taken and pay my money, 0 minutes for my “interview”, which consisted of someone looking at my passport and stamping a card, 5 minutes for a blood test and 0 minutes for a chest x-ray!

Booking a prior appointment and the time of day must have made a difference, so if you have to go, make sure you book and appointment and go late in the day, my appointment was at 4pm and most of the medical staff were stood around chatting with no work to do by 4:30 🙂

The next stage is to call back to the same place after 3pm tomorrow and pick up my results…….

Arrived at the Abu Dhabi Hilton

I arrived safe, sound and sleepless from the overnight flight, the weather is great not too hot, cloudy but a beautiful warm breeze.

The view is great from my hotel room 🙂 This is marina mall which has loads of cool shops, including a shop (Plugins) that sells replacement power supplies for laptops…. just in case anyone forgets to bring theirs…….

View of Marina Mall from the Hilton

Geoffs Flickr Photos

To kick off this blog and incidentally nothing to do with Abu Dhabi, check out Geoff’s photos on flickr from the home page. Geoff is a mate of mine and regularly uploads cool photos, so thought I would pay a little tribute here…and why not?


Well, hey, thanks for dropping in!

This site is just finding it’s feet at the mo, watch this space for regular updates on life in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. 

I will be commenting on Abu Dhabi life in general, what to expect if you are considering a life here, the amazing idiosyncrasies of the place, what to do, what not to do, where to go, also you can expect photos and info on up and coming events.

So thanks for reading this far, hope to see you here again soon.
If you have any suggestions for the site, please drop me an email

Outside The Emirates Palace