Dubai: Authorities have decided to stop issuing driving licences to certain categories of residents to curb the sharp rise in the number of vehicles, Gulf News has learnt.
Residents belonging to up to 100 categories will not be given licences. These include nurses, cooks, carpenters, housemaids, watchmen, tailors, cafeteria waiters, unskilled labourers, gardeners and bakers.
People belonging to other categories, which do not require a university degree, will not be able to open a driving licence file at traffic police departments all over UAE.
A Sharjah Police official told Gulf News that the interior ministry has instructed traffic departments last week to stop opening driving licence files for people belonging to about 100 categories as mentioned in their residence visa.
Not a new legislation
"The move is meant to reduce the huge number of vehicles by limiting the number of professionals allowed to obtain driving licences," the official said.
The official said the decision was implemented last week and many applications from these categories were turned down.
The police official said that this was not a new law as there used to be restrictions on issuing driving licences.
"The law was then relaxed by the ministry and everyone was allowed to obtain driving licences. But due to a massive increase in the number of vehicles, the ministry has decided to restrict issuing driving licences," he said.
The official said that those whose residence visa shows that they fall under these categories will not be able to open a driving licence file.
A driving school instructor said the school received the decision last week. She said this would affect the schools as many applications will be rejected.
Akmal, an Indian domestic helper who works for a family in Sharjah, said a driving school and the Sharjah traffic department turned down his application.
Akmal's sponsor told Gulf News that he tried to open a driving licence file for his domestic help, but it was rejected. "I was told that if the profession in the residence visa is driver and that he came to work as a driver then he can obtain a licence, otherwise there is no way for him," he said.