A simulator is used to train heavy vehicle drivers at the Emirates Driving Institute. An average road test lasts for 15 to 20 minutes per candidate. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Dubai: If you are going through the process of getting a driver’s licence (DL) in Dubai, a couple of failed attempts to clear the Roads and Transport Authority’s (RTA) driving test shouldn’t be a matter of concern as most applicants acquire the driver’s licence in an average of three attempts.

According to the RTA, more than 104,272 people applied for a driver’s licence in Dubai last year, while 118,419 passed the driving test, including many of those who started training in 2017.

With a minimum of 20 training hours, the average training duration is around three months, depending on individual levels of competency.

It (number of training hours) entirely depends on their (trainees’) personal skills and the capacity to learn. A quick learner can pass the road test in first attempt.

- Khalid Javed | Training and technical Consultant

“For the new learners, the minimum training hours are 20 but this period can be increased if candidates are not successful in achieving the level of competency required to pass the RTA’s road test, said Khalid Javed, training and technical consultant at Emirates Driving Institute (EDI).

After completing the minimum required hours of training, a trainee goes through an internal test and if he or she doesn’t show the satisfactory levels of competency, the trainer recommends a few additional classes.

“It (number of training hours) entirely depends on their (trainees’) personal skills and the capacity to learn. A quick learner can pass the road test in first attempt. Whereas, an average learner may go up to three or four attempts prior to obtaining their driving licence,” added Javed.

Every failed attempt means the applicant has to go through eight more practical driving classes.

Image Credit: Gulf News

“In the UAE our main demographic is males in the 26-45 age group who already have a licence from their own country. We see a lot of failures caused by errors that come from experienced driver complacency, where they basically do not follow the rules. The majority of candidates will take more than one attempt at the test, but most pass within three attempts, though some can take quite a few more,” said Ian Littlefield, training and EnQHSE manager, Dubai Driving Centre.

An average road test lasts for 15 to 20 minutes per candidate, with each test vehicle covering three candidates in a 50-minute time slot.

According to the RTA statistics, 85 per cent apply for a light vehicle licence, while 58 per cent opt for automatic.

The biggest chunk of applicants belongs to the age group of 27 to 31 years, while the majority of applicants are Indians (30 per cent), as they form the biggest expatriate community in the country. Pakistanis at 20 per cent and Egyptians at seven per cent are next in line.

Dubai currently has 16 training centres managed by seven driving schools. RTA plans to open at least five new schools in the next couple of years.

Driver’s Licence application:

Top Three Nationalities

  • India 30%
  • Pakistan 20%
  • Egypt 7%

Average time taken — 3 months

Average test attempts — 3 trials

Average age group — 27 to 31 years

Minimum learning hours — 20

The process of acquiring a driving licence:

• Open an E-Traffic File and get a copy of the Light Motor Vehicle Handbook through one of the driving schools

• Apply and get a learning permit

• Begin theory classes

• Book for theory test

• Pass the theory test

• Attend the required number of practical classes

• Go through internal Smart Yard Assessment

• Attempt RTA Smart Yard Test

• Internal On-road Assessment

• Book for practical test

• Attend freeway/highway driving

• Pass the practical driving test

• Keep learning to drive and driving to learn