The car-tinting business is lucrative in summer as car owners opt for ways to reduce the heat. Shop owners in Satwa and Karama say they make on average Dh1,500 a day. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: With the onset of summer, many residents rush to get their car windows tinted in a bid to reduce the heat inside their cars and increase the air-conditioner’s efficiency.

Some however, are unpleasantly surprised when they are handed a hefty fine as they drive their tinted vehicles, as not all car tinting is legal due to security and safety concerns.

Major-General Mohammad Saif Al Zafein, Director of Dubai Police’s Traffic Department, said that under the Federal Traffic Law individual car owners are allowed to have their car windows shaded with 30 per cent tint. Tinting is not allowed on the wind screen. Cars owned by companies are not allowed to have tinted windows.

Silver and reflective tinting is also prohibited as it poses danger on the road whenever light reflects off a tinted window and blinds the other driver.

In 2011, 1,960 tickets were issued to car owners for violating tinting regulations, while 914 were issued in the first five months of 2012.

Although 30 per cent is the allowed degree of tinting, Dubai Police will not usually pull off a driver to check the degree of tinting on their window unless they visibly exceed the allowance.


Special permits

A permission to increase the tinting can be obtained from the Roads and Transport Authority for people with special needs on a case-to-case basis.

The law stipulates a fine of Dh500 and confiscation of the vehicle for 30 days for excessive tinting in all emirates except Abu Dhabi, which implements a decree issued by the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, which imposes a Dh10,000 fine.

In Dubai, school buses and buses transporting workers and rental cars are allowed to have tinted windows.

According to Al Zafein, some leniency is given to car rental companies since there is no harm for people driving rented cars with tinted windows, provided that tinting does not exceed the 30 per cent limit.