Driving. Whether you love it or hate it, it’s pretty much a necessity. Maybe you moved here in possession of a UK driving license or realised pretty quickly that you’ll need to learn to drive here. You may have been on the ex-pat merry-go-round so long that your existing UK licence has expired, or perhaps you’ve older children who have learnt to drive here in the UAE and are now looking to relocate to the UK for further education. Whatever your circumstances, the usual red tape that used to surround driving licenses, when moving or repatriating to the UK, has now been changed – for the better– hurrah we hear you cry!

With effect from May 20th 2021 it is now possible to exchange your UAE driving license for a UK license, which is great news and comes as a relief for many looking to move back to Blighty. The expense alone of having to potentially retake your driving test could run to thousands of dirhams and that’s not even taking in to account the nerves and abject horror at having to retake both the theory and practical tests, especiallyfor those of us who passed their original test decades ago.

This very welcome decision was made based on UAE and UK testing standards which are ultimately the same, proving little to no value in re-testing. It is however worth remembering that the exchange will work on a like for like basis, so if you only hold an automatic license here then you will only be issued with the UK equivalent.

To find out more about the changes or to apply for your UK license visit: https://www.gov.uk/exchange-foreign-driving-licence