Car Hire in Abu Dhabi
This information is correct as of April 2015
Discover Abu Dhabi the easy way by hiring a car. This glamorous and modern city is packed with glitzy shopping malls, beautiful buildings, and lush parks, but is totally lacking in public transport. When you have your own four wheels you have the freedom to explore Abu Dhabi and the UAE at your leisure, without having to wait for taxis. Find great deals on car rental today with Skyscanner.
Where to hire a car in Abu Dhabi
You can rent a car at Abu Dhabi International Airport, or wait and pick your car up when you arrive in the city. Car hire companies at the airport include Budget, Dollar, Europcar, Hertz, Thrifty and Payless.
There are lots of car rental locations once you reach the city as well: for example German Rent a Car have a branch near Al Hanna Tower, and Thrifty have a base at Al Khalidiyah Mall. Europcar, Trust Rental Car and Dollar all have locations near The Capital Garden.
If you’re planning a trip into the desert, rent a 4x4. A swanky sports car or chic city car won’t be able to handle as well on the sand.
Driving in Abu Dhabi
Drivers in Abu Dhabi have a bad reputation for changing lanes unexpectedly and speeding. Keep a good distance between yourself and the car in front, and make sure you’re always prepared to deal with any hazards that might arise.
Don’t risk driving after a glass of wine or beer: there’s zero tolerance for drink driving in Abu Dhabi, and the penalty is a month of jail time. There are massive fines for driving through red lights, so don’t be an amber gambler either.
The roads in Abu Dhabi become very congested during the rush hours, which last from 7:30am to 9:30am, 1:30pm-4pm, and 7pm-9pm from Sunday to Thursday. Aggressive drivers come out in force, so try to avoid the roads as much as possible during these hours. Friday and Saturday are the weekend, so the roads might be a little busier throughout the day.
Traffic in the UAE drives on the right, and your rental car will be a left-hand-drive. Take extra care when approaching junctions and roundabouts: always double check that you’re in the right lane.
Parking in Abu Dhabi
Before parking your car look at the markings on the curb: you’re not allowed to park in spaces that are marked yellow and grey, you can park for free in spaces marked blue and black, and if the markings are blue and white you will have to pay for parking at the nearby meter. The sprawling shopping malls have their own car parks, perfect if you plan to shop ‘til you drop.
Great day trips from Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is a very hot city so it’s a good idea to keep a supply of water in your car: especially if you’re heading off on one of these road trips. Dubai For a change of scene, head to the glittering city of Dubai: just 90 minutes from Abu Dhabi. Visit high end shopping malls like the Burjuman Centre, gawp at the hypermodern architecture, or spend an afternoon sunning yourself on Jumeirah Beach. Dubai is famous for its excellent nightlife, but if you do decide to indulge make sure you book yourself a hotel room. Hatta Heritage Village Get a taste for the old UAE at this historic village. It takes around two and a half hours to reach Hatta from Abu Dhabi. There are interesting old buildings, excellent mountain views, and some interesting exhibits. Bring plenty of refreshments for the day. Al Ain This verdant city sits on the border with Oman. It’s less than a two hour drive from Abu Dhabi and has plenty of attractions to keep you occupied. There’s a beautiful oasis to stroll through, a fantastic zoo to visit, and an interesting museum. The city sits at the bottom of Jebel Hafeet, the UAE’s highest mountain, so is very picturesque.