Can You Drive a Dune Buggy on the Road in Dubai?
Many people wish to know: Can you drive a dune buggy on the road? No, you can’t and shouldn’t. But there are places in Dubai where you’re more than welcome to drive a dune buggy, and we’ll tell you all about them here.
If members of the Dubai Police see you driving a dune buggy on Dubai roads, they will write you a traffic citation. The fine or penalty varies depending on how many times you have committed the same offense, specifically:
- First offense: AED 200
- Second offense: AED 300
- Third offense: One-month seizure or impoundment of your recreational vehicle
Dubai Government Regulation on Dune Buggies
The operation of dune buggies falls under the jurisdiction of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and is regulated by Regulation No. (4) of 2008 Concerning the Use and Licensing of Recreational Motorbikes/Quad Bikes in the Emirate of Dubai.
Regulation No. (4). Of 2008 defines a recreational motorbike or quad bike as any “two or more wheeled motor vehicle, not designed as an automobile and licensed for use in all terrains except pavements.” This definition does not only encompass quad bikes (also known as all-terrain vehicles or ATVs) but also dune buggies, dirt bikes, and all other non-automobile motor vehicles registered and licensed for off-road operation.
Administrative Resolution No. (478) of 2018, the implementing bylaw of Executive Council Resolution No. (18) of 2017 Concerning Licensing and Regulating the Use of Recreational Motorcycles, provides additional guidance. It defines a recreational motorcycle as any “two- or more-wheeled vehicle equipped with an internal combustion engine and designed for riding on rough terrain such as sand, mud, and rocks for recreational purposes.”
Therefore, for the purpose of regulation, dune buggies are recreational motorcycles and belong to the same category as quad bikes, dirt bikes and other recreational off-road vehicles.
This definition is crucial because of the stringent penalties the Government of Dubai now imposes for riding a recreational motorcycle on a paved road. Specifically, Article (2) sub-paragraph (2) of Decree No. (30) of 2023 Concerning Impoundment of Vehicles in the Emirate of Dubai stipulates that riding a recreational motorcycle on a paved road is subject to administrative impoundment by the Dubai Police. The release of an impounded recreational motorcycle requires paying an AED 50,000 fine.
Where Can You Drive a Dune Buggy in Dubai?
You can operate a dune buggy only in licensed areas. These are places in Dubai that the RTA has designated for riding off-road recreational motorcycles (e.g., quad bikes, dune buggies, and dirt bikes). Monster Experience’s facility in the Al Badayer desert is one such licensed area.
Regulation No. (4) of 2008 expressly prohibits driving recreational off-road vehicles:
- On pavements
- On the sides of pavements
- In residential areas
- Inland areas
- Coastal areas
This begs the question: How do you transport a dune buggy throughout Dubai if you’re not allowed to drive it on the roads? The answer: Strap it onto a trailer to ensure its wheels do not touch the ground.
It’s actually more practical and better to rent a dune buggy in Dubai onsite from a desert tour operator instead of buying and maintaining your own. It saves you the hassle of transporting your vehicle to the desert whenever you feel like a dune buggy ride.
Monster Experience, in particular, is uniquely positioned to provide the best dune buggy experiences. We offer desert tours in Dubai and rent out dune buggies, all-terrain vehicles (i.e., quad bikes) and dirt bikes.
With Monster Experience, your desert adventure can begin right away. The desert is right in our backyard, our nearest neighbor is located far away, and you have acres and acres of red dunes to explore on a dune buggy.
Do You Need a License to Drive a Dune Buggy in Dubai?
No, you don’t need a special license or driver’s license to drive a dune buggy in licensed off-road areas in Dubai. You just have to rent your dune buggy from a licensed desert tour operator.
In fact, you don’t need to have driving or off-roading experience when riding with us.
Yes, Regulation No. (4) of 2008 requires that a recreational motorbike or quad bike rider must be familiar with the vehicle’s operating and riding rules. But at Monster Experience, we have instructors onsite to provide training on dune buggy driving.
Is There a Minimum Age Requirement to Operate a Dune Buggy in Dubai?
Regulation No. (4) of 2008 says a dune buggy driver must be at least 16 years of age. At Monster Experience, we have a minimum age requirement of 16 for dune buggy drivers but no age restriction on dune buggy passengers.
Note: If you’re wondering what the age limit is for dune bashing in Dubai, our Dubai desert safari tour does not have age restrictions. A professional driver takes the wheel in dune bashing, and you enjoy the experience as a passenger.
Enjoy a Dune Buggy Desert Adventure
Remember: You cannot drive a dune buggy on paved roads, on the side of pavements, and in residential, inland, and coastal areas. You must also be at least 16 years old and know how to operate a dune buggy.
You need to satisfy the following conditions:
- Be mentally and physically fit
- Wear the appropriate outfit, including a protective helmet
- Comply with the traffic safety regulations applicable to recreational driving in licensed areas
You must also be careful about choosing your dune buggy rental provider. Make sure they:
- Are a licensed rental provider of dune buggies
- Provide a helmet and the appropriate dune buggy riding outfit
- Have dune buggies that are well-maintained, registered, have a number plate, and have a current registration card
Monster Experience is a licensed desert tour and activity operator that provides dune buggy, quad bike, dirt bike, and desert safari tours at state-of-the-art facilities along the Dubai-Hatta Road in the Al Badayer desert.