Road Signs in the UAE

Purnika Anand
Est. Reading Time 5 mins

Road signs are present everywhere there is a road and besides the obvious role of providing information, they also save lives by alerting the driver about upcoming diversions, road conditions, bumps, pedestrian crossings and the like. As a vehicle operator, it is of utmost importance to know and pay attention to the road signs as much as the road. Not following the road signs can be seen as disobeying the traffic rules and may result in a penalty such as a fine or black points on your driving licence. People should not see road signs as a hassle but as a way of ensuring everyone’s safety.

The UAE has some of the best, well-designed roads in the world as evidenced by its ranking in the World Road Quality Index, ahead of developed countries such as Germany, the USA, UK and France. Though the number of vehicles on the road has increased, the UAE has managed to keep a check on the number of road traffic injuries and accidents. Road signs have played a major part in keeping this number from increasing by helping regulate traffic, providing crucial visual guidance and alerting drivers to potential hazards on the road. Drivers should also update their knowledge on road signs as and when the government introduces new ones. Now let’s take an in-depth look at the road signs present in the UAE.

Mandatory Traffic Signs

These are traffic signs that must be followed without fail or any deviation. They inform the driver about a particular course of action that must be followed while travelling on a particular stretch of road. Examples of such mandatory traffic signs are Speed Limits, Roundabout with Direction Arrows, Keep Right or Keep Left, Ahead Only, and Turn Right.

Control Signs

Control Signs indicate what must be done in a situation. They provide easy-to-read instructions such as Give Way to Pedestrians, Do Not Enter this Road, Stop, Drive Straight Ahead, Go Left, GO Right, etc.

Advance Warning Signs

These signs have been designed to let drivers know in advance what to expect up ahead. They inform and give the driver enough time to prepare so that they do not panic or miss what’s ahead. Examples include U-Turns, T Junction Ahead, Two Way Traffic, Steep Hill, etc.

Parking Control Signs

These signs indicate what sort of parking is allowed in certain areas. Some areas are designated for certain types of vehicles such as emergency vehicles, taxis, buses, etc. Some others indicate time periods when parking is allowed while others inform that no parking is allowed in a particular area.

Keep parked Car Cool in the UAE Heat

Prohibitory Road Signs

As the name suggests, these signs indicate that certain actions are prohibited in certain areas as they may cause accidents or inconvenience other drivers.

Handicapped Parking

These signs indicate that only handicapped drivers can park in those specified areas as they provide easier access. Handicapped drivers must obtain the necessary permit and display it while parking in these special zones.

Trailblazing Guide Signs

These signs inform drivers that they are on the right road to certain destinations. They are easy to identify as they have a different colour scheme and clearly mention the destination along with a direction sign.

  1. Blue: highlights national routes and depicts the Emirates route symbol.
  2. Green: highlights local Dubai routes and depicts the emblem for the Dubai route.
  3. White: highlights local roads, points or destinations.
  4. Brown: provides additional information along with symbols that identify a specific destination.

Exit Direction Signs

These signs inform the driver which lanes to take and maintain in order to access an exit. The white exit panel highlights which lane to adhere to in order to make a smooth exit.

Hazard Marker Signs

These signs are put in place to inform of upcoming hazards that the driver needs to pay close attention to. They highlight physical hazards on the road that need to be avoided. They include hazard markers, single chevron left, multiple chevrons right, T-junction chevron, etc.

Other Important Traffic Signs

These signs are meant to inform drivers of certain important landmarks such as Hospitals, School Zones, and Diplomat Parking. Other signs in this category work as supplementary information signs and highlight instances such as road clear, no turning for lorries, no through road, priority over vehicles from the opposite direction, countdown markers, traffic diversion, lane ahead close, reduce speed now, etc.

Though drivers have to know these road signs to pass the test and get their license, it is always wise to refresh your knowledge on a regular basis in order to avoid breaking traffic rules. New rules or signs may be added over time, and it is the prerogative of the driver to keep abreast of the changes.

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