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By law, third party liability coverage is the minimum level of motor insurance necessary for all vehicles driven in Dubai. Third party liability only covers the owner's liabilities for death, injury or damage to the property of third parties.
Traffic accidents are common in Dubai and are a leading cause of death in the UAE. Unsafe driving practices are common, especially on main roads. Drivers should particularly look out for unmarked speed bumps, pedestrians crossing and drifting sand, which can cause visibility problems.
By law, drivers must always carry a valid driving licence and keep their insurance documents and registration card in the car at all times.
In the event of an accident call the emergency hotline (tel: 999) and ask for the Traffic Police. In the case of a minor accident with little damage and no injuries (and all drivers involved can agree on who is at fault), the phone operator may advise both parties to drive to the nearest police station to complete the appropriate forms.
When possible, vehicles should be moved to the side of the road to avoid traffic jams while waiting for the Traffic Police to arrive. There may be a fine imposed if vehicles are not moved.
After assessing an accident, the police will give a pink copy of their report form to the driver they believe was at fault, and its green counterpart to the innocent party. Garages will not repair a car without either copy of the form. The Traffic Police also take the driving licence of the person who caused the accident - it may be necessary to pay a fee before it is returned. Only the police have the right to ask the driver at fault for their driving licence and car registration documents.
The person who receives the pink form should take it to their insurance company as soon as possible. They may arrange for repairs to the vehicle (depending on the level of cover), and provide a letter which must then be taken to the police station so that their licence can be returned. An increase in insurance premiums is the probable result.
The holder of the green form must take it to the other driver's insurance company, which will arrange to have the vehicle repaired.
Even after a relatively minor accident, it is possible that lengthy legal proceedings will follow. During this time, it is common for both drivers to be prohibited from leaving the country.
In the event of a a serious accident, call 999 and request an ambulance and police assistance. Do not move a victim, unless the situation is so dangerous that you have no choice.
When particularly poor driving results in a serious accident or death, the driver at fault can expect a large fine and even a prison sentence. This is often followed by deportation.
Diya, or blood money, is a fine imposed for causing death willfully or by accident. The minimum fine imposed by the Dubai Courts is AED 200,000, and can be higher depending on the circumstances and claims of the victim's family.
There is a zero tolerance policy for driving while intoxicated. Drinking and driving will result in arrest (and most likely jail time), fines and 24 black points on the driver's record.