With great power comes great responsibility, they say – and that’s why, in places like Dubai, Audi offers new owners a free driver training course.
Research has shown that dangerous driving is the norm on the UAE’s roads, so car insurance is vital. Surely you’ve seen some of the YouTube videos of outrageous public driving in Dubai, but if not, I suggest you check them out when you have a few minutes to kill. This isn’t to say that there aren’t some crazy drivers in the US (trust me, I’ve seen them!) but there have been some issues with particularly outlandish and awful drivers in the UAE that the government has decided to tackle head-on.
To that end, the Dubai Government has launched an e-game that simulates the Dubai driving experience. Players progress to the next level by winning points for avoiding traffic violations. Audi has joined in with these efforts by offering free driver training for new Audi owners there. The training at the official Audi dealer in Dubai – Al Nabooda Automobiles LLC – focuses on aspects such as seating position, braking technique, and collision avoidance. This prepares the owner better for emergency situations on the roads. It’s definitely a great incentive to buy an Audi for UAE residents, and also means that these beautiful cars are less likely to end up mangled on the side of the road, or worse.
Audi also offers driver training for US residents, although it isn’t necessarily free. The Audi Sportcar Experience in Sonoma, CA, offers owners & fans alike the chance to take an Audi around the race track and learn all sorts of driving techniques for both racing and road driving alike. The Audi Club of North America also offers driving schools with focuses in driver safety, ice driving and other applications (autocross, road tracks, etc.). These are all great options to check out if you’re in the US.
There are other differences in driving laws in Dubai compared to the US that I also found interesting, such as:
- The minimum driving age is 18, not 15-16 like most states in the US
- The person’s employer must approve of them getting a drivers license by completing a “No-Objection Certificate” sponsoring them for a license
- The person also needs a passport and 8 photos
- The applicant must also complete an eye test
- Once driver training is complete, the applicant then has to pass a series of tests including a theory test and driving test
Another difference that I thought was unique and probably a good idea was this: If you fail your drivers test, you will have to register with your driving school for at least 7 more classes before taking the test again. You can read up on the application for a drivers license in Dubai here, but it’s definitely more stringent then it is here in the US.
Readers: what do you think – are the initiatives of the Dubai Government and Audi Middle East a good idea to create safer roads and help owners get the most out of their Audis? Or are the laws too tough compared to the US? I’d love to hear your thoughts…