Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Abu Dhabi As A Newcomer

Mayar Ibrahim

When relocating to a new city or country it’s important to find out how it works. So here is everything you need to know about Abu Dhabi.

The first thing everyone needs to know about Abu Dhabi is its paid parking

Within Mawaqif itself, there are many different forms of parking. You can differentiate these parking spots from the colour of the sidewalk.

  • Standard parking has a blue and black sidewalk
  • Premium parking has a blue and white sidewalk
  • Sukkan (Residential) Parking has a blue and black sidewalk. It is also accompanied by a blue line on the floor or a sign that notifies motorists that the parking is residential

Another thing about Abu Dhabi’s paid parking is its different permits. They have limited-term parking permits and residential parking permits. Click here to discover more about Mawaqif.

Pay for parking using these methods:

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  • Darb Application
  • Mawaqif parking kiosks
  • Text Message (3009)
  • Mobile phone payment (m-MAWAQiF)
  • Rechargeable card


  • Standard Parking – AED2 per hour
  • Premium Parking – AED3 per hour

To pay via text message to 3009 view the image below.

The next important detail to know about Abu Dhabi is its toll gates – Darb

Darb is a toll gates system in Abu Dhabi applied on the 2nd of January, 2021. Also, it’s a smart system using automated toll gates and sensors instead of the actual gates.

In addition, the registration on the Darb toll gates system isn’t only for Abu Dhabi’s residents. It is also for any UAE residents who pass through any of its toll gates.

Abu Dhabi has 4 toll gates located on:

  • Sheikh Zayed Bridge
  • Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bridge
  • Al Maqtaa Bridge
  • Mussafah Bridge

However, in contrast to Dubai’s Toll gates (Salik), Abu Dhabi’s Darb Toll gates only collect fees only during peak hours. These peak hours are:

  • Morning peak timings: 7am – 9am
  • Evening peak timings: 5pm – 7pm

Moreover, here’s how you pay for the Abu Dhabi Toll gates:


  • AED4 per passage during peak hours
  • The total registration fee is AED100 per vehicle. The money is then divided AED50 for registration and AED50 is placed into your balance.

Register for an account through Darb’s official website or mobile application and below are the documents needed to register

  • The traffic code number
  • Your Emirates ID
  • Mobile number registered in the traffic file
  • Active personal email address.

All you have to do is top up your wallet within the app when your balance is running low. Another thing you can do is register more than 1 vehicle under the same account.

Another thing you need to know about Abu Dhabi is the speed limits

In other emirates such as Dubai, the speed limit visible on the signs give motorists a 20km increase than what is shown. So, when the sign shows 100km in Dubai motorists can drive up to 120km without being fined.

However, in Abu Dhabi, the limit shown on the speed limit sign IS the speed limit. So, when the sign shows 80km it is 80km and driving any faster results in a speeding fine.

Lastly, it is important to know the fines for violating Mawaqif, Darb, and speeding in Abu Dhabi

Starting with Mawaqif, the fine ranges between AED100 to AED1,000, depending on the nature of the parking law violation. However, a 10-minute grace time is available when you park your car and after the parking time expires.

Moving on to Darb, when you pass through any of the toll gates without registering, they give you a grace period of 10 working days to register. The fines are as follows:

  • First Violation – AED100
  • Second Violation – AED200
  • Third Violation – AED400

Lastly, speeding in Abu Dhabi is a violation in itself. The fines for such a violation are as minimum as AED300 and a maximum of AED3,000 with 23 black points. Below is a total breakdown:

  • Exceeding the speed limit by not more than 20km/h – AED300
  • Driving faster than the speed limit by more than 20km/h – AED600
  • Exceeding the speed limit by more than 40km/h – AED1,000
  • Driving faster than the speed limit by more than 50km/h – AED1,500 and 6 black points
  • Exceeding the speed limit by more than 60km/h – AED2,000 and 12 black points
  • Driving faster than the speed limit by more than 50km/h – AED3,000 and 23 black points

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