If you are lucky, it takes a few hours and around 300AED, and you can have your Emirates D.L. Here the laws state that with tourist/visit visa you can drive with your original licence, from your home country, but after you get the residence visa, you must change your license in order to be able to drive (legally) your car.
You need the following documents:
- 2 passport photos
- NOC (No Objection Certificate) from
your sponsor (employer)
- Copy of your passport & visa
- Legal translation of your licence (costs around 70-100AED)
- Emirate ID or at least the receipt that the process had been started
- Your original passport, and Home License
The procedure is quite simple and fast. After you have all the mentioned documents, you go to the Traffic & Licencing Dept. or RTA (depending on the Emirate you have the visa from). There you have to pass an eye examination (costs 25AED).
With the eye exam paper and all the others mentioned above, you can go to the counter where they make a photo of you, and in less then 5 minutes they hand over your new Emirates Driving License. (here you will pay 200AED).
If you are not lucky, it means that your home country is one of those whose citizens need to take driving lessons (need to take the full lesson&exam stuff). The bad part is, that not only it takes around one month, but you will have to pay around 800AED for that. This is necessary if you don’t have a home licence, more info here (about the driving lessons and exams).
Usually European countries, Australia & NZ or the States are not a problem, but I heard that Hungarians need to take the lessons, while all the EU member countries surrounding Hungary not (Romania, Slovakia, Austria).
To be on the safe side always ask in advance, you can use the following phone numbers:
for Dubai: 8009090 (RTA)
for Abu Dhabi: 600577777 (Abu Dhabi Licencing Dept)