UAE Traffic Law: What You Need to Know About Impounded Vehicles


The UAE has comprehensive traffic laws in place to ensure road safety and responsible driving. One of the measures that the Dubai and UAE governments use to enforce Decree No. 30/2023, amending Decree No. 29/2015 regarding the impoundment of vehicles in Dubai, as well as Ministerial Decision No. 178/2017 On the Rules and Procedures of Traffic Control in the UAE, is to impound vehicles.

In this article, we will explore the key aspects of the Dubai and UAE Traffic Laws related to impounded vehicles and understand the implications of violating these regulations.

 Impoundment of Vehicles in Dubai:

According to Article 2 of the decree-law, authorities can impound vehicles for various reasons. The impoundment period is determined by the nature of the violation, and the vehicle is kept in a designated impoundment area.

 Some Reasons for Impounding Vehicles in Dubai:

    1. Participating in a road race without a prior permit from the police.
    2. Riding a recreational motorcycle on a paved road.
    3. Making extensive modifications to the vehicle that result in increasing its speed limit or making loud sounds or noise when operating or driving it.
    4. Recording traffic fines over AED 6,000 in respect of the vehicle.
    5. Driving the vehicle recklessly or in a manner that endangers lives or property, or compromises road traffic safety in the emirate of Dubai.

 Release of Impounded Vehicles in Dubai:

As per Article 4 of Decree Law No. 30/2023 for releasing an impounded vehicle, the owner must pay a release fee, as specified in Article 4 of the Decree Law. This fee is set at AED 50 for each day that the vehicle remains in the impoundment area after the prescribed impoundment period has been completed.

 Additional Penalties:

If a non-UAE national driver of a heavy vehicle violates a red light, they may face administrative deportation from the UAE. If a vehicle is re-impounded within one year of the date of the previous impoundment, the impoundment period will be doubled.

However, this doubled impoundment period cannot exceed 90 days. In cases where a vehicle is re-impounded within 1 year of the previous incident, the amount required to release the impounded vehicle will be doubled. This doubled release payment must not exceed AED 200,000.

 Seizure of Probationary or New Driving Licenses:

If the holder of a probationary or new driving license reaches the cumulative limit for the first time, their driving license is seized and suspended for 6 months.

They may avoid the suspension period by attending a rehabilitation course at one of the driving institutes qualified by the Traffic Control Authority. In case of a reappearance, the driving license will be cancelled, and reapplication is allowed only after one year from the date of cancellation.

 Recent Amendments Related to Impoundment Vehicles in the UAE:

Under the provisions of Ministerial Resolution No. 178/2017 On the Rules and Procedures of Traffic Control in the UAE, if a vehicle is impounded in any case other than those provided for in this Decree, it will be released upon payment by the vehicle owner of AED 100 for a light vehicle or AED 200 for a heavy vehicle, for each day of the impoundment period or the remaining days thereof.

Additionally, amended Ministerial Decision No. 178/2017 introduced several new violations to the UAE Traffic Law:

    1. Gathering near valleys, floods, and dams during rainy weather can lead to a fine of AED 1,000, 6 traffic points, and no specified period of vehicle seizure.
    2. Entering river valleys while they are running, irrespective of their level of danger, may result in a fine of AED 2,000, 23 traffic points, and a 60-day period of vehicle seizure.
    3. Obstructing the authorities from doing their work regarding the regulation of traffic or ambulance and rescue during emergencies, disasters, crises, rains, and flowing valleys can result in a fine of AED 1,000, 4 traffic points, and a 60-day period of vehicle seizure.


Understanding the impoundment regulations of the Dubai and UAE Traffic Laws is essential for all vehicle owners and drivers in the country. Stay informed about the law’s updates in each emirate to maintain responsible driving practices and contribute to the safety and security of the roads in the UAE.


More from Awatif Mohammad Shoqi Advocates & Legal Consultancy