E-scooter riders will now need a licence from the authorities to use the two-wheelers, in a major change to transport rules.
Dubai's government said it issued the new regulations on Thursday to improve public safety.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, approved a resolution that further reiterated existing rules on cycling and the use of helmets.
Anyone riding an electric scooter or any other type of electric bike must have a driving licence permit issued by the Roads and Transport Authority.
No details of how to obtain a licence have been revealed yet - or whether a test needs to be sat. A statement from the government suggested the change was immediate.
The move will have implications for e-scooter rental companies, which allow riders to pick up the bikes from docking stations and hop on and off with ease.
Authorities have not clarified whether tourists would be able to use e-scooters.
Last year, hospitals told The National they had seen a steady rise in accidents involving e-scooters, including broken bones and head injuries. Laws on the use of helmets while riding bicycles, and any other two-wheeled device, have been in place since 2010 but are often ignored.
Reinforcing existing rules
The government resolution further reiterated existing rules governing the use of bicycles, which cannot be used on roads where the speed limit is 60kph or more.
- Cyclists should not ride on jogging or walking tracks.
- Reckless practices that can endanger safety, such as hooking to a vehicle while biking, are prohibited.
- One-handed cycling and biking should be strictly avoided except when riders need to use their hands for signalling.
- Reflective vests and helmets are a must for cyclists and bikers.
- Carrying passengers on bicycles and electric bikes is not permitted unless the bikes have separate seats for them.
The resolution states that cyclists under 12 should be accompanied by an adult cyclist who is 18 or older.
Riders younger than 16 are not permitted to operate an electric bike or electric scooter or any other type of bike specified by the RTA. A driving licence is essential to ride electric scooters.
Riding bikes or bicycles without receiving the RTA’s approval, either for group training (more than four cyclists/bikers), or individual training (less than four), is prohibited.
Riders should always make sure they do not obstruct cycling tracks.
Those conducting group cycling training, for more than four cyclists, should ensure they have received RTA approval.
They should also ensure that they have notified Dubai Police, Dubai Sports Council, UAE Cycling Federation and Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services about the vehicles used to accompany cyclists to ensure their safety.
Riders of these vehicles should be trained in accordance with RTA's approved training programmes developed in co-ordination with the UAE Cycling Federation.
The safety vehicle should maintain a safe distance of 15 metres from bicycles in case the cyclists ride at a speed of less than 30kph. The training exercises should be recorded with front and rear video cameras.
Failure to adhere to laws and regulations governing cycling and biking or endangering the safety of other cyclists, vehicles and pedestrians can bring penalties.
These include confiscation of a bike for 30 days in case of repeat violations within a year of the first violation and bans on riding the bike for specific periods.
In case the violation is committed by someone under 18, his or her parent or legal guardian will be responsible for paying any fine.
Failure to pay the fine will lead to confiscation of the bike (similar to the regulation for confiscation of the vehicle).