Abu Dhabi Golden Chance 2019 experience

My situation is as follows:

I hold a passport from EU country A and license from EU country B! Both country A and country B are on the list eligible for a license exchange.

I had applied for this license exchange and got approved. (Did my medical test, typing center etc etc) it wasn’t until I was at the Licensing center and they wished to print my license that the lady was like: Oh, not possible.

The next day I came back with a local colleague of mine and after spending 6 hours going from office to office we got a manual approval to print my license. but as I wanted to pay the DHS600 the system again said: NO

Reason being: Your license must be the same country as your passport. No exceptions.

And I was given no other option than to go for my Golden Chance….

(Fun Fact.. another colleague based in Al Ain with an Asian passport and an African license WAS able to get it exchanged)

I called the Emirates Driving Centre and went to the building in Mussafah. There I scheduled my theory course and I opted for the 2 days weekend intense.

This means on a Saturday you have 4 hours of classed and on Sunday I received 4 hours of classes.

To prep for this I read the entire handbook 1x and during the classes I made sure to write down (literally) e v e r y word the instructors where saying. (This so that I could later-on easily review the content)

The classes itself where fine. You get different instructors for different lessons and the most important thing to note: The lessons are NOT in order. You can start your course with lesson nr8 then 2 then 6 etc etc.

After I attended my 8 lessons I was able to go back to the office and schedule my theory exam. I was hoping for a same day opportunity but wasn’t able to do the test until 3 days later.

The exam itself was probably the most fun/nice experience of the entire thing. The lady who ran the exam was super nice. It is done in a classroom setting where everyone has a touchscreen in front of them.
You receive 45 questions and you need to answer 36 correct and once you are finished you are given the result immediately and can leave the classroom.

After 5/6 minutes I had answered all 45 questions and with a score of 41/45 I passed my exam and was able to book my road-test straight through the police app where I was given a date 2,5 weeks later.

Driving lessons
Before my road-test I wanted to take a few lessons to get myself familiar with the roads + being a golden change I wanted to make sure I 10000% prepared for this.

I contacted a local private driving instructor, scheduled my first lessons and off I went.

I learned that even for a golden chance taking lessons is mandatory (but I am still in doubt if that is actually the case) I took a total of 6 hours that I all scheduled the days before my road-test.

We ended up driving the area + roads that the police would take us on for the road-test to make sure that I was 100% familiar with any possible scenario.

The day had finally come. My test was scheduled at 745am and I arrived at the Licensing center at 710AM.

Everyone has to line up outside and even being 30+ minute early I was number 88 in line. (So make sure to come REALLY early)

One by one you are then allowed into the building where your ID is checked and you are giving a bus number.

From there 12+ busses are being filled up (As there where at least 200+ people taking the test that morning)

The way the test actually works is that the police is in a driving instructor car. (One police in the front and one police in the back)

Then the first person gets to take the test and basically takes the car out from the licensing center towards the area where they will continue the road-tests. Every 5 minutes the car stops and 1 person gets out and a new person gets into the car. (and the bus just follows the car wherever it goes)

Seemingly there is no system as to who goes when so at a certain point I just raised my voice and say that its my turn now

(Pro tip: If you come early, you are early in line, you get an early seat on the bus means you can sit in the front meaning you can take your test early)

The test itself went horrible. (at least to me) As I got into the car I somehow was completely taken back by the fact that I am 1.86 meters but the person before me was 1.65m ish.. therefore, I had to completely readjust the seating. (I could not even fit in the seat. I had to do it from the outside.)

Which wasn’t good on my nerves.

Then I pulled out of the buspark (where the car was parked) and I was told to drive straight, youturn at the roundabout and then park it again.

I was adhering 100% to the speed limit but according to the police ..’’I was in such a rush’’

In total the test really did only take 3-4 minutes and then it was all over and done with.

Once the test is over you have 2 options: Go back on the bus and wait till everyone is finished or just somehow make your way to wherever you need to go next.

So that’s what I did. I left the bus behind and called a careem to get to work.

I was 100% certain I failed because I took my time to adjust the seating & the fact that the police man thought I was rushing.

About 1,5 hours after I took my test I received a text message saying I had passed!!

I then proceeded to pay for my license to be printed through the app. Went to the licensing centre one more time and picked my license up from there. (They will tell you it’s being shipped to you but I did not want to wait another 4 days for shipping)

So, in the end the entire process start to finish took around 3,5 weeks.

I hope this post is a tiny bit helpful for those also having to do their golden chance. This as I personally was looking for information but I couldn’t find anything anywhere!

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