RTA had announced a service in 2017, that all automatic transmission driver holders could shift their licenses to a manual transmission in the light vehicle category. 

"It is now possible for holders of light driving licenses in the category of the automatic transmission to apply for shifting their licenses to manual transmission category from this October," said Jamal Al Sada, director of drivers licensing at the RTA's licensing agency.

"Applicants would be tested without being subjected to training lessons at the RTA. The test would not relate to driving skills, but would rather focus on the handling of the manual gear system. In case of failing the test, the applicant would be notified about his or her weaknesses and he/she may select the appropriate ways for improving those points before reapplying for a test," he noted.

"Dealing with manual transmission needs certain skills such as paying attention to the road while shifting gears, ability to shift gears without distraction, and coping with the smooth shifting between gears while driving.

"It is a different case scenario for holders of manual transmission driving licenses. They can easily cope with an automatic transmission without requiring tests, as the automatic transmission needs no action while driving."