🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all drone law links & known regulation around recreational & commercial drone use in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai & Abu Dhabi). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in The Forum. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our knowledge & does not replace official sources & your research.
Recreational vs Commercial drone use in the UAE
The United Arab Emirates differentiates commercial & recreational drone use - see our post to differentiate recreational vs commercial drone uses.
✅ The use of drones is under the responsibility of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the United Arab Emirates & they can be contacted via:
Phone: (+97) 142 111 626
🚨 Drone rules will not be the same according to which Emirate you are flying within. All Emirates except the Emirate of Dubai follow the same rules so make sure to spot the little 🚁 emojis/notes if flying there.
🚁In Dubai, The use of drones is under the responsibility of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority & they can be contacted via:
Phone: (+97) 147 770 599
Can I bring my drone to the United Arab Emirates?
✅ From our personal experience, we did not have any troubles entering with a Mavic Pro though Dubai Airport despite not having any authorisations (we did use the drone during the trip). In any case, make sure your import is considered as legitimate (generally one drone per person).
🚨 Be aware of the airline you purchase to travel as some main ones will only accept your drone on-board if its batteries are detached & placed in a firecase during travel time. Most airlines will have a battery voltage limit based on the recommendation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can find more info about a specific airline here.
Where can I fly my drone in the United Arab Emirates?
✅ The UAE built a detailed interactive drone flight map app (My Drone Hub) designed primarily for recreational use. This must be one of the most complete drone applications out there as the app show you where you can fly but can also help with:
Drone Registration within minutes.
Tracking of your Permit Applications .
Keeping all Drone Certificates in the app.
Receive important live announcements.
🚨 You will need an UAE mobile number to operate the app.
✅ You can also check online via your desktop the no fly zones within all emirates here.
Recreational Drone use in the United Arab Emirates
✅ You will need to register your drone for recreational use in the UAE & for Dubai Emirate only, you will need a certificate to operate your drone 🚁. In all Emirates, there are also rules depending on your drone's weight, your flight zones and a code of conduct to follow for all operators:
With this in mind, you must fly:
at a maximum altitude of 122 m above the ground, within sight.
only during good weather & during day time only.
away from private property, people or large crowds & respect individuals' privacy.
frequency band restrictions: 29.7-47.0 MHz max power 10 mW, or 2400-2500 MHz max power 100 mW. (if you fly a gas engine drone, this can only be done in clubs).
fly a drone of less than 5 kg* (above should only be in registered clubs)
without recording any videos or photos
at least 5 km away from airports, heliport & give priority to all other categories of aircraft. If you see an aircraft during your flight, land immediately.
do not drop or carry anything from your drone.
avoiding sensitive areas including urban areas, government & military facilities.
never fly above a fire or any site where emergencies are required as you could interrupt their operation and delay their intervention.
*If heavier than 25 kg, you will need to be at least 21 years young.
✅ If you loose control or sight of your drone, you must report it asap. This can be done via:
Phone: +971 506 414 667
How to register my drone for recreational use in the UAE?
✅ Nothing easier, either go online via this link or via the app My Drone Hub (you will need an local phone number if going this way) on your smartphone and enter your personal details as well as the technical details of your drone. Note: you will need a valid copy of photo ID to send with your application.
💲 The process to register your drone in the UAE is absolutely free 😍
🕔 Allow 12 days for the UAE administration to process your drone recreational registration.
🚁 For the Dubai Emirate only, you will need to register your drone via this link (about 30€ & allow about 15 working days to process) & pass a one day recreational drone use certification (for about 100€).
What do I risk for flying a drone illegally in the United Arab Emirates?
The amount & scope of the fine will depend on the nature & severity of your infraction. The judges will also evaluate if you intentionally committed the infraction and/or if you had any commercial purposes to do such.
Commercial Drone use in the United Arab Emirates
✅ To operate a drone commercially in the UAE, you will need to register your company and it(s) drone(s) but also obtain a license and permit to fly your drone when looking to fly in restricted zones.
✅ You will need to complete a test based on the knowledge shared in this link.
How to register my drone for commercial use in the United Arab Emirates?
Registering your drone for commercial use in the UAE is done by completing this online form with the below attachments completed:
a Security clearance which can be obtained here
to subscribe to the UAE E-Publications via this link (about 280€).
🕔 Allow 3 weeks for the UAE administration to process your drone commercial registration
🚁 For the Dubai Emirate only, you can follow the instructions provided by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority. It will cost you about (about 125€ & take about 15 working days to process 🕔).
How to obtain my permit to fly my drone for commercial use in the UAE?
✅ Good things first, if you're looking to fly within unrestricted zones, then you will not need to ask for a permit.
🚨 For any other flights (in red zones), you will need to ask for each flight a permission prior taking off by asking for a permission to fly within a red zone via this link. Note: it will take about 2 weeks to process & won't cost you a thing 😍
💡 If unsure or lost during the drone commercial application process, you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone ANA at (+97) 1 24 054 257
✅ The excellent news is that if you get a permission, you can start flying above The United Arab Emirates' awesome landscapes & create videos like this one:
✅ Please leave a comment or update the Forum when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in the United Arab Emirates!
Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about drone rules.
Registration Commercial Service (Dubai)
Dubai Emirate Registration (Dubai)