Drone regulations in Saudi Arabia

In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, drones are considered a serious public security risk. Nevertheless, the country has created an opportunity to legally import and fly drones as a private individual.

Overview: Drone rules in Saudi Arabia

Recreational use of drones allowed? Yes, after registration or approval
Commercial use of drones permitted? Yes, after registration or approval
Maximum Altitude:120 Meter (393,7 Fuß) in uncontrolled airspace.
Is drone insurance mandatory? No. Learn more about drone insurance here.
Does the drone need a badge?Yes.
Drone labels can be ordered here
Is a registration necessary? Yes.
Keep distance to airports
Respect the privacy of other people

Registration of drones

All drones between 250 grams and 25 kilograms must be registered. As a foreigner, you also need an import permit so that you do not have any problems at customs. The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) is responsible for your applications. It provides an online portal where you can easily apply for the necessary documents. You will need some data such as the serial number and model of your drone as well as an identification document.

As far as we know, registration costs 250 SAR (approx. 60 euros) for private users and 500 SAR (approx. 120 euros) for commercial pilots. Training is also required for commercial use.

Other safety regulations

Also follow the following rules to ensure safety:

  • do not fly higher than 120 meters (400 feet)
  • keep a distance of 8 kilometers from airfields (unless you have a permit)
  • give priority to other aircraft
  • do not fly over bystanders or private premises unless they have given their consent
  • only fly within line of sight
  • only fly during the day
  • do not control the drone under the influence of intoxicants

We have researched the listed drone regulations for Saudi Arabia to the best of our knowledge. We can not guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, please contact the competent aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in Saudi Arabia!

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About the author

Since January 2015, we travel around the world. In our backpack we carry a camera drone which we use to capture the best places from a bird’s perspective. First we travelled with a DJI Phantom 2. But now we use a Yuneec Typhoon H. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a copter. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!

Discussions

  • JB | 13.08.2017

    HI,

    Which application can be used to obtain a permit?

    Thanks!

    JB

  • Drkamil | 28.12.2017

    Thanks. Feel not safe to bring my dji spark there.

    • Francis Markert | 28.03.2018

      You’re welcome. 🙂 Have fun in Saudi Arabia!

  • ajmal thaha | 29.05.2018

    Hi sir if we are using base model drone (dji spark) like toy drone also need permission

    • Francis Markert | 02.07.2018

      Yes, I thnk so.

  • Junaid Mohammad Qurashi | 01.08.2018

    Hi Sir, I am going to pursue my phd in Saudi Arabia and have been living in Malaysia for quite some time. I own a DJI mavic air. Am afraid customs would confiscate my drone on arrival even though am not Intrested in flying the drone in Saudi Arabia. Any recommendation on what should I do?

  • Biju John Varghese | 05.08.2018

    Hi Francis,
    Hope u have a nice day.My name is Biju John from Abu Dhabi,UAE part of a media company called RedX media Events.
    Almost a month back 19th July we were invited by Lulu group International for covering the opening of their 150th supermarket in Riyadh,KSA
    We sent some of our media equipments along with a DJI phantom as cargo from Abu Dhabi,UAE
    With Etihad cargo.
    However we were able to ship back all our media equipment to the Abu Dhabi,except the drone which is still with Saudi airport customs(riyadh)
    Could you please suggest what can we do to get the drone released from Saudi airport customs(riyadh)
    Is there a possibility to rexport it back to UAE
    We did not use the drone as it was held by customs as soon as the cargo was received in Riyadh,KSA
    KINDLY NEED YOUR HELP AND SUGGESTIONS
    REGARDS,
    BIJU JOHN
    REDX MEDIA EVENTS
    ABU DHABI,UAE

    • Francis Markert | 26.10.2018

      Oh, that sounds like a nightmare. I am sorry about that. But I have no idea what you can do to get your drone back. Did you find a solution?

  • momen | 18.10.2018

    hi guys .. am fpv pilot in saudi arabia
    if you need any local help ,tips email me at

    [email protected]

  • Imran Ali | 24.05.2020

    I went to above mentioned link but could not able to find application form to register Drone. Please can you help me to find our link for registration of Drone.

    • Drone Traveller Team | 25.05.2020

      Hi,
      We are not sure at which step of the process you have encountered a problem. Did you register at the E-Aviation portal we have linked? The drone registration form and other services should be available there. You can read more about it here.

  • AV Michaels | 22.07.2020

    Hi, does anyone know how long is the processing of the permit? I have heard it takes 1 month?

  • Junaid Ahmed | 24.07.2020

    Yes can anyone please mention the period of permit I have heard it’s take almost 1month

    I have order mavic mini from Amazon but it’s on hold in post in USA can’t import in KSA anyone can help me what I do I already apply for permit but till now I didn’t get it now 20days pass

  • MOHAMMAD ARSHAD | 06.09.2020

    did you recive the permit i also applied for drone registration and for flyer licence.
    how much time it take for you.

  • Tai Hin | 04.10.2020

    Hi, nice to meet you my friend:)
    I am a traveller from China, planning to Saudi Arabia for a photography trip. I tried to register my drone on GACA website but I found it needed Saudi Arabia ID or Iqama. So how could foreign register their drones?

  • Noman | 25.11.2020

    I have dji mavic air 2 back in Pakistan but i am living in Saudi arabia im having drone license from FAA already so i was thinking to bring my drone to here in SAUDIA with me when im traveling for that i started to make my GACA drone license everything thing is done form filling online then go do written exam and online it show me on portal that i have already issued the permit and also showing its number but several times I visited GACA office they refused to give me printed card license this whole process took like 8 months now and they are saying we are waiting for security clearance then at last I thought i just wana bring it as hobby flying so just leave the permit and get only the registration I applied for that now its been 2 months all invain i have nothing these people are sooooo slow and when u visit there main offices the people sitting over there have no idea what to do and who is responsible person to assist in this regard. Its all so disappointing it should not be like that beside that i have seen alot of people already flying the drones here but all they got there things by reference.

  • rohail | 13.01.2021

    Hi all, I am planning to buy dji mini 2 for recreational purposes only. Can I get it here from us stores, do I need to register it / obtain a licence to fly it from GACA. Thanks.

  • boby vasudev | 01.03.2021

    have any details about a dealer for DJI Mavic mini in Riyadh ?

  • Jad | 11.07.2021

    Do you need to register a dji mini 2

  • Saad | 03.09.2021

    @noman did you got your licence or still ?

  • Saad | 03.09.2021

    @junaid mohammad did you got your drone or atill
    Its stuck

    What i know that you have to register your drone by using serial number after that permit you can fly as per rules

    Please update us

  • Daniel | 07.09.2021

    Hi the website where i register wont let me submit my details, an error message comes up when I try to submit, it’s also telling me my email addresses dont match, when they in fact do. Anyone know a work around?

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