Drone regulations in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Drone regulation

In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, drones are considered a serious risk to public safety.

Nevertheless, the country has created a way for private individuals to legally import and fly drones. In this article, we will introduce you to the most important rules.

We have heard from some people that there is a ban on drones in Saudi Arabia. We cannot yet confirm this ban as we do not have any official sources. However, we can say with certainty that there is a registration requirement, which you can find out more about further down in the article.

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
Arab News

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 several drones like the DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ or the DJI Mini 3 Pro. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a drone. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!


  • JB | 13.08.2017


    Which application can be used to obtain a permit?



  • 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

    • 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

      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?

  • Hans | 26.10.2021

    I’m trying to register using the link provided here, but when I try to create a new account, the website gives me an error message saying the connection has timed out. I wrote to GACA on their instagram page, hopefully they will help. Has anyone been successful at registering their drone recently?

  • Joali | 28.02.2022

    Anyone who has bring in their recreational drones and did not encounter any issues at the airport? I have with me the GACA Operator permit but I am not sure if its enough for you to bring in your drone once you have registered the serial with GACA.

  • Juan | 18.03.2022

    Hi Everyone,
    I bought a DJI mini a year ago on the DJI online store, the drone was sent from Australia to KSA, specifically to Dammam.
    Since I had the drone serial from the receipt, I applied to GACA to get the permit, it took a month, the drone was stopped at customs and because it took so long to get the permit, they send the package back to Australia.
    DJI received the drone and were kind enough to send it again for free, as I received the permit in KSA.
    The drone was stopped again in customs because GACA didn’t submit the permit to Customs, I went to customs and called GACA and they spoke on the phone and they said that, they cannot give me customs clearance until the president of GACA sent a letter to customs. That never happened.
    The drone was sent back to Australia, luckily I manage to send the drone to my mate’s place.
    When I went home, I personally took the drone to KSA.
    I was stopped at the airport at customs (I took it on my carry on) and they ask for the clearance, I showed them the GACA permit they scanned the QR code to check the validity and let me go with the drone.
    So I made it!!! Now, you are not allow to legally fly a drone in Saudi arabia, unless you have permission of the governing authority of the land, meaning you need a letter from the goverment/royal commission, owner of the property/ties.
    So basically, we are all flying the drones illegaly, I was stopped by a policeman while flying one and he said that I need to call them every time I fly the drone so they can give me or not permission.
    Is not fun flying knowing that it could be the last time.

  • Joali | 23.03.2022

    Hi Juan,
    I will personally take my DJI Mini from US to KSA entering via Dammam Airport on my hand carry. May I know what particular permit they will ask, is it my ROP Permit to fly or the GACA Registration Certificate? Also, I called the Saudi Customs and told me to register the drones for Custom declaration and have the paper printed out and show it to Saudi Customs prior to going to the Immigration Officer, will these help as well to bring in the drone easily?

  • TETU Photographer | 16.05.2022

    anyone can help me, im living in SAUDI ARABIA but i dont know how i can get a photography certificate, its very important to me if anyone knows the source please kindly sent me the link

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