Drone regulations in the United Arab Emirates

Flying drones in the United Arab EmiratesIn this post, we’ll explain to you which laws in the United Arab Emirates apply to the use of drones.

The legal situation differs within the United Arab Emirates, which makes it difficult to keep an overview.

You must always register your copter at the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), regardless of the purpose of the flight. Private pilots may not use cameras during the flight!

Also, there is also a separate registration process for Dubai. If you’re traveling to Dubai, you’ll need to register your multicopter at www.dcaa.gov.ae. To register, you will need a local mobile number to which a confirmation code will be sent by SMS. It’s best to buy a prepaid card in the city. To register, you first create a user on the platform. After registration, you have to log in and then register your Copter under the icon “UAV / UAS / RPAS Registration.” Unfortunately, I do not know if further registration with the GCAA is required.

Maximum flight altitude: The maximum flight altitude for drones in the United Arab Emirates is 120 meters (400 feet).

Maximum horizontal distance and FPV: Drone flights are only possible within visibility.

Compulsory insurance: We recommend that you fly only with a valid drone liability insurance in the United Arab Emirates

Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): From a weight of 5 kilograms, a copter may only be operated on the site of a model flying club.

Distance to airports: You must guarantee a distance of 5 kilometers at any time to the external limitation of airports and helicopter landing areas.

Other safe distances: You may fly with a copter not closer than 50 meters to buildings, uninvolved persons, and vehicles.

Time of operations: Operation of drones is permitted only in daylight.

Specific regulations: Drones which are heavier than 25 kilograms may only be controlled by pilots with a minimum age of 21 years.

Regulations for commercial pilots: Commercial pilots must pass the exam of the GCAA and have a GCAA UAS / drones Registration Certificate.

Frequency determinations for FPV: 29.7-47.0 MHz with max. 10 mW; 2400-2500 MHz with max. 100 mW

Helpful links: GCAA, UAS Regulation (PDF)

We have researched the listed drone regulations for the United Arab Emirates 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 the United Arab Emirates!

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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!


  • azzy_home | 29.05.2019

    Here is my experience landing in Dubai with a dji mavic 2 drone. The drone shoulderbag caught the eye of one of the guards. We had the show him our ariel camera. Which he wasn’t pleased of and took the bag to the customs. A lady at the custom told us drones were not allowed at all. Unless the necessary permission was available. She told me one needed just the passport to apply, upon which I disagreed.
    If you go through the official Dubai aviation form, it asks you an Emirates ID. I didn’t argue. We had to leave the drone at the custom for the 4 days I was in dubai. Took me like an hour to get it back on my return. At least they were polite during the process.

    I had a good time in Dubai also without my drone.

  • Max | 06.10.2019

    Hi, could you please update the rules to fly in Dubai in 2019? I think that something changed.

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