New Rules for Flying Drones in Dubai
Before you go ahead and try to get those aerial shots, make sure you’re doing it legally.
Drone users who fly them without a proper licence will now face a hefty fine between Dh1,000 to Dh20,000.
This applies to flying drones for both recreational and commercial purposes.
If you’d like to operate your drone legally in Dubai, you need to register with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority to obtain a licence
. Once approved, the licence will be valid for one year and can be renewed.
This new law also covers fireworks and laser displays, advertising and balloon launches.
Applying for a recreational permit
A recreational permit allows you to fly a drone weighing 5kgs or less with no video or image capturing devices during daytime. To obtain a licence for recreational purposes, you will first need to register here
Then, you will need to enter the following information:
Your contact details
Copy of your Emirates ID (front and back sides)
Copy of your passport copy and visa page
A passport size photo
A photo of your drone
Drone type and model
Drone serial number
Proof you passed an UAS GCAA exam
Applying for a commercial permit
If you intend to use your drone for commercial purposes or for special operations, such as photography and aerial survey, it's a more costly process.
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First, register through the DCAA website here.
Apply for the eService entitled ‘Issuing No Objection Certificate for Aerial Work.’
Provide coordinates, date, time of the drone flight and contact details of the drone operator.
The drone operator must have a GCAA UAS Registration Certificate.
Depending on the commercial activity of the drone flight, submit a copy of approval from the relevant authority. For filming this would usually be Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC) who in turn get approvals from the Ministry of Defence. Fees are around 3,300 and upwards depending on filming location.
Pay additional online fees of AED 5,100 to DCAA and expect 5 working days of processing time.
Droned cannot fly within five kilometres of any airport, helipads or landing area.
Your drone cannot be above 400 ft from ground level (that’s about the height of Dubai World Trade Centre).
Over the past year, the Dubai International Airport had a number of disrupted flights due to drones flying close by.
Twice in June and once in October, the airport closed for more than an hour each time due to unauthorised drone activity.
This causes flight diversions and delayed flights, costing the UAE millions of dirhams. It’s estimated that for every minute the UAE airspace is closed, it costs the economy Dh3.7 million.