Pet Regulations in the UAE: A Guide for Expats |

Pet Regulations in the UAE: A Guide for Expats

If you are bringing a pet from your home country or are looking to buy one please be aware that there are a couple of regulations for pets in the United Arab Emirates.

Posted on

16 June 2013

Last updated on 30 January 2018
Pet Regulations in the UAE: A Guide for Expats

If you own a dog in Dubai, you are not permitted to take it to the beaches and parks. When walking your dog, you are now required to keep it on a leash at all times. However, if your dog is on the banned list (only in Dubai), you are also required to muzzle it as a precautionary measure. If these regulations are not followed, your dog may be confiscated and huge fines may be issued to you. Your dog will be returned to you with a warning, the government permits two violations.

As of June 2017, all dogs must be licenced and vaccinated against dangerous diseases.

SEE ALSO: Walking Dogs Off-Leash Now Illegal in UAE

The UAE does not permit the import of pets under the age of 4 months and all pets (dogs and cats) must have their rabies vaccination which should be at least 21 days old.

Some airlines also have breed restrictions for both dogs and cats.  These usually involve breeds with flat faces (Persians, Pugs, and Bulldogs) and/or breeds thought to be aggressive.

Prohibited dog breeds for import:

  • All kinds of pit bulls
  • Japanese Tosa (Tosa Inu, Tosa Fighting Dog)
  • Argentinian Fighting Dog (Dogo Argentino, Argentinian Mastiff)
  • Brazilian Fighting Dog (Fila Brasileiro, Brazilian Mastiff)
  • Cross breeds with extract of the above listed breeds
  • Wolf dog hybrids (any dog mixed with a wolf)
  • American Staffordshire terrier

SEE ALSO: See our extensive pets and vets guide in Dubai

Pet Regulations in the UAE: A Guide for Expats

Banned dog breeds:

The banned dog breeds cannot be imported or exported in and out of the UAE. This new law comes in to play by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (formerly Ministry of Environment and Water), after revising the approved list of banned dog breeds.

  • Pitbull
  • Mastiff
  • Japanese Tosa/Hybrid
  • Wolf/hybrid
  • Rottweiler
  • Dobermann Pinchers
  • Canario Presa's
  • Mix of any of the above breed

Not prohibited but restricted:

The restricted breeds need to be walked on a leash when in public areas and the collar should have the dog’s registration number. Another breed specific legislation just for Dubai is that certain breeds can only live in a villa. The following breeds are:

  • American/ English Bull Dog
  • Bull Terrier
  • Husky
  • Shar Pei

Other animals:

Other animals like Guinea pigs, hamsters, ferrets, bearded dragons, iguanas, parrots and tortoises do not require rabies vaccination or do not need to be microchipped, but they do need an import permit to come into the country and must have their original health certificates. If you plan on buying a tortoise, parrot etc and wish to travel with it in the future, make sure you get the CITES certificate upon buying it.

CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. The CITES is needed to issue permission to the dealer (who you are buying the pet from/ or yourself if you are importing/ exporting the pet on your own) to allow Importing / Exporting / Re-exporting of the animal. Find out more about the UAE requirements on CITES. 

As of 2017, it is illegal to own any type of wild animal or domesticated yet dangerous animal. The fines and penalties are quite severe should the law be broken. Find out more here>>