Don't be an irresponsible dog owner while living in this country
11 April 2018| Last updated on 19 January 2020
While having a dog - or any pet for that matter - is a huge, wonderful addition to any family... Having this extra member of the clan in Dubai and the UAE can prove rather challenging.
There's a huge population of dogs that need homes here, and if you are able to provide them with a forever home, then that's absolutely brilliant. But there are some rules and regulations that you as a dog owner must abide by in Dubai.
To ensure you're on the right side of the law as a Dubai dog-owner, here's the list of Dubai Municipality's rules, regulations and fines that dog owners in Dubai must follow:
1. Failure to register and vaccinate your dog
The law in Dubai requires dog owners to vaccinate their dog(s) annually - while some may find this unusual and potentially harmful for a pet, without up to date vaccinations as per Dubai's rules every year means you'll first face a notice period of three working days to register and vaccinate your dog. If you fail to do so, you'll then be fined AED 200 and given 3 extra days - after which, your dog will be confiscated.
2. Keeping a prohibited breed of dog
Sadly, there is a list of dog breeds that are currently banned from Dubai and the UAE, and are not able to be imported or exported in and out of the country. This list includes Pit Bulls and Mastiffs amongst others - you can see the full list of banned dogs in Dubai, here.
3. Violating a contract that states dogs are forbidden in an apartment/residential
The Dubai Municipality rules and regulations for dog owners specifically states, the 'violation of prohibition on raising certain breeds of dog in an apartment or shared accommodation', will result in a notice period of seven working days to remove the dog. On the second instance, the dog will be confiscated.
This is particularly important to bear in mind when signing tenancy contracts; always ensure that your landlord includes in your contract, in writing, that your dog is allowed to live with you while you rent the apartment or villa.
4. Taking dogs to areas where they are prohibited
Dog-owners should be aware that dogs are forbidden from public areas in Dubai, like parks and beaches. The law specifically states, 'taking [a] dog to areas where dogs are prohibited by order of the concerned authorities or management (including, but not limited to parks, beaches and shopping malls), will result in a fine of 200 Dhs on the first count.
To clarify, where dogs are prohibited by authorities, dog owners can expect to see signs specifically stating dogs are banned from that area. For instance, Dubai Marina's promenade is a no-go zone for dogs, as well as Jumeirah Beach Residence, Bay Avenue in Business Bay and the Dubai Canal to name a few.
On the second count, an owner will be fined AED 400 if the offence has occurred within one year of the first offence. A fine of AED 200 will after a year, and the owner must take a written undertaking that the offence will not be repeated.
5. Failure to put mask and/or leash on dog when in public
Walking your dog off-leash in Dubai is illegal, and dog owners can face a fine of 200 Dhs if caught with their pooch off their leash. Also breeds or individual dogs who require a muzzle that are caught without wearing one also may incur a fine for owners. On a second offence, the owner is fined 400 Dhs and they must give a written undertaking that the offence will not be repeated.
6. Prevent dog from harming others and their property
It's not often, but can happen - dogs may bite or cause injury to an individual. No matter what the reason, the owner will face the impounding of their dog, and a fine of AED 5,000, plus a written undertaking that the offence will not be repeated.
Owners however whose dog is an aggressive canine, or is from the list of banned dogs will have them confiscated, as well as a AED 5,000 fine. A dog will also be confiscated if it is infected with the rabies virus.
You might also be interested in:
- Parvovirus in Dubai - what dog owners should know
- Raw pet food in Dubai... A guide to feeding your dog raw food
- Pet regulations in Dubai; an overview for expats moving here
7. Failure to ensure dog is safe and secure when owner is travelling
Before travelling, if you fail to ensure that your dog is in a secure place where their basic care and welfare needs are met, you risk facing confiscation of your dog entirely.
8. Use of dog for dog-fighting or other aggressive purposes
This is of course, strictly prohibited under animal care and welfare laws in place in the UAE. If an owner is found guilty of this, the dog(s) will be confiscated immediately.
9. Failing to clean-up after your dog
Sadly, this is a common rule broken in Dubai - as often, residents in communities are left angry at the amount of dog waste left by dog owners and walkers. If you come across an irresponsible owner who has left their dog's waste and not disposed of it correctly, you are able to report it to the authorities.
If you're the guilty person in question, you risk a fine of AED 200, plus you'll have to give a written undertaking that you won't do it again. If you're caught a second time, your dog will be impounded, and you'll be fined AED 400. Then, if you fail to pay the fine and collect your dog, they will be confiscated.
10. Allowing a dog to go astray, or neglecting it
Every day, we see stories of individuals who have found a dog that has been abandoned both in Dubai and across the UAE. What most careless individuals don't realise when they do dump their dog, that more often than not, the pooch is traceable back to you.
Owners will be contacted and must collect the dog upon a payment of AED 500, and if they fail to collect and pay, the dog will be confiscated.
If the dog is unregistered, therefore making it more difficult to trace the previous owner, the dog will be confiscated and proof of ownership will be required - as well as a AED 500 and the cost of registering and vaccinating the dog.
11. Feeding stray animals
This is a rule not many people know about in Dubai - as there are hundreds of souls who help stray animals on a daily basis. What they may not realise however, is that it is in fact against the rules imposed by Dubai Municipality. If you're caught feeding a stray dog, cat or any other animal, you'll first receive a warning - then if caught again, you face a fine of AED 1,000 and the issue will be raised to the Legal Affairs Department to take proper action.
Where these rules state confiscation, it means that confiscated dogs will be sold to any interested party, after being given any necessary medical treatment. Incurably ill dogs or aggressive ones will be euthanized as per the Dubai Municipality's regulations. To see them in full, click here.