Walking Dogs Off-Leash and Owning Wild Animals Now Illegal in UAE | ExpatWoman.com

Walking Dogs Off-Leash and Owning Wild Animals Now Illegal in UAE

A new law in the UAE bans owning wild animals and makes it mandatory to licence dogs and have them on a leash in public.

Posted on

5 January 2017

Last updated on 19 January 2020
Walking Dogs Off-Leash and Owning Wild Animals Now Illegal in UAE

A new law in the UAE has been announced concerning dogs and wild animals. These laws have been in discussion for some time, but it's only now that they have become official.


The law states that all dog owners now need to obtain a licence for their pets.

If you’re used to letting your dog roam around in some areas, such as Dubai’s Al Qudra Lakes, you might have to change your dog-walking ritual. The law states that a leash needs to be kept on the dogs at all times when on public property.

Dog in park

A failure to follow these new laws will result in a hefty fine of at least Dhs10,000 and not more than Dhs100,000. You will also be fined if you don’t vaccinate your dog against dangerous diseases.

Dog owners are given until June of this year to acquire the proper licenses and vaccinations. A pet can be registered at an accredited vet clinic in the country.

SEE ALSO: 10 things to look for in a vet

Exotic Animals

In a bigger move, the new law puts a ban on selling or owning of wild animals. Dubai is famous for having people keeping wild animals as pets, but this will no longer be the case. Having any type of wild or domesticated yet dangerous animal is now prohibited.

Lion cub as pet

The government indicated that only zoos, circuses, wildlife parks and breeding/research centres have the right to keep wild animals.

Should someone decide not to follow this new law, the consequences are severe. Anyone seen with an exotic animal in public will be given a fine between Dhs10,000 and Dhs500,000 as well as a jail sentence of up to six months.

SEE ALSO: Pet regulations in Dubai

Additionally, if that animal is used to attack another person, the penalties are severe. If only minor injuries are inflicted, the owner could face up to a year in prison, in addition to a fine of up to Dhs400,000.  If the attack causes a physical disability, the owner will have to spend from three to seven years in jail. Should it result in a death, a life in prison is what they’ll be facing.

Even without physical injury, if the wild animal is used to scare others, the owner will be facing a fine between Dhs100,000 and 700,000 and/or a jail sentence.