Understanding Drone Laws in Dubai

Understanding Drone Laws in Dubai

From the iconic skyline of gleaming skyscrapers to the vast expanses of desert landscape, Dubai's diverse terrain provides an ideal canvas for exploring the capabilities of drones across various sectors. As the city continues to embrace technology and innovation, the use of drones has become increasingly prevalent.

Whether for commercial purposes or recreational activities like capturing stunning vistas from above, there are certain things you need to know before using drones in the emirate.

Drone Usage in UAE

Image Source: Gulf News

In the UAE, drone usage is tightly regulated by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to ensure safety and compliance. Before flying a drone, owners must register their devices with the GCAA and obtain a drone operating license.

Legally, drone operators in the UAE are categorized into two main groups: individual/private (recreational) and organization/operator (commercial and non-commercial). The individuals/private are users that fly drones for leisure or hobby purposes while the organization/operator category includes businesses and organizations operating drones for commercial purposes, such as photography or aerial surveys.

The UAE's aviation laws, particularly Articles 69 and 70, specify penalties for various offenses related to drone operation. These offenses include flying without authorization, piloting while intoxicated, causing damage to communication facilities, and flying over prohibited areas. Penalties range from fines to imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offense. Visit GCAA’s website to learn more about the laws regarding flying UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System).

By understanding and adhering to these regulations, drone users can ensure the safe and legal operation of their devices in the UAE.

Drone Usage in Dubai

Image Source: Bayut

To operate a drone in Dubai, you must adhere to federal regulations established by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and local rules set by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA). This includes obtaining an RPAS registration card from the DCAA. Compliance with these regulations is essential for individuals and businesses seeking to engage in drone activities within the city.

How to Register Your Drone in Dubai

You can submit your drone registration on the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority website. Create a customer login ID if you are a first-time visitor. Once logged in, you can apply for the service online, submitting all necessary documentation and information. Payment for the service can also be made online through the platform. After the application is submitted and payment is confirmed, users can expect to receive instant approval. Once approved, you can download or print the approved service copy.

Registration of a Drone for Personal Non-Commercial Use

This service is specifically designed for individuals seeking to register their drones for personal, non-commercial purposes. To access this service, you can visit the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority website. However, all the personal non-commercial drone activities are suspended as of January 2022.

Also Read: Permits for drone-related activities in Dubai suspended until further notice

Service Fee

  • AED100 – Professional
  • AED100 – Hobbyist
  • AED100 – Tourist
  • AED10 – Knowledge Dirham Fees (KDF)
  • AED10 – Innovation Fee

Documents Required

  • Emirates ID
  • Valid passport number
  • Passport-sized photographs of the drone operator
  • Contact details
  • RPAS type and model
  • Colored image of the RPAS
  • Serial number of the RPAS

(Source: Bayut)

Registration of a Drone for Commercial Purposes

This essential service streamlines the process for individuals and businesses seeking to use drones for commercial activities. You can access the service through the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority website.

Service Fee

  • AED500 – Government
  • AED500 – Commercial
  • AED500 – Temporary Commercial
  • AED10 - Knowledge Dirham Fees (KDF)
  • AED10 – Innovation Fee

Documents required

  • Company name, registration number, and commercial license number
  • Emirates ID, valid passport number, passport-sized photo, and contact details of the drone operator
  • RPAS type and model
  • Colored image of RPAS
  • Serial number of RPAS
  • Operator trainer certificate
  • Insurance number or national ID number (additional requirement for tourists)
  • Flight booking information (additional requirement for tourists)

(Source: Bayut)

Rules and Regulations Regarding Drone Usage in Dubai

In addition to the rules established by GCAA, you must also adhere to certain rules for RPAS established by DCAA if you wish to operate a drone in Dubai. Here are some important rules you need to follow.

  • Register for an operator training certificate program endorsed by the DCAA for RPAS certifications. You can get them from approved training providers such as Sanad Academy and Exponent.
  • Register your drone with the DCAA.
  • Obtain a no-objection certificate from DCAA before flying your drone.
  • Avoid collisions with people, objects, and other aircraft while operating your drone.
  • Do not harass, endanger individuals, or threaten property damage while flying your drone.
  • Refrain from operating drones over congested areas, and public or private properties to ensure safety and privacy.
  • Avoid flying drones near, around, or over airports to prevent interference with manned aircraft operations.
  • Do not fly over designated no-fly zones. Download the 'My Drone Hub' mobile app to learn more about the flying zones.

Also Read:

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