united-arab-emirates-drone-laws
height flight limit

122m max height

can't fly over crowds of people

Register all drones

plane icon white

Don't fly near airports

Only line of sight

All Drone Laws in the United Arab Emirates for 2020 (Ultimate Guide)

Dubai is an excellent destination for drone pilots and drone enthusiasts. Two public entities are involved in the drone registration process. General Civil Aviation Authority and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) have strict laws for anyone flying drones.  Both of the authorities can issue out permits.

Registrations slightly vary from emirate to emirate however, GCAA is trying to crack on any shops selling off drones as toys by exploiting the loopholes.

Table of Contents

Are drones legal in UAE?

Yes, drones are legal in the UAE, but you need to follow some rules. First of all make sure to contact the officials regarding drone flight and check their site if you're a traveller.

Contact information

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) 

Website: https://www.gcaa.gov.ae/en/pages/default.aspx 

Contact +97142111626

The authority of the GCAA covers all areas in Dubai.

Dubai Civil Aviation Authority

Website: https://www.dcaa.gov.ae/en/Pages/default.aspx 

Contact +97147770599

What are the drone laws in Dubai?

  • line of sight icon
    Line of sight
    Maintain visual line of sight with the drone
  • plane icon
    No flying near airports
    Can't fly closer than 1km without aproval.
  • height icon
    Height limit of 400ft
    Operators can only fly drones in uncontrolled airspace (Class G) up to 400 ft
  • moon day icon night flying
    No night flying
    Do not fly at night unless your drone has lighting
  • checkmark
    Drones less than 5kg should be registered
  • crowd icon
    Careful not to drop or carry anything with your drone
  • ambulance icon
    Don't fly over a military or government facility

How to Apply for a GCAA certificate for your drone

What is the application procedure for a recreational drone with GCAA?

  1. The applicant will submit the details such as national ID, photo of drone, etc at the E-Services system, available at the www.gcaa.gov.ae system. Applications can also be done on the “My drone hub” app.
  2. GCAA reviews registration documentation. 
  3. On approval, the applicant receives a notification via email.
  4. The registration process is free.  

Where can I fly my drone in the United Arab Emirates?

Using the app My Drone Hub, you can identify the areas that are restricted to drone flight. It is mainly aimed at recreational drone users. The app also helps with:

  • Registering your drone – (a matter of minutes)
  • Your permit applications
  • Maintain drone certifications within your app
  • Receive live updates

You need a UAE mobile number to properly operate this app. Another online website that shows all the no-fly zones here.

Requirements for flying a commercial drone

 

For commercial use start by registering a company and its drones. Pursue a license and a permit so you can fly in restricted zones. 

Perform a test on this link.

How to register a commercial drone

Start by filling out and completing the following form.

Here are the other attachments required:

  1. A Security clearance
  2. UA operator registration license, fill here then  send to drones@gcaa.gov.ae 
  3. Option to subscribe to UAE publications. 

In about 3 weeks there will be feedback on the position of your application. 

Is there a penalty for drone violations?

The fine for not heeding the authority’s warning is anything from Dh2,000-

What are my top drones to fly safely in UAE?

My following two recommendations are 2 great compact drones that are quite silent and also small enough to travel with and not stand out as annoying.

1.Dji Mavic Mini - The best international travel drone (under 250g)

DJI has surprised us with this incredible camera drone under 250g, which is half of the weight required for registering in the first place.

 

I have covered it much more in depth in my article review and even compared it with the DJI Spark and Mavic Air.

Advantages

  • 30 min battery life
  • under 250g
  • super portable
  • 4km range
  • can edit videos in the app

DISAdvantages

  • no obstacle avoidance
  • no settings for iso and shutter speed

2.Dji Mavic Air 2 - My favorite drone overall

mavic air 2 package fly more combo
If you want more control over things like shutter speed, iso and such, the best professional drone that still falls under the 500g category is the DJI Mavic Air.
 
It's made mostly for people who want to play around with settings and enter into the pro category.
 

 

DJI lowered it's price since it was first released.

Advantages

  • 3 way sensors
  • 68kph (fastest among the 3)
  • follow me mode(quite a few options)
  • 8gb internal storage
  • ISo & shutter speed settings
  • 6 photo modes
  • takes RAW photos
  • 100mbps bitrate

DISAdvantages

  • battery life ins't that amazing

Restricted Areas and Geofencing (drone FLying map)

The best way to figure out what areas you can fly in, while you're here is by consulting DJI offilicial map.
They do a great job mapping the places that one should avoid while flying in every country:

  • airports
  • military bases
  • prisons
  • power plants
  • any high risk areas
romania flying map dji