I’m off to Dubai soon and was planning to take my drone…I was imagining great shots over the desert. No chance! I contacted the relevant authorities and received a polite but very firm answer: DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! YOUR DRONE WILL BE CONFISCATED AT THE AIRPORT ON THE WAY IN!!
Oh well…it’s good to be clear. Here’s the official reply:
Thank you for contacting the GCAA.
Please be advised that we will not be able to assist you in this opportunity as the registration of unmanned aircraft and consequently operation of it may be allowed to UAE nationals and national foreigners that hold UAE residence visa. Foreign Nationals that have no UAE residence visa are not allowed to operate UAS unless an especial approval is obtained (UAE-based organization with granted security clearance).
Also, please be advised that is prohibited to take photography and video while operating drone in the UAE. For further information regarding operation and registration of drones in the UAE, please refer to the GCAA website.
Your drone may be retained by customs upon arrival at your airport of entry. To learn about the rules applicable to travelers with drones please contact the airport directly.
For commercial/experimental drone inquiries, kindly liaise with Ms. Asma or Ms. Shaima on email@example.com or 04 2111 657 ;firstname.lastname@example.org or 04 2111 639 from the GCAA, they will be glad to assist you with.
Aircraft Registry Unit