Dubai drone ban

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 or 04 2111 657 ; or 04 2111 639 from the GCAA, they will be glad to assist you with.

Kind regards,

Aircraft Registry Unit

My sister lives in Dubai and I have been lucky enough to visit many times, great place, but the only place I have never dared to fly the drone (stories from the ex pats out there, and my sisters assurances that she wouldn’t be acting as ‘responsible adult’ once they locked me up)

Saying that the gadget shops in all the malls sell them and there are loads of videos on YT of flights all over the UAE.

As a side point, they wont confiscate it, but be aware that Emirates (airline) don’t allow drones in your hand luggage so it must be checked, although you have to carry the batteries with you.

If you want any travel advice PM me, as I say there is loads to see and do away from the touristy stuff.

Many thanks Chris. It’s a shame they sell drones and don’t let you use them!!

Any idea how the guys got the footage on on YT?

Best of luck.

A lot of them seem to be production companies or the Dubai authorities,

There are a few ‘hobby’ flyers too.

The main issue stems around the cameras on them, they massive on the privacy thing.

I bought my first CrystalSky Ultra from Dubai, it was the only place in the world that had any stock.

Oh the irony :smiley:


Andy @DroneUnit has flown in Dubai too: