Welcome to the Drone Photography Bible guide to drone regulation in the United Arab Emirates. This page aims to be a drone regulation United Arab Emirates quick reference guide.
Be aware, whilst we do our best to keep this page up to date, drone regulation is changing. For up to date United Arab Emirates drone regulation, please consult official sources.
UAE drone regulations
Marvellous skyscrapers, tropical coastlines and breathtaking deserts, the United Arab Emirates is a magnificent place to fly your drone.
To ensure a safe, secure and environmentally friendly flying, and to respect the citizens’ legitimate concerns for privacy and data protection, we have listed out the drone regulations in the UAE that you will need to follow to fly a drone in the UAE.
United Arab Emirates drone regulation – quick guide:
To do so, you need to register with a valid UAE ID and a working UAE mobile number. Both of these are mandatory for registering.
Once registered, you need to complete the drone details such as:
- Model name,
- Does it have a camera,
- Serial number,
- A photo of the drone,
- Colour, and
Registration for My Drone Hub is free of charge.
My Drone Hub also a fly zone map, indicating where you can fly your drone and where you can’t. It also indicates where you would need prior approval from the GCAA to fly in.
Criteria for flying a drone in the UAE
- Drones that weigh 250 grams or more need to be registered through the GCAA website ( www.gcaa.gov.ae ),
- Drone pilots must be 18 years old and above,
- Always keep your registration certificate with you either on paper or electronically,
- It’s not required to have a pilot license to fly a drone, only to register,
- If you have a drone that weighted 250 grams and less, the maximum altitude of operation is 100ft and maximum horizontal distance is 30 meters,
- Drones weighing more than 250 grams have a maximum altitude of operation is 400ft and maximum horizontal distance is 60 meters,
- Foreign nationals that do not have a UAE ID are not allowed to operate and fly a drone in the United Arab Emirates,
- Drone should not be flown near airports, aircrafts, and helicopter landing sites,
- You must immediately land your drone if you see or hear any aircraft or helicopter near you,
- You are not allowed to operated a drone above people (near them) or private properties, and
- Always operate your drone within you line of sight.
FPV and self-made drones in the UAE
For FPV and self-made drone registration, you will need to issue a confirmation letter stating that the drone was constructed by you. The letter must be given to the GCAA and should state the following:
- Your full name and address,
- The drone function and battery type,
- Purpose of the drone,
- The serial number of the drone (this number should be created by you).
Drone photography from the United Arab Emirates
You can see examples of aerial photographs taken in the UAE below:
Further reading and useful links
For more information, you can check the GCAA’s drone regulation page
Finally, to fly a drone in the UAE please remember to follow the law, be safe, and enjoy your flight.
Drone Regulation UAE – Useful apps
Before you take off, check the information on the links and apps below for up to date guidance on UAE drone regulations.
‘My Drone Hub’ is an all-in-one app developed by GCAA for the users of UAS/RPAS /Drone in UAE in order to inform and assist them using their Drones in compliance with the aviation safety regulations. It is mandatory to register for and use this app.
Powered by Altitude Angel, NATS Drone Assist provides location-based information on areas of airspace to avoid or in which extreme caution should be exercised, as well as on ground hazards that may pose safety, security or privacy risks.
Guardian is a companion application for Altitude Angel users offering quick and easy access to essential drone safety data while on the move.
Using your location, Guardian supplements your normal due-diligence activities by displaying no-fly zones and ground hazards for a growing number of countries around the world, completely free of charge.
Drone Safety Map spans over 40 countries, providing accurate, real-time online updates to aeronautical and ground hazards; helping you to plan and conduct your drone flights more safely. It’s perfect if you’re planning your flight ahead of time, or if you want to research an area before your flight.
Get real-time feedback of airspace rules and conditions pertaining to your flight specifications, with national rulesets for 20 countries, including Canada, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States.
We hope you found our drone regulations United Arab Emirates reference guide useful!
Noticed drone regulations that we are missing? Have we made a mistake with some drone regulation that we have mentioned? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
Drone regulations in the UAE – All information in this article is correct at the time it was published. Please always check local drone regulations before you fly. The information here is meant only as guidance and should not be taken as fact.
About the author – Ammar Alfarsi
Drone Photography Bible would like to thank Ammar Alfarsi for submitting this guest article. Ammar is a a video creator and editor as well as drone photographer who lives in and flies his drone in the United Arab Emirates. Your can find examples of his work on his Instagram page.
All photos used in this article, including the featured image were taken by Ammar Alfarsi and used with his permission.
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