Image Credit: dcaa.gov.ae

Drones are quite popular right now. From having them at events to flying them for your own leisure, more and more entities and individuals are owning drones. There are certain rules you need to take note of before buying and using a drone.

When Gulf News spoke to Lieutenant General Saif Abdullah Al Shafar, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior, he pointed out that the pilotless rotorcrafts are not prohibited in the country, but their use is  regulated to protect people’s privacy and that the police could intervene and take action if they received complaints from residents.

Your guide on buying and using a drone in the UAE

1. Drone registration

All drones must be registered with the General Civil Aviation Authority, in order to fly them legally in the UAE. If your drone is not registered in the UAE, you will be subject to possible legal action.

To register your non-commercial drone, you need to include the below information:

  • Operator name
  • Operator’s contact details: Phone, Fax, Mobile number, and Email address
  • Operator’s Emirates ID (front and back sides)
  • Operator’s Passport copy along with Visa page
  • Operator Passport size Photo
  • Drone Photo
  • Drone type and model
  • Drone Serial number
  • Operator Training Certificate (Mandatory via Sanad Academy


The above information to be included in the online submission. Download the registration document here

2. Where should you fly it?

All drone activities shall take place within the visual line of sight of the user not above 400 ft from ground level (approximately the height of Dubai World Trade Centre) without the use of visual aids, such as binoculars and within the aircraft’s operational range.

Refer to this map, in order to check where you can and cannot fly a drone

3. When should you fly it?

Fly your drone only during daytime and in good weather conditions.

4. Where are drones not allowed?

Do not fly the drone within five kilometres from any airports, helipads, landing areas or manned aircraft. Do not fly near any buildings, houses, private properties or persons. Ensure that your drone also does not project any kind of bright light source into navigable airspace .

5. Avoid collisions

You are responsible to make sure that your drone does not crash into any other object, whether moving or still. Ensure that you do not endanger any people or vehicles.

6. Personal privacy

You should not fly your drone within 50 meters of a person walking or a vehicle driving down the street. This may cause shock and/or an accident.

7. Drone photography

When it comes to taking photos with your drone, make sure you follow the rules and maintain good intentions. Here are the do's and don'ts of drone photography

8. Lastly

Fly for fun and not for commercial purposes, unless you have the correct paperwork.