Pets stock
Travelling with a UAE-based airline? Etihad Airways and Emirates Airlines, allow passengers to travel with their pets either in the cabin, or travel as excess baggage or cargo. Image Credit: Unsplash

Dubai: Planning to go on a long vacation and want to take your furry companion along with you? The good news is that many UAE airlines, as well as international airlines that fly in and out of the UAE, allow pets to travel, either in the cabin with you or securely transported as cargo.

This guide will help you navigate the process and ensure an stress-free journey for both you and your pet for UAE-based airlines – Etihad and Emirates.

In-cabin vs. cargo travel

In-Cabin (Etihad only): Cats and small dogs (under 8kg including carrier) can travel with you on Etihad flights under specific guidelines.
Cargo (Etihad & Emirates): Larger pets or those not meeting in-cabin requirements will travel as cargo or excess baggage, handled by the airline's professional teams.

Three things to do before you book

1. Check regulations: Contact Etihad or Emirates to confirm pet restrictions for your destination. Some countries may have additional requirements.
2. Vet visit schedule: Ensure your pet meets age requirements, has updated vaccinations, and a fit-to-fly certificate. Microchipping is also mandatory.
3. Gather documents: Prepare a health certificate, import/export permits (if needed), and proof of vaccination.

Stock pets
Image Credit: Lum3n/Pexels

Traveling with your pet on Etihad (In-Cabin)

1. Submit a booking form: At least seven days before your flight, submit a form detailing your pet's information and travel arrangements. You can access the form on the Etihad website –, under the ‘Travelling with Pets’ section. In this form you must provide the following details:

• Full name
• Contact details – mobile number and email address
• Flight origin and final destination
• Flight number and booking reference/PNR
• Cabin class
• Date flight
• Pet’s name
• Breed
• Animal’s date of birth
• Stowage method – on seat or under the seat
• Dimensions of the carrier (length, width and height)
• Weight of the animal and the carrier in kg
• Add any special instructions

2. Required documents: Along with the booking form, submit the necessary documents as outlined by Etihad. (These may vary depending on your destination).

Required documents
• Health certificate (signed by government-accredited vet)
• Fit to travel certificate (from local vet within 10 days of travel)
• Vaccination certificate (completed in full)
• Rabies vaccine (EU 21 days, other countries 30 days before departure)
• RNATT - Rabies titer test (check with local authority at your destination if this is applicable)
• Internal and external parasite treatment
• Screwworm / tapeworm treatment
• Export permit (check with local authority if applicable)
• Import permit (check with local authority if applicable)

Important reminders

Weight and age limits: Pets must be at least 16 weeks old and not exceed 8kg (including carrier) to travel in the cabin.

Carrier requirements: Your pet's carrier must meet specific size and ventilation requirements. Ensure it's comfortable for your pet to stand, sit, turn, and lie down.

Booking considerations: Choose your seats carefully when booking online. In economy, pets must sit in their carrier at all times, either under your seat or on an adjacent seat. In business, pets must sit in their carrier on an adjacent seat. They will not be permitted under your seat. Exit row and bulkhead seats are not permitted.


$1,500 (Dh5,509.20)

This is separate from the ticket cost that you will pay, if you are booking an adjacent seat. The cost is for a one-way trip. If you are transiting, this will be counted as two trips and the combined price will apply.

I’m travelling to Abu Dhabi, are there any rules I need to follow?

If Abu Dhabi is your final destination, you need to make sure the following formalities are completed before your flight:

Apply for an import permit for your pet – this must be included in the documents submitted to Etihad 72 hours before your flight. This permit is issued by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and if you want to know how you can apply for the permit online click here.

Apply for a UAE Health Certificate – this certificate must be signed and stamped by a government health official in your country of departure, within five days of your flight. According to Etihad, stamps from private veterinarians are not accepted. You can download this certificate from the Etihad website, under the ‘Travelling with Pets’ section.

Apply for an Abu Dhabi Customs Bill of Entry - this must be done no later than 48 hours before your flight. To do this, you must send the following documents and details to

· For UAE residents, a copy of your Emirates ID
· For visitors, a copy of your passport
· Import permit for your pet
· Your mobile number
· A copy of your reservation or ticket
· Weight of the pet, including the carrier

Once you arrive, your pet will undergo an inspection by an MOCCAE veterinary officer, performed in the customs clearance area.

The Cargo Process (Emirates)

1. Contact Emirates SkyCargo: Book your pet's space on the flight and inquire about rates. You can find all the contact numbers on the website -

2. Document submission: Send required documents (photos, health certificates, permits, etc.) at least 72 hours before your flight for approval.

3. Booking Confirmation: Once approved, you will receive details on pet handover and payment processes.

Documents required:

• Photos of your pet, in a natural standing position, inside his or her travel container.• Pet
 passport with rabies vaccination records and microchip number.
• Rabies blood test report (if applicable).
• EU health certificate (for EU destinations).
• UK annex I and IV (for UK destinations).
• Import permit (if required).
• A valid UAE MOCCAE Veterinary Health Certificate.
• Acknowledgement form completed and signed.
• Name, email address and mobile number of the receiver.
• If you're travelling on the same flight as your pet, provide a copy of your flight confirmation.
• If you’re using a clearing agent at the destination, provide their name and email address.

Depending on you pet’s breed, additional documents or pictures may be requested.

Travelling to the UAE? List of banned pet breeds

If you are travelling to the UAE, it is also important to remember that there are certain dog breeds that are banned in the UAE by MoCCAE and are not allowed on Emirates and Etihad flights destined to the UAE:

Pit Bulls

· Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed of dog
· American Pit Bull Terrier breed of dog
· American Staffordshire Terrier breed of dog
· American Bully

Mastiff Dogs

· Brazilian Mastiff (Fila Brasiliero)
· Argentinian Mastiff (Dogo Argentino)
· Any Mastiff or Hybrid


· Japanese Tosa or hybrid

Other dog breeds:

· Rottweilers breed or hybrid
· Doberman Pinschers
· Caario Presa
· BoxerAny mixed breed of above breeds of dog or their Hybrid