UAE: 16 rules for flying drones for private, commercial use

Estimated read time 3 min read

Flying drones in the UAE is subject to the General Civil Aviation Authority’s (GCAA) regulations for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drone operations.

The federal decree law on civil use of unmanned aircraft ensures the safe use of drones for safety and security of the UAE airspace.

Under the law, there are two types of users of drones: Individuals or private users who fly drones for leisure or as a hobby; and organisations or operators who fly UAVs or drones for commercial purposes.

The minimum age to fly drones weighing more than 25 kgs is 21 years. All drones weighing more than 5kgs and/or equipped with gas engine shall operate only within the boundaries of GCAA approved flying clubs.

In case of an accident involving a drone, or in case of loss of control of a drone, the user shall immediately report the incident to GCAA on the hotline number +971506414667 and email

Rules for organisations/operators flying drones

1. Obtain an unmanned aircraft operator authorisation (UOA). The documents required include
security clearance issued by GCAA, UA operator registration letter – printed on official letterhead paper and sent on the email ID

2. Submit the evidence of subscription to GCAA E-Publications Service to the email ID, and pay the applicable fee of Dh1,200.

3. After obtaining the UOA, the operator must apply for permission to operate the UAV before each flight activity in restricted zones (red zone).

Regardless of the flying zone (red or green), the organisation or operator must apply for Security Clearance Approval if their drone-flying activity involves the use of any capturing or recording devices, such as but not limited to camera, video streaming, etc.

Special operations allowed for this category include aerial work, agriculture, air show, firefighting, inspection, media, petroleum, protecting wildlife, survey, surveillance, screening, and weather forecasting.

16 UAE rules to follow for private users

1. Register your drone or UAV with GCAA before flying it.

2. Fly only drones weighing 5 kgs or less and in the approved flying zone indicated in the ‘My drone hub’ application.

3. Fly the drone only during daytime and in good weather conditions.

4. Use the drone for recreational purposes only

5. Use the drone in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions

6. Do not fly the drone near any public or private property.

7. Do not fly the drone within 5 km of the UAE airports’ outer fence, heliports, helicopter landing sites, airfields and in controlled zones.

8. Maintain direct radio control link with the drone.

9. Maintain frequency band restrictions: 29.7-47.0 MHz max power 10 mW, or 2400-2500 MHz max power 100 mW.

10. Take into consideration the effects of the frequency used on radio communication.

11. Avoid collisions with people, objects, and other manned and unmanned aircraft.

12. Do not harass or endanger people or threaten to damage property.

13. Be responsible to inform GCAA when you intend to resell the drone.

14. Do not equip drone with drop or release devices.

15. Fly the drone within line-of-sight and not more than 400 feet above ground level.

16. Use camera only in the flying zones and comply with relevant laws on privacy.

For all the latest news from the UAE and the world, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube page

You May Also Like

More Stories

+ There are no comments

Add yours