UAE laws: What you need to know before bringing your pet dog to the Emirates

'Could you explain the laws around owning pets in Dubai?'


By Ashish Mehta

Published: Sun 23 Jan 2022, 10:34 AM

Last updated: Sun 23 Jan 2022, 11:00 PM

Question: I am planning to relocate to Dubai soon. I have a pet dog, who is very dear to me. I wish to bring him as well, but am reading contradictory reports about having pets in Dubai. Could you explain the laws around owning pets in Dubai? I can have my dog live with me, yes?

Response: Pursuant to your queries, as you intend to relocate to Dubai and bring your pet dog along with you, the provisions of Ministerial Decree No. 204 of 2016 on the Regulation of Import of Cats and Dogs (the 'Import of Cats and Dogs Law'), Federal Law No. 22 of 2016 Regulating the Possession of Dangerous Animals (the 'Possession of Dangerous Animals Law') and the Ministerial Decree No. 190 of 2021 to amend Annex No. 2 attached to Federal Law No. 22 of 2016 on Regulating Possession of Dangerous Animals (the 'Amended Possession of Dangerous Animals Law') are applicable.

It should be noted that an individual may bring two of his or her personal dogs to the UAE in a year upon obtaining relevant pre-approvals from Ministry of Climate Change & Environment (the ‘Ministry’). This is as mentioned in Article 2 of the Import of Cats and Dogs Law.

Article 4 of the Import of Cats and Dogs Law states that an individual needs to obtain relevant pre-approvals from the Ministry and the pet must be shipped as per the International Air Transport Association (IATA) protocols. The said article also states that the pets should have permanent electronic ID and the same needs to be matched with the details mentioned in the medical certificates. Further, the article states that a pet needs to have a microchip and its medical certificate needs to contain all the details related to breed, age, vaccinations etc.

The pet which needs to be brought to UAE needs to fulfil all the veterinary requirements in the UAE. Further, the owner of the pet needs to obtain all relevant approvals. The owner is also responsible to make arrangement to feed the pet while it is in quarantine as per the local guidelines issued by the relevant authority in the UAE. These are in accordance with Article 10 the Import of Cats and Dogs Law.

Article 11 of the Import of Cats and Dogs Law states that the medical certificate issued by the country from where the pet will be imported needs to be in accordance with format mentioned in Schedule 3 of the said law.

Further, the pet which is to be brought to UAE need to complete all the vaccinations which are mentioned in Schedule 4 of the Imports of Cats and Dogs Law. The vaccines include vaccine for rabies, canine distemper virus (CDV), canine parvovirus, infectious canine hepatitis and leptospirosis


You may bring your dog to the UAE subject to compliance of all regulations as prevailing from time to time in the UAE.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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