Dogs are widely regarded as man’s best friend, but the rules are slightly different across the Middle East. If you’re considering having dogs in Dubai and you’re planning to move to Dubai, you may want to consider the rules regarding keeping a pet. There are regulations surrounding where your dog can go, living situations, banned breeds, and a lot more.
Can you have a dog in Dubai? Yes, but make sure you read the below guidance before bringing your dog to Dubai.
You may think these rules are rather restrictive, but it stems from public safety concerns and because some local people are wary of them. We have constructed this guide to hopefully give you some guidance and help you make your decision.
Are Dogs in Dubai Common?
For religious reasons, locals across the UAE are of the belief that dogs are unclean animals. As a result, many apartments have a no pet policy and there are restrictions in public places. However, due to the growing expat and cosmopolitan culture, there has been a dog ‘boom’ with canine companions becoming more common in the city.
That being said, there are still factors to consider when keeping a dog in Dubai.
What Type of Dogs do People Keep in Dubai?
Generally due to the urban skyscraper appeal of Dubai, most people keep small dogs to easily live in their apartments. Popular breeds include the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Havanese, and Yorkshire Terriers.
However, you can keep dogs of all sizes, but because apartments tend to be small, having a smaller dog is preferable to most.
Is Dubai too Hot for Dogs?
The heat is certainly a concern for anyone who is visiting Dubai. However, this is made worse when considering your favourite four legged friend.
The heat certainly creates difficulties, especially during the summer months. Your best bet is to walk your dog in the cooler mornings or evenings to ensure they still get their important exercise.
One thing to note here is that a lot of Dubai’s public spaces are off limits to dogs. Make sure you are aware of where nearby dog parks or areas where pets are allowed are when taking your dog for a walk.
Make sure your home has good air conditioning and that there are cooler areas for your dog to stay in. This is particularly vital in those Arabian summers to prevent potentially fatal cases of heatstroke. Of course, keep your dog well hydrated with fresh cold water!
The Dubai heat may be off-putting, but it is manageable if you take precautions.
Dubai Banned Dog Breeds
Dubai also has a list of dog breeds that are banned. If you bring any of these dog breeds into Dubai, they will be confiscated straight away and put into a shelter before being rehomed in another country.
Dubai’s banned dog breeds include:
- Pit Bulls
- Stafford Bull Terrier
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- American Stafford Terrier
- American Bully
- American and English Bull Dog
- Mastiffs, including Brazilian Mastiff, Argentinian Mastiff
- Japanese Tosa
- Wolf Dogs
- Doberman Pinchers
- Perro de Presa Canario
- Shar Pei
- Chow Chow
This list also applies to any hybrids of these breeds.
How Can I Bring My Dog to Dubai?
After reading the previous information, you may be thinking it will be a headache to actually bring your dog over to Dubai as an expat. The relocation process can be tricky, but if you follow the rules and prepare accordingly, you should be fine.
In terms of relocating your pet to Dubai, you will be required to obtain a valid importing permit for your pet before travelling. You should also note that a maximum of two pets can travel per person to the UAE, with each requiring their own import permit.
Pets are also not allowed to travel with you as added luggage or in the cabin. This means that they will need to be shipped in cargo according to the regulations from the International Air Transport Association.
If you have a puppy or kitten that is under the age of 27 weeks old from a country where there are a high number of rabies cases, they will not be able to enter the UAE.
To relocate your pet to Dubai, you will also need additional documents. This includes a copy of your passport. You will also need a Good Health Certificate which is a letter from your vet in your home country to confirm that your pet is in a healthy condition to travel.
You will also need a vaccination certificate, however a valid rabies vaccination is the only mandatory vaccine for an import permit. Animals must also be examined within 2 days before they are due to travel to make sure they are free from diseases, but this certificate is not mandatory just advised. Your pet must also be microchipped.
Dubai Municipality Rules for Pets
To keep a pet in Dubai, you must register it with Dubai Municipality. With this comes some rules around vaccinations and registration.
The registrations are valid for a year, so you must re-register each year. You will also be required to renew your pets’ vaccinations every year, for dogs this is for rabies. If your dog is not registered or vaccinated, you will receive a three day notice. If you fail to comply, you will be fined 200 AED and your dog may be confiscated.
UAE Dog and Cat Permit Form
If you’re serious about importing your dog from abroad then you can download the permit and guidance from the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water below.
FAQ’s About Dogs in Dubai
How Much Does it Cost to Bring my Dog to Dubai?
Service fees are dictated by the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Environment and Water. There are three sets of fee’s which need to be paid:
- Import Permit Fee – 500AED per Dog or Cat
- Inspection Fee of 1000AED per Dog (500AED per cat)
Are Dogs in Dubai Allowed in Taxis?
There are designated ‘pet taxis’ which can be used for vet trips and daycare. But in terms of a normal taxi, pets are generally not allowed to be in them. This also goes the same for other forms of public transport including buses and the Metro.
Are Dogs in Dubai Allowed in Apartments?
Dogs can be kept in your apartment, but only if you have the landlord or land-owner’s permission. There are various pet-friendly areas in Dubai, but you will need to check in terms of keeping a pet as a resident.
Can You Walk Your Dog on The Beach?
A lot of public places have a no pet policy. This includes parks, shopping malls, and beaches. Popular beach destinations such as the JBR are also not open to pets.
As you can see, owning a dog in Dubai comes with its fair share of strict rules and restrictions. However, if you are able to abide by these rules and create a safe and comfortable home for your four-legged friend, then you shouldn’t encounter any problems.