How to bring a dog or cat to Dubai, UAE


With the annual influx of foreigners for permanent residence and tourists, the authorities had to think over the rules of importation, accommodation and creation of conditions for comfortable cohabitation with pets.

Among the requirements for importing a cat or dog into the territory of the UAE are:

1. Age — at least 4 months. By this time, the pet must be vaccinated against rabies and develop antibodies.

2. Chipping. This is a kind of electronic passport of the pet, registered in the international registry, with full information about health, vaccinations, as well as information about the owner. Only ISO standard microchip is valid (AVID is not suitable).

3. Standard set of veterinary documents, which reflect vaccinations against rabies and common viral diseases, treatment against internal and external parasites. Moreover, the passport must include the names of vaccines, dates of administration and tags from the injected drugs. Based on this, the state veterinary clinic must issue certificate No. 1, which is issued no later than 5 days before departure.

4. Test for the presence of rabies antibodies in the blood. It can be done in the Federal Center for Animal Health Protection in Vladimir, in the Moscow Center for Molecular Diagnostics FGBU «VGNKI» and in the Moscow Research Institute for Diagnostics and Prevention of Human and Animal Diseases.

5. Obtain an import permit from the UAE Ministry of Natural Resources. To do this, go to the MOEW website and fill out the application form «Import Permit for Pets».

It will require:

  • a copy of the owner’s passport;
  • a resident visa or photocopy of the UAE ID card;
  • photocopies of the pet’s passport, veterinary passport with vaccinations, and a blood test for antibodies.

Processing usually takes 3-5 days and is valid for 30 days.

When crossing the border you will be checked all the above documents + you must provide a certificate that the pet has been treated for fleas, ticks, helminths no later than 10 days before departure. Indication of the names of preparations and doses is obligatory. Only certified preparations are recognized. Fipronil or Permethrin (Frontline) should be used against helminths, and deworming should be carried out with Praziquantel. Please note that it is better to have all certificates in two copies, as some originals may be taken away at the border.

Separately, it is worth highlighting what vaccinations will be checked in dogs:

  • from rabies, and repeat it annually at the same time, pre-treatment against fleas and helminths;
  • the distemper virus;
  • parvovirus;
  • against infectious hepatitis;
  • leptospirosis;
  • 30 days before entry the pet should be checked for absence of leishmaniasis and ehrlichiosis.

Cats should be vaccinated against rabies, viral panleukopenia, rnotracheitis, calicivirus.

In the UAE there is a restriction on the import of certain breeds, namely: pit bulls, fighting breeds (Argentine, Brazilian, Japanese mastiffs), Argentine dogs, American Staffordshire terriers and breeds bred by crossing with the wolf.

When traveling by air, you should read the rules of transportation of animals. In most cases, guide dogs and cats weighing up to 8 kg are allowed in the cabin. In other cases, cages with animals are transported in cargo compartments.

Upon arrival at the airport, all the same documents for the animal + payment of import fees are requested. Violations of import regulations are punishable by strict penalties ranging from fines to confiscation of the animal. Instead of confiscation, the pet can be sent home, but at the expense of the owner.

It should be borne in mind that each person has the right to import no more than two animals on general grounds. In some cases, when transportation is handled by the MOEW specialized service, up to 5 animals can be imported, and all documents are accepted in English only. Next, the animal must be registered with the Dubai Municipality’s Veterinary Services Department and taken to the Municipality’s Clinic, where it will be examined by a veterinarian, registered and given a tag with information that must hang on the collar.

Once you have successfully moved in, be prepared that most apartment complexes do not allow dogs in their buildings, nor are they allowed in some public areas. There are special recreation areas where animals are free to play with their kind and their owners can make acquaintances. The most tolerant neighborhood of Dubai to four-legged friends is considered Jumeirah. There are many veterinary clinics, pet stores, walking areas, and most restaurants have outdoor terraces where you can relax with your pet.

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