How to legally fly a drone in UAE

Hey Hey! One of the recent fascinations I have dug myself into is drones. It’s amazing to take effortless aerial shots of beautiful scenics around the city.

HOWEVER, you can’t just willy nilly purchase and fly your drone. I learnt this the hard way. Spoke to a couple friends, tried to get in touch with the authorities, but there was no where I could find clear information in one place!

Now that I have completed the process myself, here is a run down of everything you need to know about flying drones in the UAE.

GCAA v/s DCAA

There are two main authorities for registering drone,

  1. General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA)
  2. Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA)

Registering to GCAA is free and will give you access to certain areas in the UAE given certain conditions which you can find here. Rules to fly a drone in accordance to GCAA

Registering to DCAA costs AED 120 and requires a test to be passed from Sanad Academy. (Cost of test is AED 350)

Basic RPAS Certification

Basic RPAS certification is required from Sanad Academy. You can either opt for bootcamp which includes lessons and the test or simply apply for the certification.
The certification is pretty simple and involves a theory open book test and a flight test.
You are expected to achieve 80% in the theory test to pass. The flight test requires you to be able to fly your drone and have an understanding of the controls.

Recommended Process:

It is really up to you if you want to opt only for DCAA or GCAA. But this is the process that I would recommend.

Other Relevant Information:

  1. GCAA Registration
  2. Sanad Academy Test Registration (Mandatory)
  3. Sanad Academy Boot Camp Registration (Not mandatory for license)
  4. Telephone number of Sanad Academy: 04-8327772 (Weekend bookings are not available online but only by phone
  5. DCAA Registration 

 

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