Entering Dubai with a Pet

Information about the restrictions and requirements when bringing your pet into Dubai...

The process of importing pets into Dubai is fairly straight-forward. Up to two animals may be imported per person; however if using an pet relocation agent there are no limitations on the number that may be imported.

Required documents

An import permit issued by the Government's MOEW is required for each animal being imported. The application for the permit must be made before an animal may be imported to Dubai.

  • For information on the import permit: Click here

To get an import permit, the following must be provided:

  • Vaccination card from a registered vet showing up-to-date vaccinations for rabies and other infectious diseases (see "Vaccinations" below). It is recommended to provide the original and two copies
  • Owner's passport and residency visa or offer of employment letter (copy)
  • Microchip certificate (all dogs and cats must be identified by microchip)
  • Health certificate issued by a vet within ten days of travel. The document which includes the name, age, breed, colour and sex of the pet must state that the animal is in a healthy condition to travel

The import permit

Once the above documents are prepared the owner or an associate can to go in person to the MOEW to process the paper-work and collect the permit. The documents can alternatively be faxed to the MOEW.

Application can also be made online (free online registration is required), with the completed application form and copies of the required documents sent by email to the address on the form.

If using a pet relocation or transportation company, supply them with the required documents to process the application.

In general, import permits are issued within two to three days of application. From date of issue, an import permit is valid for one month only. Animals may not enter Dubai with an expired import permit.

Vaccinations required

The following vaccinations are currently required for import, along with a valid vaccination card or certificate:

Dogs:

  • Rabies: administered between one year and 30 days prior to travel
  • DHLPP combined canine vaccine for:
    • Canine parvovirus
    • Leptospirosis
    • Infectious canine hepatitis
    • Canine distemper virus (CDV)

Cats:

  • Rabies: administered between one year and 30 days prior to travel
  • FVRCP combined feline vaccine for:
    • Feline rhinotracheitis (FHV-1)
    • Feline calicivirus
    • Feline panleukopnia (FPV)

Animals being imported from certain countries also need a certificate for rabies serum neutralisation test (a laboratory immunity blood test) before being allowed in the UAE.

Note: No animal under four months old may enter Dubai as the rabies vaccine would not yet be effective. Rabies can be administered to an animal from three months; there is an obligatory 21-day waiting period following the vaccine. The animal may be kept in quarantine in Dubai for the required period, at the owners expense.

Some airlines and pet importers require additional vaccinations when handling animals. The British Veterinary Centre recommends that cats and dogs have up-to-date vaccinations against other diseases:

Horses

All horses must have the following blood tests with negative results before being imported into the UAE:

  • Glanders/Dourine and Coggins
  • Equine Viral Arteritis (for colts older than 180 days)

Horses must also have an up-to-date flu vaccination record and proof that they received a booster within 60 days but not within 14 days of import.

  • Information on importing horses, from the Ministry of Environment and Water: Click here

Quarantine regulations

There are no quarantine laws enforced in the UAE except for horses, which have to stay under supervision for up to five days.

Arriving in Dubai

On arrival in Dubai, animals are taken to animal handling facilities in Cargo Village, where they are inspected by a veterinary official and all paperwork is processed. This takes approximately two hours. A fee must be paid for each animal on arrival (payment can be made in advance with an E-Dirham card from a bank or post office).

Further Information