Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 25 May 2019

The UAE explained: How to import a pet to the UAE

You've got a new life waiting for you in the UAE, but you can't bear to leave your best friend behind. Here's everything you need to know about how to bring them with you

From importation costs to vaccinations, bringing a pet to the UAE can be a difficult process. 
From importation costs to vaccinations, bringing a pet to the UAE can be a difficult process. 

Those floppy ears and big, longing eyes can be hard to resist — but anyone looking to bring a beloved animal out with them to the UAE to begin a new life here should give the process some serious thought. Importing a pet can be a costly and stressful process, not to mention the strain put on the animal during transportation.

Here's everything you need to know to make bringing your best friend to the UAE a little easier:

What documents does my pet need to enter the UAE?

Dogs must be registered, vaccinated and micro-chipped with Dubai or Abu Dhabi Municipality’s vet services section. Any other animals being imported into the UAE require an import permit and health certificate.

Rare or exotic species must be accompanied by a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora certificate at all times while transiting in the UAE, with only zoos, breeding and research centres, wildlife parks and circuses permitted to keep wild or exotic animals.

What is the typical cost of importing a pet?

The costs of transporting pets as cargo or accompanied baggage can vary from a few hundred dirhams to thousands.It depends on where the animal is coming from and the size of the animal, but several airlines and specialist pet transport operators offer a door-to-door service.

Emirates Pets builds on Emirates SkyCargo’s existing capabilities to transport pet animals on its flights and offers new features such as booking return flights for pets.

Emirates Pets Plus is the premium option, covering everything from initial pick-up to drop-off, including pet paperwork and wefare needs, is currently available between Dubai and Bahrain, Brazil, Cyprus, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK.

Pets can be checked in as accompanied baggage with a passenger, and will be taken by porters to be transported in the climate controlled hold of an aircraft. Tickets prices depend on the weight of animal and flight duration.

SkyCargo has also entered into a partnership with Snoopy Pets, a leading pet relocation service provider based in Dubai, to offer a new premium door-to-door transportation service.

What vaccinations does my animal need?

The most important vaccines cats will need if coming to the UAE are against calicivirus, pan leukopenia, herpesvirus and rabies. Dogs should also be vaccinated against rabies and is mandatory as an annual vaccine in Dubai.

Pet owners should have an up-to-date vaccination book with a record of their animal’s vaccination history.

Are there any other considerations about pet ownership in the UAE?

“The heat is a big consideration, especially for some stub nose breeds who find it hard to breathe,” said Janet Walker, manager of Global Relocations at Dubai Kennels and Cattery. These breeds include pugs, boxers and shih tzus.

“If you are coming to the UAE from a very green environment with lots of outdoor space, people should be prepared for the desert not being a suitable place for some animals.

“There are now more restrictions on bringing certain animals into the UAE, such as potentially dangerous pets.”

What dog breeds can I not bring into the UAE?

Banned dogs include all types of pit bull, wolf-dog hybrids, American Staffordshire terriers, Japanese tosa, Brazilian and Argentinian mastiffs and crossbreeds of any of the above six types of dog.

Other breeds added to the banned list this year include the American bully, rottweilers (breed or hybrid), doberman pinschers, perro de presa canario and boxer dogs.

Banned breeds, once registered, cannot be re-homed or adopted if the owner decides to give up the dog. Re-registration with another owner is no longer be possible.

Owners should have an identification collar for their pet and should be on a lead at all times, unless it is specifically notified in a communal area.


Read more UAE explainers:

How to bring prescription drugs into the country

How to rent an apartment in Abu Dhabi

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Updated: November 24, 2018 03:53 PM