Pets in the United Arab Emirates

Hello everyone,

Many of us in the United Arab Emirates have four-legged friends. What about you? Do you have one or more pets? Share your experience with us!

What are the formalities to import pets in the United Arab Emirates? What about pet adoption procedures in the country? Did you bring your pet from your home country to your host country? If so, did everything turn out fine?

What do Emiratis think about pets? Are they comfortable with dogs, cats or unusual pets?

Share your advice!


Dear Priscilla, I used to bring Lion Cubs from Sudan, but that was long back. It was very eassy. Now, really I don't know the real procedures.

The most annoying fact is, you can see lots of abandoned animals in this country. Means the people are throwing the animals to the street.(may be because of the lose of jobs, allergy or any health issues etc are the reasons) You can see huge number of cats in Lulu Island in Abu Dhabi. It's an isolated Island and an ideal place for the people to throw these lowly furry friends. Animal Welfare Abu Dhabi (AWAD) is on a mission to feed those cats and they are doing their best along with TNR. (Trapping, Neutering and Releasing)
Besides, there are some rescue centers in this country. Sharjah Cats and Dogs Shelter (SCADS) is one of them and they are treating the animals with high hygienic standard. If anyone want's to adopt a cat or dog, you can contact them. They are charging an affordable  amount of fee and you have to pay  for vaccination and neutering charges. There are some other centers too. Falcon Hospital -Abu Dhabi, Bahia Animal Sanctuary- Abu Dhabi, SOS Animal Rescue -Umm Al Quwain etc are few of them and they are doing their best.
Those who are interested can like the Facebook page "Bin Kitty Collective"

Yes emiratis are pet freindly and even UAE is pet freindly to the point that they dont disturb others, they are not allowed in malls etc but there are many other places for them

I'm in the process of bringing my chiweenie mix dog over from Canada.

There's a lot of paper work to do on top of all the vaccinations and tests from the vet.  It's quite expensive to ship as well.  I think end to end costed us around 6000dhs.

Also, regulations change all the time so please stay in check with the country's requirements.

For us, we had to do a blood test within 90 days of departure and then 2 weeks before the flight, the rule changed stating that the blood test must be done before 12 weeks of the dog's flight.   That threw us off and we had reschedule a lot of things.

Its best to hire a company that specializes in transporting pets, especially one that's familiar in the UAE.

Personally, I don't have a pet, but sure, having a companion, friends, is crucial in Dubai where often family is away. Otherwise u can easily get depressed. Tnx for sharing..

I brought our Bull Terrier from South Africa in 2013. Also took me months before she could come, paper work and being a banned breed. But actually she was a English Bully. It has changed our lives, but also handicapped us. Due to the weather, and no proper kennels or pet sitters. So we fly our family in, so we can go on holiday. Cost to bring her to UAE was about 6000 AED, but to take her back is going to be about 23,000 AED. We used Emirates to fly her and everything worked well. To take her back we have to do it in the winter months, we did get permission from our landlord first. Some accommodation do have extra levies for pets. All I can say if you want to bring your 4 legged child over, make sure during the summer the garden area is shaded to protect their paws or get shoes for them. Not many parks or beaches to go to, but plenty of sand dune to exercise in. And they love it. I would just say before buying a pet, consider adopting and keeping for life. There is so many abandoned animals out there. Support the animal charities' they are mostly expats trying to help animal's in distress.

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