Importing Animals into the UAE: A Guide to Documents and Rules for a Successful Process

Author Veterinary Consultant
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Importing Animals into the UAE: A Guide to Documents and Rules for a Successful Process

Traveling to the Persian Gulf Coast with your pet:

New regulations for transporting animals to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were introduced in 2016. This means that dogs, cats, poultry, and falcons are now allowed to be transported along with owners, but a maximum limit of two animals per year per person is now in place for the cities of Dubai, Ajman, and Abu Dhabi.

Getting Ready

In order to successfully import a pet to the UAE, the following steps must be taken:

  • Issue a veterinary passport;
  • Microchip the animal;
  • Vaccinate your pet against rabies;
  • Obtain Rabies antibody titer test certificate;
  • De-worming at least 3 days before the trip;
  • Obtain Import Permit from the UAE Ministry of Natural Resources through their official website, which is valid for 30 days.

Be aware that in order to import an animal into the UAE, it must have passed its rabies virus antibody titer test at least 3 months and no more than 12 months before the intended date of importation.

Международный ветеринарный паспорт.
International Veterinary Passport. A document that is issued by licensed clinics after examining the animal and verifying its vaccination and deworming records. The veterinarian will issue Veterinary Certificate Form 1, which will then be replaced with an Veterinary Certificate Form 5a at the airport upon arrival.
Microchip. The microchip installed in the animal must meet the requirements of ISO 11784 or 11785. This means that a 15-digital identification number must be written in your pet’s passport, and this information is verified when crossing borders. It's also important to note that if an outdated microchip is installed, the pet owner must carry a suitable reader to avoid potential issues at the border.
Vaccination Policy. Animals that are being imported to the UAE must be vaccinated against rabies starting at 3 months of age. Cat imports also generally require vaccinations for rhinotracheitis, panleukopenia, and calicivirosis. Dog imports, on the other hand, typically call for vaccinations against plague, canine hepatitis, leptospirosis, and parvovirus.
Определение титра антител к вирусу бешенства.
Rabies Antibody Titer Test. The test is mandatory for the import of animals into the country, and it involves taking a blood sample from the pet and determining the titer of antibodies present in the blood against rabies. This test can only be done in authorized laboratories and must be conducted at last 30 days after vaccination. If the antibody titer is lower than 0.5 IU/mL, a second round of vaccinations will be required.

Flight and Customs

Animals, with the exception of guide dogs and falcons, are only accepted for transportation in the cargo section, and only for flights that will take less than 17 hours. The cost of transportation varies depending on the size and weight of the pet, but it is at least $500.

Note: Сertain low-cost airlines, such as FlyDubai and Air Arabia, do not accept the transportation of animals on their flights, whether in the cabin or in the cargo section.

For additional information and further details regarding the rules for importing pets into the UAE, you can consult the official website of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the UAE.


Are there any prohibited dog breeds for import to the UAE?
The import of fighting breeds of dogs, including pitbull terriers, tosa-inu, japanese mastiff, argentinian great dane, and american staffordshire terriers, is strictly prohibited in the UAE.
Useful tips

To avoid potential problems and expenses at the border, always make sure to prepare all necessary documents, including the veterinary passport, microchip, and rabies vaccination in advance. Not complying with the import rules can result in a fine of around $1,800, in addition to the possibility of having to send the pet back to Russia or pay for its quarantine at your own expense (the cost of one day in quarantine starts at $1,000).