New pet-friendly communities in Dubai and rules for bringing pets into the UAE

New pet-friendly communities in Dubai and rules for bringing pets into the UAE

Property in Dubai is highly sought after by foreigners seeking to relocate to the UAE. The country, known for its absence of muddy off-seasons or cold weather, is comfortable for expatriates. Dubai has a high quality of life, ample business opportunities and foreigner-friendly authorities. If you are considering purchasing villas or apartments in Dubai, you can easily obtain residency permits for yourself and your family. But what if one of them is a pet? Let's look at the rules to bring furry friends to Dubai and the best pet-friendly communities in the city.


How to move to Dubai with a pet

A successful move to the UAE with a pet requires a set of documents verifying its health. These documents must be processed in a strict order, considering their validity periods. Vaccinations should be administered after microchipping, otherwise, the vaccination must be repeated.

The preparation procedure involves the following steps:

  • Obtaining an international standard pet passport;
  • Microchipping;
  • Vaccination;
  • Obtaining an import permit;
  • Undergoing a rabies antibody test;
  • Parasite treatment;
  • Obtaining Veterinary Certificate Form №1.

New pet-friendly communities in Dubai and rules for bringing pets into the UAE

Pet passport

This can be obtained from any veterinary clinic (private or state). The passport should include the following details:

  1. Breed, name, sex, age and colour of the animal;
  2. Chip number;
  3. Vaccination details: date, vaccine manufacturer, batch number;
  4. Results of rabies antibody tests;
  5. Full name of the owner.

Important: Only the person whose name appears on the passport may transport the cat or dog. Additionally, there must be a note indicating that parasite treatment was administered two weeks before departure, specifying the medication used and its dosage.


Microchipping is conducted at the nearest veterinary clinic providing this service. For international travel, authorities recommend using microchips compliant with international ISO standards. The vet enters the chip number into the international Animal ID database and records it in the pet's passport. Vaccination is permitted after chip implantation.


Rabies vaccination, followed by 21 days of quarantine, is mandatory for cats and dogs that are being vaccinated for the first time or whose previous vaccination has expired. The animal must be vaccinated no later than one year and no earlier than three weeks before departure. If the previous vaccination is still valid and recorded in the pet passport, quarantine is not required.

The date of the rabies vaccination should not be earlier than the date of chip implantation. If the animal has already been vaccinated this year but is chipped later, the vaccination must be repeated during quarantine.

Dogs are vaccinated against a range of diseases including distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus enteritis, adenovirus infections and leptospirosis. Cats are vaccinated against calicivirus, rhinotracheitis and panleukopenia.

Other documents required

To enter the UAE from foreign countries, it’s mandatory to analyze the level of antibodies to the rabies virus in the animal's blood, no earlier than 30 days after vaccination. If the previous vaccine has not expired, the test can be performed immediately. The test must be carried out only in accredited laboratories. The minimum acceptable test result is 0.5 IU/mL.

Veterinary Certificate Form №1 is issued by state veterinary institutions and is valid for five days. Immediately before departure, it must be exchanged at the airport for Certificate Form №5a, which is necessary for return and a health certificate confirming the animal's health for import. These documents can also be obtained from the animal administration in your country.

Permission to import animals is valid for 30 days and requires a fee of AED 200 (USD 55) per animal. Instructions for completing the form are available online. It’s essential to have a hard copy of the document when going through customs at the airport.

Animals that cannot be imported

The UAE prohibits the importation of the following dog breeds:

  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Brazilian, Tibetan, Neapolitan, Argentinian, Italian, French, Indian, Canary and Japanese Mastiffs
  • Bullmastiff
  • Boxer
  • Bull Terrier
  • Rottweiler
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Canary Dog

This list includes breeds considered by the authorities to be potentially dangerous and the restriction is intended to ensure public peace.

What else you should know

Dogs are treated less favourably in public places than in many Western countries because they are traditionally considered unclean animals. There are not enough parks designated for dog walking and their presence in parks and beaches is prohibited. In addition, not every community with apartments or villas in Dubai allows animals. However, as more expatriates arrive with their furry friends, attitudes are gradually changing.

Costs involved

The following fees are charged for importing animals:

  • Import permit fee: AED 500 per cat or dog
  • Medical examination fee: AED 500 per cat and AED 1,000 per dog

These services can be paid for with electronic dirhams, VISA or MASTER CARD.

New pet-friendly communities in Dubai and rules for bringing pets into the UAE

Best pet-friendly communities in Dubai

Arabian Ranches - a popular community in Dubai, renowned for its spacious villas and pet friendliness. With plenty of green spaces, pedestrian walkways and parks, this area is perfect to walk and play with your little companions. High fences provide security and the presence of special shops and veterinary clinics within the community ensures convenient access to necessary goods and services.

Dubai Hills Estate - an elite area that perfectly combines premium amenities for residents and great ownership opportunities. A wide range of properties, from cosy apartments to villas, are available to suit every taste. For true luxury lovers, homes with private gardens are available, providing plenty of space to play and relax with your friends. The community's convenient location gives residents easy access to many of Dubai's attractions.

Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC) - a rapidly developing green community, popular with families and animal owners in Dubai due to its unique landscaping with parks, plazas, pedestrian walkways and relaxation lawns. The area offers ideal conditions for outdoor walks with your companions. There are also pet-friendly cafés and restaurants where you can enjoy time with your furry friend.


Moving to the UAE with a pet is possible:

  • The transport mechanism is well established and regulated step by step;
  • A wide range of communities allows you to choose the best area to live in.

All that is required of the owner is to study the procedure thoroughly and to comply with the requirements for importing animals into the UAE.

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