Bringing your pet to the UAE? Here are a few legal guidelines.

civil law

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January 27, 2022

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With the advent of the covid-19 epidemic, the world governments, including the United Arab Emirates, has taken a stricter approach to health and safety. Some of these measures include the introduction of new policies concerning the relocation of pets into the UAE. For instance, the UAE Ministry of Climate Change & Environment (MOCCAE) has added special requirements related to Covid-19 when it comes to bringing cats into the UAE.

Wherein, the owners are required to submit a legal endorsement stating that “the pet has not been in contact with Covid-19 human or animal positive case within at least fourteen days before shipping or was isolated under our supervision for fourteen days before shipping without showing symptoms of respiratory illness, or has been tested with a negative PCR test within ninety-six hours prior to the international travel”.

For the validity and acceptance of the said endorsement, further attestation steps are required, which include:

  • The endorsement can be provided by a registered veterinarian and is required to be certified by the veterinary authority in the country of origin.
  • The endorsement has to be provided on the letterhead of the veterinary authority.
  • The said certification has to be provided by the official government veterinarian authority in the country of origin.

International travel concerning pets:

The UAE’s Etihad airlines allow for smaller breeds of pets to be brought into the UAE as accompanied baggage allowing in-cabin travel when travelling to or from Abu Dhabi.

The regulations applicable in this instance include:

  • Only adults of eighteen years or above are allowed to travel with their pets, and only one pet is allowed to travel with a given adult.
  • The booking concerning the travel have to be submitted at least seventy-two hours in advance to the flight and additional documents, containing details of the microchip inserted, certified health certificate, a fit to travel certificate for the pet, as well as additional declaration as required by MOCCAE, as mentioned earlier.
  • Defined measurement for the carry-on pet travel bag should be: 40 x 40x 20 cm in (L x W x H) for economy ticket; or 50 x 40 x 50 cm in (L x W x H) for business and first-class tickets. Further, the total weight of the travel bag should not exceed eight kilograms.
  • The pets are required to be restrained within the travel bag for the entirety of the flight.
  • Within the specified measurements for the travel bag, the pet must have sufficient room to be able to easily sit or stand as per its natural inclination; the bag must be well ventilated; it must be escape-proof, and the floor of the bag should be made of absorbent material.
  • In curtailing the Covid-19 pandemic, the public authorities in the UAE have taken proactive and adequate measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its citizens, residents and visitors. The UAE currently leads the world nations in the number of Covid-19 vaccines administered, with 93% of its population being vaccinated and 82 % being fully vaccinated. This is a staggering achievement with which the country has successfully brought life close to normal.


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