How to get a Commercial UAE Drone Permit

DJI Inspire drone for construction
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or drones are rapidly growing in popularity for their widespread commercial applications. In the UAE especially, drones have become increasingly lucrative to many industries. The UAE’s proactive approach to the adoption of smart technologies has springboarded drones into major industries such as Power & Utilities, Construction, Oil & Gas and Agriculture. Let's see how to get the UAE drone permit.

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Commercial Drone Permits in the UAE

A large reason why Drone technology has been such a disruptive force in the region is attributed to UAE’s progressive regulations and laws. But, what are the specifics of it? What is required before a commercial drone can take off on UAE soil? As the biggest drone company in the region, we feel a strong sense of duty – to educate the community on all things drone.

While it may seem like an elaborate or complicated procedure, we must appreciate that these laws and regulations are in place to ensure the safety of the general public, you and your drone. But don’t worry, we’ll walk you through the process in a simple and informative manner.

If you’d like to learn about the Drone Laws in UAE, you can read about them in this article here.


Before you can approach the authorities with a request for a UAE drone permit, there are a few documents you need to have in your possession.

  • Trade Licence
  • Security Clearance from GCAA
  • GCAA registered Drones
  • Drone Insurance
  • Subscription to GCAA’s e-publication

It is required to have a Security Clearance from the GCAA (General Civil Aviation Authority). Still, before anything, you must ensure you have a valid Trade Licence. Additionally, you must register each of your drones with the GCAA and insure them.

UAE Drone Permit Acquisition Documents

Once you have the essential Documentation, you can approach the respective authorities to obtain your UAE drone permit. For each project, you must apply for a separate permit. Besides the documents we covered in the previous segment, you must present yourself with the following documents.

  • Commissioning letter
  • Trade Licence
  • Coordinates of the project location
  • NOC from the property owner
  • Statement of Purpose(Request Letter) 

Should you wish to perform services, you need a commissioning letter from the clients. Along with this, you need a NOC from the property owner where your project will take place. Finally, a Request Letter/Statement of Purpose where you detail the project, the purpose of the mission and the flight parameters.

Applying for the Permit

The process of getting the permit is pretty straightforward; from here it’s just a matter of approaching the authorities in the right order. 

  1. To start with, if you plan to shoot and publish footage/images, you must approach a Media Authority.
    • If within Dubai, you approach the DFTC (Dubai Film and TV Commission)
    • For all other Emirates, the NMC (National Media Council)
  2. Next, you must get the approval from the MOD (Ministry of Defence)
  3. Followed by the GCAA (General Civil Aviation Authority)
  4. Finally, you speak to the local Civil Aviation Authority. Depending on the local, you would approach one of the following.
    • DCAA (Dubai Civil Aviation Authority)
    • ADCA (Abu Dhabi Civil Aviation Authority)
    • FIA (Fujairah International Airport)
    • DCA (Department of Civil Aviation Sharjah)
    • Ras Al Khaimah Airport

And with that, you’re all done. This whole process from start to finish takes at least 14 working days on average. Once you’ve acquired the approval, you’ll be all set to conduct your commercial flight.

FEDS is one of the biggest drone service providers in the world. Since our inception, we have transformed industries using Drone Technology supporting them with data that is incredibly accurate while being cost and time-efficient.

If this process sounds daunting to you at all, please consider giving us a call. We can equip you with the right tools and provide you with the necessary training. Or better yet, you can hire us on a project basis where we use our drones and expertise to your benefit and deliver results.c

How to get drone approval in the UAE Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Approval Workflow for Commercial Drone Operation in the UAE

This article was written in December 2020; the UAE’s regulations are continually changing for the better, to better incorporate new technologies efficiently and safely. We hope this article was helpful to you. Still, it is always advisable to refer to the official sources in rules and laws.

If you are interested in using drones in your operations, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can set up a cost-free customized consultation to find the right solution for you.

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