Rules of Drone Filming in the UAE
Exploring the great wonders and amazing sights of the UAE are countless and a breathtaking experience. Whether it’s gazing at the towering structure of the Burj Khalifa or strolling on the golden sandy beaches of Jumeirah, the UAE is truly a magnificent place for sightseeing. However, the ground perspective might seem a bit dull when compared to a birds-eye-view of the country. We’re not talking about the view you get from your balcony — more like the aerial point-of-view from the Burj Khalifa, but on a bigger scale!
Yes, It’s the amazing high-tech flying drone everyone! The aircraft can provide you that panoramic view from above, all the while navigating it from the ground. Indeed, flying one of these things over the UAE and capturing all its magnificent sights from every angle, is remarkable. However, with great power comes great responsibility. You can’t just take flight and start taking pictures all over the place. There are some rules you need to consider first.
Flying Drones in the UAE
I think we have established how magnificent the sights are in the UAE and how mesmerizing it would be to capture the view of them from above. Nevertheless, using drones to capture the aerial view of the country can be a bit dangerous if you don’t take into consideration the rules. Even though the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) have legalized the use of flying drones in the country, you still need to follow these regulations:
1. The Drone and Its User Need to be Registered
The GCAA has allowed the use of drones and flying them around in the UAE, but they need to be registered with them before any drone takes off in the air. Whether you’re an individual or an organization, registration is a must.
2. Drone Weight
• If the drone weighs five kilograms or less then it’s only allowed to fly inside the boundaries stated by the GCAA, which are the green flying zones on the drone hub mobile application.
• If the drone weighs more than five kilograms and/or works on a gas engine, then it’s only allowed to fly in the GCAA approved flying club.
• The minimum age for flying drones that weigh more than 25 kilograms, is 21 years old in the UAE.
3. Distance, Location, and Other Restrictions
After registering your modern drone, you need to be careful about where to fly it and take into account the restrictions that forbid you from flying:
• Your flying range needs to be within 400 feet above ground level and not more than that. Also, your drone needs to be in the line of sight.
• You can only fly your drone in the daytime and in promising weather circumstances.
• Drones need to be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. inspection of the gadget before taking flight is necessary.
• No flying is allowed near any private and public property in the UAE.
• Flying the drone within five kilometers of any UAE airport’s outer fence, heliports, landing Sites, and the airfield is strictly forbidden.
• You need to maintain the direct radio link between you and your drone at all times.
4. Your Wellbeing and Safety of Others
As stated by the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), any user of a drone needs to be extra careful when flying their aircraft. They need to be cautious and avoid any collision with people, other aircrafts, or any type of objects. They shall also not harass or endanger individuals while flying, and they should be careful from destroying public property.
5. Flying Within the Boundaries
Some locations are banned from flying drones, and you can find out where the locations are allowed and forbidden by using the drone hub mobile application. Where it shows on the map the locations you can go and enjoy the navigation of your personal modern drone.
6. Using Drones for Work Purposes
All organizations and operators that want to use flying drones for personal work circumstances need to pass the UAS CGAA exam before taking flight. Of course, registration in the GCAA is also a must as stated in rule number one.
However, these organization and operators can only use these aircrafts in certain working areas such as:
- Aerial Work
- Air Show
- Weather Forecasting
Although registration isn’t enough to commence these operations or work, you also need to obtain operational approval before taking flight.
7. Laws in Dubai
Indeed, Dubai is an emirate of the UAE, but it’s still required that you register yourself and the drone in the RPAS established by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA). Of course, the same rules that apply in the GCAA are also applied in Dubai.
Taking Pictures and Filming with a Drone in the UAE
Since this is the base of our article, there’s really nothing to argue about. The UAE has numerous places to visit and explore as the sights are breathtaking and a photo should be taken as a souvenir. Having these memories stored on your phone or laptop can be useful for future recall, but you know what’s better than a group photo in front of the Dubai Fountains? An overhead shot captured from a drone of course!
I know what you’re thinking, what a remarkable view it is from up here! But wait! You can’t just take pictures of whatever you want from your personal flying drone. There are rules that you need to consider, as stated above. Also, the same rules apply for filming and capturing pictures from drones by the GCAA. There are certain fly zones that prevent taking pictures, even though they allow flying your gadget there. That’s why it’s best, after registering your craft and yourself at the GCAA, to download the My Drone Hub app, compatible with both Android and iTunes. This will help to indicate the flying zones that allow drones to fly and take pictures at the same time.
In conclusion, if you want to use your drone for commercial or fun use just play by the rules and don’t hurt anyone while you navigate your aircraft.
Stay safe and be responsible.