Moving to Dubai, UAE with pets!

Dubai is one of the best places for western expatriates to be posted to in the Gulf region. Many feel comfortable in Dubai because of its whole hearted acceptance of liberal western ways while at the same time maintaining its ancient Arab culture. Dubai is a wonderful mix of traditions and people ranging from the Arabs, Oriental and Asians to Europeans and Americans. And the best part is that Dubai lets you be yourself, letting you live your life the way that you want to, unlike many other orthodox Gulf countries. No wonder then, that Dubai is generally amongst the top ten holiday destinations and expatriate locations - especially when it comes to pets!

The best part about Dubai is that the emirate is flowing with a palpable energy, a buzz that you can feel when you are there. Dubais streets, markets and malls are full of life. The scenic beauty of its coasts and beaches are always inviting while its malls are shoppers galore. The world class business centers, hotels and resorts make sure that it is the place where the rich and famous of the world meet to strike mega deals. If you are moving with your family to Dubai, then you can rest assured that everybody will find something to suit their tastes, needs and requirements in Dubai.

Pets are very welcomed in Dubai and as with all world hubs, the abundance of pet services and accommodations are everywhere. The hard part for Expatriates with having pets in Dubai, is usually - getting them there.

Before you being on your journey in shipping or moving with your pets to Dubai, you will need to make sure you follow the regulations and requirements for import to the UAE. Here they are below:


1. All animals need to be implanted with a microchip: Compatible with international standards(ISO 11784/11785).

2. All animals need to have Full Vaccinations:

Dogs: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo, Leptospirosis, (DHLPP) and Rabies within the last 12 months or a minimum of 4 weeks before arrival.

Cats: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia (FVRCP), and Rabies within the last 12 months or a minimum of 4 weeks before arrival.

3. RNATT Test: Unless you are originating from one of the countries below, your pet will have to under go a Rabies Neutralizing Antibody Test (RNATT). The RNATT test result must not be less than 0.5 iu/ml, and, furthermore, must not be older than three months at the time of your petҒs arrival. The countries listed below are considered Rabies FreeӔ or Rabies ControlledӔ by the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water (MEW) and are exempt from this portion of the import process:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States, United Kingdom, Vatican City.

4. Apply for the import permit:

5. APHIS form 7001 issued within 10 days of departure: Your vet should have these in stock. Its a good idea to call ahead and ask. This is an international health certificate that needs to be completed by your vet and sent to the USDA for the correct endorsement. Speak to your to your Vet or a pet moving company regarding the USDA portion of this process as certain packages have this included.

6. The Following Documentation needs to be present at the time of customs clearance. Please provide these to your Pet Relocation Specialist prior to your animal departing:

* Copy of the Pet OwnerҒs Passport

While vaccination of pets and the attachment of a Municipality ID disc to your pets collar is mandatory in Dubai; sterilization is also encouraged due to the ever growing population of strays. However, the rules and laws are pet friendly and the government provides vet services at extremely affordable rates.

Click here for more information on previous Dubai blog posts.

If you have any information to share with us, please do post a comment!

Happy Pet Travels!


PetRelocation Team





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By george christoforou on May 17, 2018 at 10:57 am

What about for bringing in my pet fish.I know the people of the UAE have some appreciation for the beauty of tropical fish judging by their excellent public aquariums.What is the procedure to bring in pet fish. Does anyone know the

By on May 18, 2018 at 9:23 am

Hi George! Although there are safe ways to do it, there are special precautions you must use when moving fish internationally. Check out this blog post from a past client we helped relocate 11 koi fish. Also, every country has different import regulations so we'd suggest reaching out to the ministry in the UAE for assistance. Hope this helps!

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