We have posted many articles on moving pets to Dubai and have received many inquiries as of late. Here are a few of the basics:
There are several hurdles owners have to overcome if you want to bring a pet into or take a pet out of the UAE. Pets brought into the UAE must be imported as cargo and not as baggage accompanying a passenger.
To bring a pet in, you must obtain an import permit. Requirements for this include a document from your veterinary surgeon (signed and stamped) showing the animal was vaccinated against rabies between one year and 30 days previously.
You must have a good health certificate from the government of the country where the animal is coming from. In addition, the animal must be microchipped.
People with pets already in the UAE must ensure they get them vaccinated against rabies once a year. In Dubai this means they will get a red identification disc from Dubai Municipality.
Vaccination can be carried out by Dubai Municipality for Dh50 or at private veterinary clinics for a higher charge.
Ensure your pet wears the disc on its collar at all times, otherwise it could be picked up as a stray by the authorities.
No similar system exists in the other emirates, but Dr Martin Wyness from the British Veterinary Centre in Abu Dhabi said owners should consider getting their animals microchipped.
In addition to rabies, dog owners are recommended to vaccinate their pets against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis and parvovirus.
Important additional vaccinations for cats include two types of cat flu as well as panleukopenia.
For an export permit, at least five days before export, the pet must be examined by a government vet at the cargo village of Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Sharjah International Airports.
Bring along a signed and stamped document from your vet showing the animal, which must be microchipped, was vaccinated against rabies between one year and 30 days previously. The fee is Dh100, payable by e-card.
Several kennels and catteries will deal with all of the paperwork, both for import and export.
Animals brought into the UAE without the proper documents will be held until those documents are obtained. The importation of some dangerous breeds of dog, such as Pit Bulls and Neapolitan Mastiffs, and cross breeds of them, is banned. Travel boxes must meet International Air Transport Authority guidelines.
Permits are valid for a month
To either bring in or take out a pet from the UAE, you will have to process the papers at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Do not forget to take your passport copy and your residence permit copy also. The Ministry is open between 7.30am and 2.30pm from Sunday to Thursday.
The import permit will cost Dh200 and is valid for one month. It is payable by e-card.
This permit should be submitted at the Cargo Village at Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Sharjah international airports prior to the animal's arrival.
When collecting the animal, take along the original vaccination document and the official certificate issued by the government of the country of origin. There is a Dh90 customs charge.
A re-import certificate should be collected if the animal is coming back to the UAE. Before the pet is brought back, a health certificate, which is valid for 10 days, should be obtained from an official vet. For more information see the website of the American Veterinary Clinic in Abu Dhabi.
The requirements for exporting a pet from the UAE vary depending which country you are sending the animal to. The British Veterinary Centre in Abu Dhabi publishes a country-by-country list at www.britvet.com. (Click on the pet travel link.)