Published: May 11, 2023

Drones in Dubai: New Amendments to Dubai’s Law on Unmanned Aerial Aircrafts


The Dubai Government has been propelling the increased usage of drone in both the private and public sectors for the past decade through a wide range of drone usages involving commercial uses for the collection of data, recreational uses, as well as surveillance uses by the government. The new Law No. 10 of 2023 replaces Articles (7), (20), (21) and (23) of the existing Law No. (4) of 2020 Regulating Drones in the Emirate of Dubai, which is the main body of law governing drones in Dubai. Law No. 4 conveys key provisions concerning registration of drones, divisions and control of the airspace, and the privacy and data protections of residential areas, among others. The amendments of the Law No. 10 establish that the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) will be the primary governing authority for drone aerodrome regulations and permit issuance in the place of the Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects Corporation.

DCAA’s Authority Over Drone Aerodromes

The DCAA, in coordination with the competent authorities in Dubai, has the authority to approve the specifications, standards, conditions, engineering designs of drone aerodromes and terminals for governmental and non-governmental uses. It also governs the criteria for qualification and certification of contractors and consultants working in the field of construction of drone aerodromes. The definition of “aerodromes” in the existing Law No. (4) of 2020 is defined area on land or water or installations that meet all the international standards and requirements established in this regard intended to be used for the landing, takeoff, hangaring and maintenance of aircraft. It includes any annexed buildings, towers, runways, devices, equipment, and systems. Law No. 10 provides that the DCAA, in coordination with the Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP) and other competent authorities, has the oversight for developing the criteria for the design and operation of drone aerodromes in Dubai Aviation City as well as the criteria for qualification and certification of contractors and consultants working in the field of construction of drone aerodromes.

Permits from the DCAA

The DCAA issues permits for any infrastructure constructed to conduct operations of drones. Any persons that seek to establish, operate, or make any changes to drone aerodromes must also obtain a permit for the DCAA. Furthermore, any person that desires to supply of fuel or power for drones must also obtain a permit from the DCAA. The DCAA will lay out the conditions and procedures for such applications in conjunction with other such related authorities.

The Law No. 10 entered into force on the date of its publishing on 14 April 2023.

How can we help?

Al Tamimi & Company’s Transport & Logistics team has extensive experience in the UAE with regards to matters regarding the implementation of unmanned aerial aircrafts and systems in Dubai. We furthermore have our respective experienced Customs, Insurance, and Digital & Data sectors that may provide assistance to any data, technology or insurance matters in relation to automated systems. In addition, we have rights of audience before the courts across in Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE, as well as local insights have enabled us to represent clients in complex local and multi-jurisdictional claims, defences, and commercial transactions. For further information on this sector or for any inquiries for assistance, please contact our team.