International Pet Transport To The United Arab Emirates

International pet transport to the United Arab Emirates

In the past, the United Arab Emirates did not have the reputation of being extremely pet-friendly, but with changing rules and attitudes, there are numerous happy pet parents in the country. Dogs and cats are common pets, and with more pet parents adopting pets in the country, pet-friendly amenities and activities are on the rise.

International pet transport to any country involves a set of rules and regulations that must be followed accurately for your pet to be allowed into the country. It is not very difficult to bring your pet to the United Arab Emirates as long as all the pet import criteria are met.

International pet transport to the United Arab Emirates
International pet transport to the United Arab Emirates


The first step in the international pet travel process is to visit the vet to implant a microchip under your pet’s skin. The microchip is a tiny chip, about the size of a rice grain. The chip is read by a scanner with which customs officials ascertain the identity of your pet.

Implanting the microchip is a painless and quick procedure. The vet will usually implant it between your pet’s shoulders. Contrary to popular belief, the microchip stays in the same position for life and does not move around in your pet’s body. UAE requires an ISO-compliant microchip, and the microchip number must be recorded correctly on all your pet’s documents.

Know your country category

Most countries around the world are classified according to the presence or absence of rabies in the country. It is generally simpler to travel between countries having the same rabies status. Before you begin your international pet travel plans, remember to check the rabies status of the destination and origin countries.

The United Arab Emirates classifies all countries into two rabies categories:

  • Low-risk countries: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Falkland Island, Fiji, Finland, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montenegro, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Portugal, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK, and Vanuatu.
  • High-risk countries: All other countries are considered high-risk countries.
International pet transport to the United Arab Emirates
International pet transport to the United Arab Emirates

Vaccination schedule for pets travelling to the UAE

Vaccinations are a vital step in the pet travel process. All countries insist on mandatory immunisation against rabies and other core diseases before travel.

Pets travelling to the United Arab Emirates from low-risk countries must be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before the date of travel. If the pet arrives into UAE from a high-risk country passing through a low-risk country, the pet has to stay in the transit country for at least six months before travelling to UAE. Alternately, the pet can undergo a rabies titre test after a minimum of 21 days after receiving the rabies vaccine.

Pets travelling from high-risk countries need a rabies titre test in addition to the rabies vaccination. The sample for the titre test must be drawn at least 21 days after the date of vaccination and sent to an authorised laboratory for analysis between 12 weeks and not more than 12 months before the date of travel. The level of antibodies in the sample must be at least 0.5 IU/ml for your pet to travel to UAE.

Mandatory vaccinations for dogs travelling to the UAE are:

  • Canine Distemper Virus
  • Canine Parvo Virus
  • Infectious Canine Hepatitis
  • Leptospirosis
  • Rabies

Mandatory vaccinations for pet cats travelling to the UAE are:

  • Rabies
  • Feline Panleukopenia
  • Feline Rhinotracheitis
  • Feline Calicivirus
International pet transport to the United Arab Emirates
International pet transport to the United Arab Emirates

Parasite treatment

All pets travelling to the UAE must receive preventive treatments against internal and external parasites in the 14 days before travel by an authorised and competent vet.

Bringing puppies and kittens to UAE

Puppies and kittens travelling from low-risk countries must be at least 15 weeks old to be able to travel to the United Arab Emirates. If your pet is travelling to the UAE from a high-risk country, their age must be not less than 27 weeks.

Puppies and kittens must receive their initial rabies vaccination when they are at least 12 weeks old.

Entering UAE with pets

Pets flying into the country must arrive as manifested air cargo and travel in the cargo hold of the aircraft. Only service animals are allowed to travel in the cabin if the airline permits. Pets can enter the United Arab Emirates at the following entry points on Mondays through Thursdays:

  • Abu Dhabi airport
  • Ajman International airport
  • Al-Ain airport
  • Dubai airport
  • El Bateen
  • Fujairah
  • RAK airport
  • Sharjah

The immigration inspection process in the UAE can take several hours. Customs officials will examine your pet for health issues, and their documentation will be checked for accuracy. It is recommended that pet parents partner with an experienced pet transport agent for quick and stress-free immigration clearance.

Travelling to the United Arab Emirates with your pet can be complicated and confusing, especially for first-time travellers. Every single step in the process must be followed accurately for your pet to be allowed in the country. Failure to follow the process may result in extended quarantine at your expense or worse, your pet will be sent back to the country of origin.

If you are planning to travel to the United Arab Emirates with your pet dog or cat, get in touch with the experts at ASIAPATA for more information on UAE and a free pet travel quote.

Please contact us immediately so that your pet can experience the best service

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