No, you can’t fly your drone in public in Dubai! #takeitprivate

drone dubai
A participant in the UAE Drones for Good Award shows off a drone that inspects solar farms and panels. Photo: GN Archives

Drone pilots have been asked to fly low and in designated areas. According to new guidelines, they can’t play in public.

The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) this week called upon light air sports enthusiasts to practice their hobbies in designated clubs accredited by the authority in order to maintain their security and safety.

The call falls within the framework of the campaign organised by the authority to raise awareness about light air sports, WAM reports.

Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director-General of GCAA, noted that light air sports are a relatively new hobby, saying, “It is not merely a flying game, but a sport that requires mental focus and accuracy to enable users to harmonise mental commands and hand movements to fly their drone.”

He called upon those who wish to practice this hobby, to undergo training and practice programmes, to go through the basic stages of learning and developing control and command skills.

He also warned them against equipping their aircrafts with laser devices, cameras, or projection devices in order to maintain their safety and security, and avoid violating other people’s privacy. He also called upon light air sports enthusiasts to avoid violating related laws and regulations.

The new rules come after height restrictions were announced earlier this year.

The UAE is at the forefront of drone usage. The country’s Drones for Good Award, which was given away last week for the second time, is the biggest award of its kind, offering a total prize money of Dh4.67 million ($1 million for the international competition and Dh1 million for the national competition).