Flying cats and dogs to United Arab Emirates is a very common destination for dogs and cats leaving UK. The United Arab Emirates is made up of 7 emirates and most commonly pets are flown to Dubai and then transported by road to their final destination as there is a greater selection of direct flights to Dubai. PetAir UK can all arrange you to take your pet to Abu Dhabi.

For UAE pet travel, PetAir UK can use BA, Virgin, Qantas and Emirates to fly your dog or cat directly to Dubai (UAE) and Etihad or BA direct to Abu Dhabi (UAE).

PetAir UK is happy to offer you and your pets exactly what you want and it can be as little as just a flight and advice ranging through to a full door to door service, where we include and complete all of the export documentation and import documentation to ensure your pets are safely and correctly flown from UK to Dubai or Abu Dhabi and then transferred on to you final destination in UAE.

It is much better to fly your dogs and cats to UAE on a direct flight from UK to UAE, and PetAir UK can help you to plan the best route for your pets. Dogs and cats will need an IATA approved crate to ensure they are safe and comfortable for this journey. PetAir UK will always try to use the overnight flights to UAE so that your cats and dogs will settle better on this journey.

Dogs and cats who have flown to UAE cope pretty well with the move. It is obviously much warmer and there is less availability to walk your dogs, but the buildings are much better set up to cope with the heat and the pets learn to adjust to their new homes and are happy to be with owners they know.

The main veterinary requirements for dogs and cats to travel to UAE are that they need a microchip and a rabies vaccine when they are at least 3 months old and this must be done at least 21 days before PetAir UK can apply for the import permit, so normally we advise clients to ensure this is done at least 1 month before any requested travel date. Dogs and cats also need their regular vaccines also, but the timing of these is a little more relaxed.

The vaccination cards are submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Water ( and the permit is issued based on the details on the vaccination card. This normally takes around 7-10 days to be issued.

Dogs and cats travelling to UAE need to have DEFRA export paperwork completed by a government vet the day before the flight. This is a pre travel veterinary check to ensure that the pets are fit to travel and do not have contagious or infectious diseases. They also need to be treated against ticks and tapeworms at this appointment too. These export documents are checked by the government vets when the dogs and cats land in Dubai or Abu Dhabi airport.

On landing at the airports in Abu Dhabi or Dubai, the pets are checked and the veterinary documents are checked. The person collecting the pets from the airport has to pay local handling fees, veterinary check fees and customs fees. Clearing and collecting pets after they have flown from UK to UAE can be quite frustrating and most often owners choose to use an agent to oversee and complete the clearance and then bring the pets to the new home in UAE.

There’s lots to take in when it comes to UAE pet travel. If all of this seems to be just too much of a fuss, then don’t forget that PetAir UK can help with all aspects of the move. Please do feel very welcome to contact us for a chat or ask us for a quote. Advice is free and we are happy to discuss all the different options to ensure your pets’ travel is safe and accurate.


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Please note that the following dog breeds have been banned from entering the UAE:

  • American Pit Bull Terriers
  • Staffordshire Bull Terriers
  • American Staffordshire Terriers
  • American Bully
  • Pit Bull type dogs
  • Brazilian Mastiff (Fila Brasiliero)
  • Argentinian Mastiff (Dogo Argentino)
  • Any Mastiff or hybrid
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Rottweiler breeds
  • Dobermans
  • Canario Presa
  • Boxers
  • Any mixed breed of the above dogs

For the UK, this mainly concerns Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Boxers, Dobermans, Rottweilers and any cross of these. So, for example, if you declare that you have a Labrador cross; we need to know what it is crossed with.