Pet Travel to Dubai

When considering moving your pets with you from the UK to The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Dubai or Abu Dhabi, you may be concerned about how complicated it will be in practice. Whilst there are some recent restrictions that differ from other countries, you will be pleased to hear that once you understand a few of the rules and requirements, it becomes a fairly straightforward process overall.

Outlined in this frequently updated guide, you will find expert guidance and information for how to relocate your pets to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, in order to support you to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible, for both you and your pet.

Export Health Certificate for cats and dogs to Dubai or Abu Dhabi

In order for your cat or dog to travel to and be accepted into the UAE – Dubai or Abu Dhabi, you will require a DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Export Health Certificate. This certificate provides confirmation that your pet meets the importing countries entry requirements.

Import permit for pets entering Dubai or Abu Dhabi

Prior to your pet’s travel to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, you will need to apply for your pets import permit from the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Climate Change & Environment. You can apply for this online here and will need to provide your pet’s vaccination records.

Vaccinations required for pet travel to Dubai or Abu Dhabi

In order for your pet to be accepted into the UAE, they will need to be vaccinated against common diseases to ensure the safety and control of the resident populations within the country.

All cats and dogs are required to have a rabies vaccination at least 21 days before travel.

Proof of all vaccinations will need to be provided to the UAE Ministry of agriculture and fisheries when applying for their import permit. The proof will need to be in the form of a Pet Passport or a vaccination card from the vet.

Dog Vaccinations

For dogs travelling to UAE, Dubai, or Abu Dhabi, your dog will need to have been vaccinated against the following, no more than 12 months prior to the day of export:

  • Canine distemper
  • Canine parvovirus
  • Infectious canine hepatitis
  • Leptospirosis

Cat Vaccinations

As with dogs, you will need to vaccinate your cat against the following diseases, to enable to be accepted into the UAE, Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Currently, the vaccines required include:

  • Feline pan leukopenia
  • Feline rhinotracheitis
  • Feline calicivirus

Health requirements for cats and dogs travelling to the Dubai or Abu Dhabi

There are some general requirements for shipping cats and dogs to the UAE, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Firstly, your pet must be microchipped.

Secondly, your cat or dog will require internal & external parasite treatments no more than 14 days prior to export – this needs to be administered by a vet and the treatments recorded in a vaccination card or Pet Passport.

Thirdly, your cat or dog is required to be seen by a government-approved vet (OV), no more than 24 hours prior to travel. At this point, your vet will complete the DEFRA export health certificate (see above)

Finally, please note that puppies and kittens under 4 months of age at the time of export are not permitted for import in the UAE.

Airlines carrying pets to Dubai and Abu Dhabi

There are a few airlines that operate direct services to Dubai and Abu Dhabi suitable for both passengers and pets (but please note, the pets will need to travel in the cargo hold as opposed to in the cabin) Airlines that operate this service are:

  • Emirates
  • Etihad
  • British Airways
  • Virgin Atlantic *Currently on hold*

There are also in-direct options available such as Lufthansa & KLM – all of which have great on-site facilities for pets during the layover.

If you are looking to travel on the same flight as your pet, we recommend you contact one of our UAE pet shipping experts before you book your pet’s flight to Dubai or Abu Dhabi so that we can advise on flights that are suitable for live animals, as not all planes will be suitable for pet travel.

Arranging a flight for your pet to Dubai or Abu Dhabi

If you have any questions or would like to receive information on available flights, airports, airlines and fees to export your pet, please fill in our online quotation request form and one of our UAE pet travel experts will be back in touch.

Alternatively, please email us at: