Pet Travel United Arab Emirates 

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 which 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 UAE, 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 beloved pet.

DEFRA Pet Travel

On arrival in the UAE, your dog or cat will require an import permit, issued by the UAE’s ministry of agriculture and fisheries and an export health certificate from DEFRA (Department for environment, food and rural affairs).

These certificates, together with your pet’s health records and proof of vaccinations, are all the legal paperwork required to successfully transport your pet from the UK to UAE.

If you decide to book your pet travel with PBS, we can also apply for your DEFRA export health certificate free of charge!

Pet Vaccinations for Dubai

As you would probably expect, in order for your pet to be accepted into the UAE, they will need to be vaccinated against common diseases to ensure 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.

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. Currently, the vaccines required include:

  • Feline pan leukopenia
  • Feline rhinotracheitis
  • Feline calicivirus

Pet Travel Dubai

There are some general requirements for shipping cats and dogs to the UAE, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Firstly, your pet must be microchipped and should comply with ISO standard 11784 or Annex A  to standard 11785. If an alternative type of chip is used, you will be responsible for ensuring that a microchip scanner is available on arrival.

Secondly, your cat or dog is required to be seen by a government approved vet, no more than a week prior to travel. Your vet will complete the DEFRA export health certificate at this visit, which can be applied for and sent directly to your veterinarian when you book your pet to travel to UAE with PBS.

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.

Dogs in Dubai

For some time, the following dog breeds have been banned from entering the UAE:

  • Pit Bull Terrier and American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Japanese Tosa (Tosa Inu and Tosa Fighting Dog)
  • Argentinean Fighting Dog (Dogo Argentino and Argentinean Mastiff)
  • Brazilian Fighting Dog (Fila Brasileiro and Brazilian Mastiff)
  • Wolf/ Dog hybrid (Any dog crossed with a wolf)
  • American Staffordshire Terrier

This includes any crosses of these breeds are also prohibited.

In 2017, the UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change & Environment (MOCCAE) proposed changes to the above list of prohibited dog breeds and there are further restrictions specifically for Dubai. These changes may well impact and affect UK dog owners looking to relocate their pet to Dubai, so please do contact us for the most up to date details and guidance.

Help with Taking Your Pets to UAE, Dubai and Ubu Dhabi

As Dubai pet shipping specialists, you can contact us for any further support of information, should you need to. Remember, if you are looking to transport your dog to Dubai, please do get in touch in case your dog’s breed is on the recently updated restrictions list.

Get in touch with us online by completing the online enquiry form or sending an email to To speak to one of our UAE and Dubai experts, call us on +44(0)1293 551140.



“From start to finish Emelye has been extremely professional and made the process clear and very personal...”
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