Think again before filming with a drone above Dubai

If you are a film enthusiast, wishing to film from the UAE’s skies, you need to learn a bit about Dubai drone filming.

Dubai is known for its top-notch businesses and technological advancements in place. Although we do not have flying cars or hover boards in here, we do have flight drones, and we have a lot of Dubai drone companies here as well.

Most people today are purchasing high-end models of drone aircraft for professional use, and an increasing number of people are also purchasing the machines simply as toys. However, many of them including a large number of film production companies do not know that drone usage with a camera within the UAE is illegal, without acquiring the correct permissions and permits.

The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) allows light air sports enthusiasts, including drone enthusiasts, to fly their aircraft only in accredited clubs that are approved by the authority to address safety and security issues. The GCAA also warned drone hobbyists against outfitting their vehicles with laser devices, cameras and other projection devices. If you do not abide by the rules, your equipment will be confiscated by the police with a hefty fine.

The rules include that all flying should take place within the visual line of sight of the user, not above 400 ft. from ground level and without the use of visual aids, like binoculars and within the aircraft’s operational range.

Flying at only daytime and in good weather conditions is allowed. Under any circumstances flying within five kilometers from any airports, helipads, landing areas or manned aircraft are strictly prohibited. Also you are not allowed to fly near any buildings, houses, private properties or persons. Unless you have approval, do not fly for commercial purposes.

For filmmakers in Dubai, film and media production companies and other commercial users, drone pilots should obtain a NOC from the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA). The letter can be acquired after registration, pre-assessment and prior approval from the Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC).

Essentially note that throughout the UAE there are laws pertaining to drone flying and it’s not just in Dubai. You therefore need to check with the corresponding emirate before taking off as each emirate may have slightly different rules and regulations.