Moving to Dubai - #3 Pet Shipping, Bringing Your Dog to Dubai

Published: 21 Jul at 12 PM
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Filed: Expat Guide to Dubai,United Arab Emirates
When we considered moving to Dubai, the dog was always a part of the equation and at no time did we contemplate leaving her behind. Ok maybe we did for one or two seconds when we realized the extent of the task we had ahead of ourselves, not to mention the cost. But she has firmly become part of the family and where we go, she will go.

That being said, moving a dog to Dubai is a complicated process and a decent amount of preparation is required. I did a lot of research about how to move a dog to Dubai, whether Dubai was dog friendly, where the best place is to live in Dubai with a dog etc. And while the internet churned out some pretty scary stuff, since moving here, I know better. So I am perfectly placed to tell you all about it.

Dubai is more dog friendly than the internet will have you believe and picking the right area to live will also be a factor in that. Many buildings are not dog friendly so when looking for somewhere to live, especially if it is an apartment, the first question to ask the agent before even stepping foot in a building, is, is it dog friendly? The best dog friendly areas to focus on would be Dubai Marina, The Greens, Arabian Ranches and Jumeirah Village Triangle & Circle.

Before anything can really start, you need to check if your dog is one of the banned breeds, prohibited from entering the UAE. The following are prohibited:

  • All Pit Bull Terrier

  • Argentinean Mastiff / Dogo Argentino
    Fila Brasilerio / Brazilian Mastiff
    Japanese Tosa Inu
    American Staffordshire Terriers
    English Staffordshire Bull Terriers
    Wolf/Dog Hybrids

Once you have established that your dog can legally enter the UAE, the preparations can begin. However the UAE government changes regulations as they deem necessary and the requirements for other breeds may be different.

It is worth seeking some advice from a IAPTA (International Pet and Animal Transportation Association) approved, relocation expert such as Move One Inc or Dubai Kennels and Cattery, both of which are extremely knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to relocating dogs to Dubai.

The following is what we were required to have for the relocation of our Jack Russell Mix:

  • Copy of the owners passport
  • Copy of the owners visa
  • Import Permit from the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW) in UAE
  • Export paperwork from the government in Cyprus or your dogs origin (which is arranged by the relocation agent)
  • Fit for Travel notice from your vet (which can be included in their standard vaccination booklet)
  • Rabies Vaccination (the date, batch no, etc. to be included in the standard vaccination booklet)
  • Other necessary vaccinations (Distemper, canine hepatitis, leptospirosis and parvovirus and the date, batch no, etc. should be included in the standard vaccination booklet)
  • Microchip
  • International Health Certificate (which is arranged by the relocation agent from the government vet a day prior to departure)

While it’s possible to coordinate the relocation of your dog to Dubai yourself, for peace of mind and a stress free experience, I would suggest enlisting the help of an IAPTA accredited relocation agent. It will cost you a little more, but it’s worth it.

The last thing you want, during an already stressful time, is to find out you’re missing a vital piece of paper or the UAE government rules about the import of animals have changed etc. During our relocation process, the government changed the fees relating to some of the permit paperwork surrounding the import of animals. Because we were using a relocation agent, we were informed of this accordingly. Make it someone else’s job to worry about the paperwork.

We used Move One Inc for the relocation of our dog to Dubai, because they were able to navigate the entire process, from collection at our house in Cyprus to delivery at our new house in Dubai and everything in between. They made all the arrangements with the relevant dog relocation agent in Cyprus, booked the cargo flights, handled the export paperwork from the Cyprus Government, provided the IAPTA regulated travel cage and oversaw the government vet check, a day prior to departure.

They remained in contact throughout the entire process and instructed the local agent in Cyprus, Paphiakos & CCP Animal Welfare to keep me updated throughout the process. Since they had to collect her 1 day prior to the flight, to arrange all the final checks and paperwork, I was a little worried about our dog. But they put my mind at ease with the regular updates and photographs of her the morning of travel.

Once on the ground in Dubai, our pooch was walked and watered, and checked through customs by the Move One Inc team. They also oversaw the vet check by the government vet in Dubai International Airport and all customs clearance paperwork, before delivering her to our new house.

The team at Move One Inc. knows their stuff and had everything covered, effortlessly transporting our pooch from door to door. The few extra hundred dirhams we paid for peace of mind was totally worth it.

Getting your dog into Dubai is the first step. Once they have arrived you need to ensure you register your dog, which can be done through a local vet. Vaccinations must be kept up to date and the rabies vaccination is required once a year. And if you’re living in Dubai, check out the Dubai Municipalities “Rules and Regulations for Dog Owners”.

If you want to get clued up about the dog relocation process, you can find some useful documents here and here.

About the author

Expat Blog ListingMimi is a British expat living in United Arab Emirates. Blog description: The life and loves of an expat now living in Dubai, have relocated from Cyprus. From food to fashion, photography, design, art, culture, lifestyle and the weather.
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