Flying blind of laws
Retailers in Dubai offer conflicting advice on drones
Register or don’t register, fly anywhere or only over the beach. These were the confused messages handed out by drone retailers when 7DAYS visited a number of stores yesterday.
We canvassed more than a dozen retailers across Dubai and received instructions that were wildly conflicting.
At the first store we visited in Dubai Mall we were told that we would need to purchase a licence before being allowed to fly a drone.
“You have to go to Terminal 3 at the airport,” the sales assistant said.
“It costs something like Dhs100. You can buy the product today and take it with you, but you can’t fly it without the licence.”
“You can only fly it in certain parts of Dubai and not at all in Abu Dhabi.”
However, when we returned to the same store three hours later, we were told a very different story by another assistant.
“No you don’t need a licence you just have to follow the rules and regulations,” he said.
We asked sales staff where we could find the rules and regulations. “You can go online but it’s really just you can’t fly them at the airport or at the palace either,” he said, before adding that drones, which retail for between Dhs3,000-Dhs5,200, are banned in the capital Abu Dhabi.
Staff at another retailer, which has multiple branches in Dubai told us more people would buy drones if it “wasn’t for the hassle with permits”.
One drone owner told 7DAYS that he received no information when he made his purchase. “They just said to check out the law,” he said. “There was nothing mentioned about registration, they just wanted to sell the drone as quickly as possible.”
One trader told 7DAYS that some models come with sensors to avoid collision with buildings.
UP IN THE AIR: One of the drones that was on display at Dragon Mart in Dubai yesterday