Bringing Animals to the UAE

Not having done this I have asked staff who have and the people running the boarding kennels themselves

The companies are listed alphabetically





Animal Care Centre


Opened as a Cattery and Kennels in Dubai in 1980 .The oldest established Kennels and Cattery in the U.A.E.

 In 1995  added a veterinary clinic to the establishment as well as shipping, grooming, relocation of pets worldwide, pick-up and delivery service throughout the U.A.E., Clearing and Forwarding pets at Dubai Airport, dog training and behaviour consultancy, and they take exotic pets to childrens pet parties.


Contact Julie Jackson 050-6467792


Desert Veterinary Clinic

located in Al Quoz





Dubai Kennels & Cattery  (DKC)



- Global Relocations & Transit Care
- Boarding & Daycare
- Grooming
- Dog Training
- Collection & Delivery
Tel:  +971 4 285 1646
Here's what we are: Global Relocations & Transit Care, Boarding & Daycare, Grooming, Dog Training and Collection & Delivery, for dogs, cats, birds, rabbits... and other creatures, too. Since 1983. Since Dubai was just a desert and popping out to your "local" shop might have meant a thirty-minute trek across the desert in your off-roader. Yep, since then.
We'd like you to think of us NOT as a company that provides various different pet related services, but rather as animal lovers with a vocation. A dedicated and unified animal care group, through and through, who provide pet and other animal care services... with care, with meticulousness, with studiousness, with a cuddle. End-to-end and door-to-door. Try to imagine a ridiculously cute Jack Russell Terrier on his back, legs sprawled, tongue and tail wagging, while we tickle his tummy, clip his nails and get his dinner ready... all at the same time. Now you're getting the idea.

We'd like you to come see us, come talk with us, chat with our staff and walk through our premises. We know you'll be shopping around, and so you should - we'd love the opportunity to be a part of that experience.

The passion our team has for all creatures combined with our experience means you can be certain that your pet is in good hands.



"The Doghouse" Al Quoz Animals Care

Despite the name, handles cats and dogs specialising in 

  • Boarding for cats and dogs
  • Pet grooming
  • International shipping
  • Delivery and collection

See their website at or contact

Alison Gorton,

Manager "The Doghouse"

Al Quoz Animals Care, Dubai.





Kennels and Cattery

Global relocations


Boarding and day care

Collection and delivery


Laura Glanfield




Other info re Animals


Transporting Horses to the UAE

The people to contact are


"Equitrans” (I’m not sure of the spelling )  on 9714 3211157


They can handle everything.



Bringing your dogs to Dubai from the UK





The first point that has to be made is that there are lots of lovely dogs looking for good homes in Dubai. However, if you have no one willing to take on your beloved dog(s) in your home country and decide to bring them with you, the following may be useful. Apologies in advance that it is written from a UK perspective and only covers dogs. I assume the process is similar from other countries and the same for cats.


The second point is that your employment situation in Dubai can be unstable. You need to be fairly sure you are going to staying for long enough to make the process worthwhile. Be warned, it is expensive! It cost us close to 1,500 pounds sterling to fly our two medium sized Labradors from London to Dubai. Vaccinations in the UK, paperwork in UK/Dubai, processing at the two airports, cost another +/- 500 pounds sterling.


Vaccinations and Paperwork


In the UK the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food   

Telephone + 44 8459 33 44 77 has information on importing animals to most countries including the UAE. The UAE Embassy also provides information.


To import a dog to Dubai you need an import permit. The UAE Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries issues this document. The following fax copies are required:

ü     Copy of owner’s passport

ü     Copy of UAE residency visa or offer of employment letter

ü     Copy of vaccination card (rabies must be less than 12 months and more than 30 days)

ü     Credit card number or other guarantee of payment


It takes 2 to 3 days for your permit application to be processed.


The import certificate can be done online at



You also need:

ü     An export certificate issued by, in the UK, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs “DEFRA” (your vet can apply for this)

ü     Your dog must be examined by a vet recognized by DEFRA within 48 hours of departure

ü     You must sign a declaration stating that you have not imported the dog into the UK less than 6 months prior to departure.


Flying your dogs


Our dogs flew British Airways world cargo with their unaccompanied pet service.

Telephone + 44 (0) 845 222 777.


It is cheaper if you can bring the dogs on the same flight as your family. However, if you are staying in a hotel for a while the cost of accommodating the dogs in a kennel until you have a villa will probably cancel out any saving.


Most airlines are happy to take dogs, but some will only take one or two on each flight, so you need to book well in advance.


The airline will stipulate how the dog is to travel. This will normally be in a special box, with a water funnel, large enough for the dog to stand up, lie down, and turn around in comfortably. will give you details.


We purchased the boxes 2nd hand from a kennel based near Heathrow

Willowsea Farm Kennels

Telephone +44 (0) 1753 685571


for about 75 pounds each. The boxes were delivered to the airport.


In Dubai, the local dog charity called K9, will collect the boxes from your villa, and sell them on for their very deserving funds.


On arrival at the departure airport your will need to present all your paperwork.  The dogs are taken to a special holding area and weighed. The cost of their ticket is calculated per kilo. Once the dogs are checked in they enter their boxes and are taken to a special holding area. London Heathrow has a special patch of grass for a last walk before boarding. Animals travel in the hold of the plane. We were advised not to sedate them as “you never know how drugs will react at altitude.”


It is wise not to feed your dog for 6 hours before they fly. If possible, put something familiar like a blanket into the box for comfort.


Collecting your dogs in Dubai


For a fee, there are kennels in Dubai that will meet your dogs at the airport and deliver them to your home. However, if you want to collect your dogs yourself, it is fairly straightforward.  Go to the cargo village. I cannot remember where exactly but it was towards the end on the right hand side. Your dogs will be taken to a special holding area which is air conditioned. Once you have confirmed that the flight has landed, and your dogs are off the airplane, you need to alert the duty vet that you require his services. His mobile number will be on his desk.  He will go and look at the dogs, give them a quick examination and check the paperwork. He will then inform you that you can collect your dogs.



At this point you need to hire a truck and driver (there are always plenty around the cargo village, but you need to make sure they are happy to transport animals) and then find a porter with a large enough trolley to transport the dog(s) in their boxes to the truck. This is probably less difficult than it sounds. I had a 2 year old in tow and didn’t find it too challenging. Everyone was very helpful and interested.


Remember to get the truck driver’s mobile number and license plate number, assuming you are not traveling in the truck as well.


As you exit the cargo village the paperwork will be checked one more time and then you are free to go.


Our dogs seemed unaffected by their journey and arrival in Dubai. However a friend’s dog, of the same breed and temperament, was quite traumatized and took a week to get back to normal.


Municipal Tags and Vaccinations


As soon as possible, get your dogs their ‘municipal tags.’ These are color coded and dated for the current year. It has a unique number on it that will be registered to your mobile number. If your dog gets lost, the Police will know it is not a stray.


You can get these tags from the Municipal Vets on the Khawaneej Road just outside Mirdif. It will cost you a fraction of the price of the Jumeirah vets. You can also get annual rabies and distemper shots here, again very cheaply. Many pet owners steer clear of the Municipal vets. However the vets we have met there have always been very kind and very professional. We might prefer a Jumeirah vet for anything serious. Be warned the waiting room at the Municipal Vets is not for animals. You walk around to the side and wait. A vet will come and meet you and take you directly into a consulting room.


Remember to keep your dog’s vaccinations and paperwork up to date and in a safe place. These will constitute your “pet passport” if you take them back to your home country.

 Where can you buy dog food


All the major supermarkets carry the usual brands of wet and dry dog food. Obviously this is imported and more expensive than back home.


What about other dog supplies


There are specialized pets shops in Dubai. However, these tend to be expensive. Ace Hardware sells collars, leads and bowls etc at reasonable prices. so do most supermarkets. For bedding, we go Lulus hypermarket and buy cot mattresses for 30 dhms once every 3 months. For engraved dog tags go to the ground floor at Diera City Centre or the ground floor of Lamcy Plaza or any other shoe repair/key cutting place.


 Walking your Dogs


Gardens here tend to be small but we compensate for this with more walks. We live in Mirdif where many households have dogs. There are plenty of stretches of empty sandy dunes and bushes for them to romp around and explore.


For longer walks you can drive them out to the desert or to the beach in Sharjah or to the beach at the far end of Jebel Ali. However, you need to exercise sensitivity as to when to let your dog off the lead. Early mornings when not many people are around are a good time.  Dogs were banned from the beaches in Dubai a couple of years ago.

And yes… you do need to ‘pick up’ after them!!


How do they cope with the heat


The villa is air conditioned, so the heat does not affect them inside.  In the very hot periods you have to walk them early in the morning and after dark, with perhaps a very quick walk in the middle of the day.


Who looks after them when you leave for the long summer break


We have a live in help (“maid”) who is almost as devoted to the dogs as to the children. We leave her with the phone number of friends who are remaining in Dubai in case the dogs need a vet or some other emergency arises.


What else…


We were told lots of horror stories about lost dogs being shot on sight and Pedigree dogs being stolen and sold on. I have not had direct or even 2nd hand experience of this but it is probably wise to make sure your dog does not wander and stays behind closed gates.

It is also important to exercise sensitivity when walking your dog in the street or when workmen come into your home. Many people in Dubai find dogs culturally unacceptable or are genuinely frightened of them.


Thanks to Kara McKeown for the above





This page was last updated by Leigh Butler on March 04, 2013