Can You Bring a Drone to Saudi Arabia? (Drone Laws in Saudi Arabia 2024)

Can you bring a drone to Saudi Arabia

In everywhere in this world, or you can say planet earth, people fly their drones for different purposes. And in the world, people do not need licenses or permits, but when they make mistakes, new laws are born.

If we talk about the specific country, Saudia Arabia, they have more strict rules than the rest of the world. Is flying a drone permitted in Saudi Arabia?

Can you bring a drone to Saudi Arabia?

You can bring your drone to Saudi Arabia for commercial and recreational purposes. There is a process by the GACA(General Authority for Civil Aviation) that you must follow to get the licenses and required permits to fly the drone in Saudi Arabia.

There are different rules as well that are essential for people’s safety.

While drone operation is permitted, are there specific regulations applicable to particular drone pilots? What is the process, and how can you register and legally fly your drone in Saudi Arabia? All inquiries have been addressed below; feel free to proceed elsewhere. Keep reading.

Who controls drone laws in Saudi Arabia?

The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) controls the drone laws in Saudi Arabia.

In simpler terms, GACA sets the rules for who can operate drones in Saudi Arabia and where they can fly them.

They also require all drones between 250 grams and 25 kilograms to be registered and provide an online portal for foreign nationals to apply for necessary documents easily.

So, if you plan to fly a drone in Saudi Arabia, follow the rules set by GACA to avoid any problems. And remember, just because you have a drone, it doesn’t mean you can fly it wherever and whenever you want.

Can you bring a drone to Saudi Arabia?
Al-Masjid an Nabwi, Medina – Saudi Arabia

How to pre-apply to bring your drone to Saudi Arabia?

The GACA(General Authority for Civil Aviation) has settled the rules in Saudia Arabia, and this authority is responsible for issuing permits to drone pilots and other aircraft pilots. First, you must contact this authority and get the required access.

It would help if you were allowed to enter the country with your drone. So you must get permission first. When you get the permit, you will get the permit number you will attach to the drone. After securing the permit number, you can bring your drone to Saudi Arabia.

The most important thing is that your registration number will differ from other drone pilots, so if you illegally try to attach someone else’s registration number, you will make a big mistake. You must secure that number in your drone’s body to be visible to everybody.

To register your drone and send the request to GACA, you must visit the official website of GACA and fill out a specific form at the top of the home page.

My arrow is not straight, but find it, right?

In Saudi Arabia, registration is not free, and you must pay some money. Recreational drone pilots must spend at least 60+ USD, and commercial drone pilots must pay at least 120+ USD.

What are the rules for flying a drone in Saudi Arabia?

So you are very serious about flying your drone in Saudi Arabia, arent you? Let me tell you that flying a drone in Saudi Arabia is no joke and not an easy peasy thing.

Saudi Arabia’s government allows pilots to fly their drones but also considers drones a threat to the public.

But you have the good news: if you follow the proper guidance provided by the GACA website, you can fly your drone in Saudi Arabia. Some critical pieces of drone rules information are below.

Can you bring a drone to Saudi Arabia?
Kingdom Centre Skyscraper, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

There are 15 to 20 million Muslims in the country. It is a country of Muslims, and they don’t want somebody to fly a drone over them. It is the reason the government hasn’t allowed anybody to fly a drone over somebody.

Strict drones laws in Saudi Arabia

According to the official website of GACA, flying a drone higher than 150 meters is illegal, and you are not allowed to fly it above 150 meters.

There are also so many other aircraft in Saudi Arabia that fly above 400 feet, so if you fly your drone above this height, you will hit it with other planes.

You are not allowed to fly your drone far from your controller that it can’t be seen. S ensure your drone remains in front of your eyes and does not cross the visual line of sight.

The airports are the most critical and risky places for a drone pilot in Saudi Arabia. Drone pilots can make mistakes, so they cannot fly their drones near, in, or over an airport in Saudi Arabia.

If you see good weather in Saudi Arabia and there is no wind, then you can fly your drone but make sure that you fly your drone only in the daytime. You are not allowed to fly your drone at night in Saudi Arabia.

Modern skyline in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Flying a drone in restricted areas is also not allowed, especially if your drone has a camera installed. The forbidden places include military bases, police stations, and other governmental buildings.

Lastly, if your drone weighs less than 250 grams and you are using it for recreational purposes, you can get a license for SR 250. But, if your drone weighs more than 250 grams, you must get a certificate from the Aircraft Registration, which costs SAR 500.

And remember, you need to renew your drone registrations every three years.

How to register a drone in Saudi Arabia?

It is so easy and the same as I told you above. Now, who needed to register the drone in Saudi Arabia? If your drone weighs less than 250 grams, then you do not need to write it, but to fly it, you must follow all drone rules.

If your drone weighs more than 250 grams, then you will need to register your drone. Now let’s come straight to the topic.

It is not rocket science to register a drone with the GACA. Just visit the website; by the way, the website is modern and will help you speed up the registration.

Can you bring a drone to Saudi Arabia?
Kaaba in Saudi Arabia

So you must ensure you have a copy of your national identity card and know everything about your drone. After answering all the questions and solving every puzzle the website asks, you must pay the fee and wait for the reply.

After some time, you will get the email with your drone registration number that you will tape down on your drone. Please make sure that the number is visible. Here is the website.

What are the rules for flying drones recreationally in Saudi Arabia?

The first law is to register your drone with the GACA. There are other drone rules that I have told you above that you will need to follow. Including those rules, there are some others as well down below.

READ MORE: Can you fly a drone in Puerto Rico?

To fly a drone recreationally in Saudi Arabia, you must get a certificate. That certificate will indicate that you are a trusted recreational drone pilot. For recreational drone pilots, the Saudi Arabian government has permitted specific places to fly their drones.

If you want to know the places’ list, you can visit the official website.

If you want to fly a drone anywhere in Saudi Arabia, you must get special permission from the authorities as a recreational drone pilot.

Can you bring a drone to Saudi Arabia?
Riyadh in Saudi Arabia

Last, you must have fun with your drone while flying it in Saudi Arabia. Happy flying.

What are the drone rules for commercial drone pilots in Saudi Arabia?

There are some specific rules for commercial drone pilots that you will need to follow. Please remember that the rules that I have already told you are the ones that are also important.

The more important ones are below.

You should always keep the remote pilot certificate in your pocket when flying your drone in Saudi Arabia.

Please ensure you are a professional drone pilot, not flying drones for fun. Sometimes drone pilots fly their drones badly, which is not liked by the government, so be professional.

If you are a professional drone pilot, please only become more proficient by flying many drones simultaneously. You are only allowed to fly one drone at a time.

Flying a drone and carrying materials that can be dangerous with your drone are not allowed.

Madinah Saudi Arabia

If you are in an area with airspace in Saudi Arabia, ensure your drone is away from Class B, C, D, and E.

You are not allowed to fly your drone near or with the other aircraft, and you will need to give way as early as possible to the different plane; you should also maintain the speed of your drone, less than 100 mph.

Can you fly a drone in Mecca?

You are not allowed to fly your drone in Mecca. It is a holy city in Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi Arabian government strictly prohibits drone pilots from flying a drone in Mecca.

The GACA is the authority that controls the rules of drones in Saudi Arabia, and according to that, you are not allowed to fly your drone, whether for commercial or recreational drones.

For security reasons, Mecca does not allow anybody to fly a drone there.

As much as we would love to capture breathtaking views of Mecca, it is impossible to do so with a drone. So, let’s respect the rules and enjoy the spiritual journey without distractions.

Plus, there are plenty of beautiful places to fly a drone worldwide. You might even discover the next hidden gem for drone enthusiasts!

Can you bring a drone to Saudi Arabia?
Mecca in Saudi Arabi

Are drones allowed on international flights to Saudi Arabia?

Yes, drones are allowed on international flights to Saudi Arabia, but some regulations must be followed when flying drones in the country.

It’s important to note that Saudi Arabia has some of the most stringent and unique sets of drone regulations in the Arab world, so it’s crucial to be aware of the rules before traveling with a drone.

When flying a drone in Saudi Arabia, obtaining a permit from the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) is essential.

READ MORE: Drone laws in Aruba

Recreational and commercial drone flights are allowed with a permit. Still, specific regulations must be followed, such as avoiding flying over people or large crowds and never flying above 150 meters.

Additionally, drone flights over sensitive locations such as military and government installations are prohibited.

Elephant rock outcrop geological formation near Al Ula, Saudi Arabia

Registering your drone with Saudi Customs before importing it into the country is also essential. If the drone is registered and the serial number is provided, Saudi Customs will allow it into the country.

Before traveling with a drone, it’s always a good idea to check with your airline to see if there are any specific regulations or restrictions regarding carrying drones in carry-on or checked baggage. So, follow the drone regulations and fly safely in Saudi Arabia!

What are the standard rules for bringing a drone on a flight to Saudi Arabia?

Please put your drone in your carry-on luggage. It is recommended that you make sure that your drone is secure.

Please remove all of the batteries from your drone. Put the batteries in a separate fireproof bag.

If the airline agency allows you to bring your drone, then make sure you also follow the rules they have set.

If you are uncomfortable bringing your drone on the plane, you can go with the customs and ship your drone to Saudi Arabia.

Can you bring a drone to Saudi Arabia?
Desert Landscape panorama

Before shipping, let me remind you that your registration should be fulfilled.

Please follow all of the rules set by the airline agency. Your drone will be confiscated and fined heavily if you do not follow them.

Important FAQs

What are Saudi Arabia’s military drones?

Saudi Arabia military drones are uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) used by the Saudi Arabian military for surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeted strikes.

These drones can be operated remotely and are often equipped with advanced technologies such as cameras and weapons.

Where can I find the latest Saudi Arabia flight news related to drones?

You can find the latest Saudi Arabia flight news related to drones by checking the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) website or following news outlets such as Saudi Gazette, Arab News, and Al Jazeera.

Can I fly my drone in Saudi Arabia?

Yes, you can fly your drone in Saudi Arabia, but you must obtain a drone license from the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).

The license application process involves passing a written test, demonstrating your ability to fly a drone, and meeting other requirements.

What is UAV Systems International?

UAV Systems International is a company that provides a wide range of uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) solutions, including drones, accessories, and software. The company specializes in serving the needs of commercial, industrial, and government clients.

What is the state of aviation in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia’s aviation state is rapidly developing, with significant investments in airports, airlines, and related infrastructure.

The country has ambitious plans to become a leading global aviation hub and is working to attract domestic and international investment in the sector.

Can you bring a drone to Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia

Final Thoughts

Yes, Saudi Arabia allows pilots to fly their drones in Saudi Arabia. You will need to be very familiar with the drone rules of Saudi Arabia. Make sure you first get the authority’s permission to bring your drone.

I hope this helps! Now, go forth and fly your drone like the responsible drone pilot you are. Remember not to spy on your neighbor’s BBQ party with your drone – unless they invite you.

If you have any further queries related to this one: Can you bring a drone to Saudi Arabia? Then let me know in the comments. I am eagerly waiting for your thoughts on this article.

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