The Best Places to Fly a Drone in Dubai!
Here we have compiled a list of some of the best (and safest) places to fly a drone in Dubai. Whether you are a professional drone pilot or simply a photography enthusiast looking to capture some great shots of you and your friends, this list will let you know where you can and cannot fly a drone in Dubai. For more information on how to get your drone registered and get yourself a license, which is required by law in the UAE, please click here.
Dubai truly is an epic location to fly a drone and capture some amazing shots, but like anywhere, there are rules in place to ensure the safety of people around you. Of course, you cannot and should not ever fly your drone near any airspace which is being used by planes or helicopters as this is simply dangerous and could lead to heavy fines or imprisonment. That being said, as long as you follow a few simple guidelines, you can find some absolutely stunning and super safe locations to fly your drone around this spectacular landscape.
The Basic Rules
- Get yourself registered from the DCAA with (at minimum) a drone hobbyist license
- Always keep a virtual or paper copy of your license with you when you fly your drone
- Stay away from NO FLY ZONES (see the map by clicking here)
- Don’t fly your drone within 200m of any vehicles, main roads or buildings
- Only fly your drone during the day time
- The maximum distance you can legally fly your drone from yourself is 500m
- The maximum height you are legally allowed to fly your drone is 400ft or 120m
- Get your drone insured if you can
- Don’t forget to maintain your drone well & to check your propellors before each flight (with firmware updates)
Al Qudra Desert & Cycle Track
The Al Qudra cycle track is an awesome (and convenient) location for anyone looking to fly a drone in Dubai. It is safe, close to the city and a truly beautiful desert landscape. The world famous cycle track winds its way around, over and through the dunes, surrounded by the desert on every side. If you are lucky you can find wildlife here too, such as camels and Orix’s. This has to be one of the easiest and safest locations to fly a drone in Dubai where you can still get some amazing shots without putting either yourself, your drone, or anyone else at risk. The best places to fly your drone here are during sunrise and sunset.
Al Qudra Love Lakes
The love lakes up at Al Qudra are best seen from the sky. Unless you have a helicopter then the only way your are going to get to see this amazing landmark is with a drone! Just follow the rules and stay under 120 metres as you are always liable for each and every drone flight. Remember that your drone will only work well when it is within line of sight, meaning that the radio signal from your drone can sometimes cut out if you lose sight of it. If you fly behind a wall for example. So make sure you maintain line of sight at all times and, just to be safe, make sure to record the home point before launching your drone so that if the signal does cut out, it will return to the location where you launched it.
The Dubai Desert
One of the best attractions of Dubai is without a doubt the beautiful desert landscape which sits only a short 45 minute drive outside the city centre. One of the best, safest and most peaceful places to fly a drone in Dubai, you can be sure to use the desert to get plenty of practice and flying hours under your belt. The best time to shoot here is during the golden hours and of course, try to find something to film if you can. A good option is to film your friends off-roading or to maybe even someone walking in the desert along the ridge of a dune. This location makes for some stunning and unforgettable instagram posts! We went out into the desert near Al Badayer and filmed Vlada from pole fit Dubai, a pole fit studio located in Marina. This edit includes both camera and drone footage.
One of the most spectacular and rugged landscapes of the UAE, the Hatta mountains are an amazing place to fly a drone in Dubai. Hatta is best known for its mountain biking and hiking trails, as well as the huge Hatta dam which you can go kayaking on. There are also several places to go camping, or if you are feeling like bringing a little luxury with you, why not try out ‘glamping’. The Hatta mountains are an extremely dry and wild landscape, providing an awesome place to get some breathtaking footage. Here you want to make sure that you go at the right time of day as the mountains block out the sun at the very beginning and end of the day. The golden hour at sunrise starts a little later than usual and the golden hour at sunset begins a little earlier than normal. Make sure to stay away from any buildings, electricity pylons or major roads.
Jebel Jais Mountains
The Jebel Jais Mountains, like Hatta, are extremely wild and rugged. A 2hr drive out of the city, they are a totally different environment to the beach and city skyline of Dubai. This is also a fantastic place to go cycling or climbing and there is an amazing view point at the top of a long road that winds its way up the mountain pass. Whilst you are not permitted to fly your drone at the top of the Jebel Jais Mountain Pass you can fly your drone in other areas, catching some epic shots of the mountains folding behind one another. A great drone to have here is the Mavic Pro 2 Zoom, which, when you zoom in, gives you a great depth of field visual effect. This also allows you to get closer to whatever you are shooting!
An amazing place to go hiking and one of the best, safest, and most convenient places to fly a drone in Dubai. Fossil rock is only a short 1hr drive outside of Downtown Dubai. You can access the hiking trails without a 4×4 and the hike is only approximately 2hrs long to get to the summit. There is a massive flat plateau at the top where you can see for miles and miles over the desert as it stretches from the Hatta mountains all the way over to Dubai. There are several places where you can go hiking and a few different routes to the top, but this is a family friendly hike that gives any drone enthusiast the opportunity to get some brilliant shots of the rugged landscape.
Sunset beach is located in Jumeirah and is a hot spot for kitesurfing. There are three bays here, one close to Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, one for the kitesurfers, and one for the sunbathers (which is located behind sunset mall). Between each bay there is a pretty large section of beach where you can launch your drone, but the best spot is the bay between DOSC and the kitesurfing bay. It is right behind the Park House cafe. The best thing about flying your drone here is that you can get some awesome shots of the city skyline, as well as the kitesurfer and sailing boats. Just be careful here not to crash your drone into any of the kites! Again, the absolute best time to fly a drone here is during the golden hours of sunset and sunrise. Just be sure to try and keep your shutter speed double your frame rate to avoid banding.
Over The Water
Over the water may seem like a dangerous and scary place to fly a drone in Dubai, but it is actually one of the safest locations. There is not much to crash into and as long as you don’t run out of battery or lose signal then you are absolutely safe. One of the best things about flying over water is that you are not putting anyone else at risk, and there is often plenty of things to film or take photos of. Between the jet skis, sailing boats and all the people kitesurfing you won’t find it hard to get some cool shots down here. Just remember that a lot of helicopters fly between the palm and downtown and are flying overhead this area, so ensure you keep your drone below 120m and don’t fly anywhere other than the beach or over the water. Also, a top tip here is to use ND filters (which are like sunglasses for your drone) as the reflection of light from the water is very strong during the day.
Al Badayer Desert
This location is about an hour drive outside of Dubai, generally towards the Hatta region. It has some of the most beautiful sand dunes in the UAE, which have a kind of reddish hue to them. The landscape here is reminiscent of the rolling sand dunes of the Sahara, but of course the colour is more red than yellow. A favourite spot for off-roaders and motox enthusiasts this is a fantastically safe place to fly a drone in Dubai. You can simply park and walk into the desert, or if you have a 4×4 then venture out a little further and launch your drone from the top of the dunes as this way you will be sure to not lose any radio signal and to keep your drone in line of sight at all times!
Abu Dhabi Mangroves
One of the best places to fly your drone in Dubai is the mangroves located towards Abu Dhabi. There are many, many different locations that have mangroves, starting from Al Bahia and all the way through Yas Island towards Downtown Abu Dhabi. There are sometimes kitesurfer flying and riding between the mangroves and this makes for some really amazing footage. The mangrove areas are often empty and very safe for flying your drone but, again, be sure to check that you are allowed to fly wherever you go. You are always liable and responsible for whatever happens during your flight, so follow the guidelines and play it safe.
The Hatta Dam is a famous landmark of the area, surrounded by majestic mountains on all sides. One of the best things to film here are the people kayaking in the lake, or cyclists going along the road. This mountainous landscape looks particularly breathtaking from a drone. Again, just be sure to keep your drone below 120m and keep it within line of sight. Make sure you are not flying close to any electricity pylons or any roads, etc.
Well, here is our list of the best places to fly a drone in Dubai! We hope that this serves as a useful guide for any first time drone buyers or drone enthusiasts visiting or living in Dubai and looking to get out there and capture the stunning beauty of this wild landscape. Learning to fly a drone safely and still get amazing shots takes time, perseverance and patience, so keep at it and your confidence will continue to grow. The more hours you fly the better you will be! Just remember to fly safe and follow the rules as best you can!