Dubai’s drone sector to benefit from updated regulations

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
  • Follow author on
Dubai Drone Market
Representational Image

Dubai’s new law regulating the city’s commercial drone network will help open up new business opportunities and strengthen the emirate’s aviation sector, the chairman of the Dubai Aviation City Corporation said.

In a statement, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said, “DACC and its affiliated corporations are playing an integral role in creating a supportive environment for businesses in this sector as part of Dubai’s broader transformation into the world’s smartest city. As a future-ready city, Dubai is on track to becoming an international center for drone manufacturing, smart transport, and innovation in air transport.”

Dubai had earlier announced its first steps towards the development of a commercial drone network for the distribution of parcels and passenger transport. The laws and regulations for the Dubai SkyDome project have been given an initial structure.

The government expressed its strong belief that the latest regulations governing unmanned aerial vehicles for commercial and government purposes would act as a catalyst in attracting investments to the aviation industry of the region. This will particularly benefit the Dubai South Aerospace Platform, Mohammed Bin Rashid Aerospace Hub as international drone companies would bring in the expertise to the region.

Logistics and e-commerce companies in Dubai South will benefit from the legislation that offers a specific legal structure for the transport of goods and packages using drones, according to the document.

To tap into the markets and establish a base in the emirate, Dubai South offers benefits including free zone status for UAV companies.

Growth in this field would “revolutionize” many industries and open new avenues for freight and passenger transport, design and manufacturing, distribution services, drone education and training, and research and development, he said.

According to a study by Visa, Dubai Police and Dubai Economy, the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted UAE’s consumer habits and has boosted online shopping preferences pushing them to move towards e-commerce businesses. Currently, 68% of respondents in the UAE have agreed to have been shopping less in physical stores since the coronavirus outbreak began and 49% are shopping more online,

Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP) will be responsible for designing and overseeing the construction of government-run drone airports, including related facilities and infrastructure. It is also responsible for the approval of engineering designs related to private drone airports and to issue completion certificates for such airports as the designated government arm.

The new Drone regulations shed more light on the aspects related to the governance of drone activities, their registration and their authorized commercial, governmental, recreational, research and educational uses.

It also outlines guidelines for drone operations and their operators, the development of drone infrastructure-including authorized flying zones, airports, the design and management of airspace, protection of drone data and air routes for drones-altitudes for drone activities.