In some circumstances, you are allowed to bring your pet dog or cat when you relocate to the Arabian Peninsula.
First, there are some general considerations:
Note: Information below is subject to change.
For general information about shipping your pet (e.g., kennel selection, dealing with the airline, recommendations for traveling), see the International Air Transport Association's Travellers' Pet Corner.
In the case of dogs, technically, only guard, hunting, and service (e.g., seeing eye) dogs are allowed into Saudi Arabia, so you must successfully claim that your dog is one of these.
Otherwise, this is the procedure for Saudi Arabia:
Banned breeds include: Japanese Spitz, Akita, and Akita Inu; Affenspinscher; Brussels Griffon; Brabancon; Hovawart; boxer; bull dogs (all); Rottweiler; terriers (all, e.g., bull terriers, Dandie Dinmonts, "pitbulls", etc.); Swedish Vallhund (i.e., Swedish cattle dog); Mastiff breeds (e.g., Neapolitan, bull); Newfoundland; Great Danes; Leonberger; wolf/wolf hybrids.
United Arab Emirates:
If you want to make things easy, there are veterinary clinics/kennels that help with documentation and the internal logistics of pet relocation to the UAE. In Abu Dhabi some examples include the American Veterinary Clinic, the British Veterinary Centre, and the German Veterinary Clinic. In Dubai, some examples include the Dubai Kennels and Cattery. These are members of the Independent Pet and Animal Transportation Association International, Inc.
In general, to import a pet you will need an import permit issued by the UAE Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. Whether you are obtaining the import permit yourself, or using a service, such as those mentioned above, the documentation required for this permit includes:
It takes the Ministry three ministry working days to process the import permit; the Ministry is closed Friday and Saturday. The validity of this permit is 30 days from the date of issue. It costs approximately AED200 (US$54.50).
Note that when entering the UAE, the Ministry has stated that all pets must travel as manifested cargo, i.e., pets cannot be in the cabin with you.
In order to clear your pet through customs, you will need the original import permit (as mentioned above), along with the pet's original vaccination records and health certificate (from the country of origin). The health certificate must be issued by a veterinarian, and be endorsed by the relevant government ministry of the exporting country's national government. (Canada, see: Canada Food Inspection Agency - Dog and Cat Exports; USA, see: United States Department of Agriculture - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.) The certificate must state that the animal has been examined within seven days of export and found to be free of clinical signs of infectious or contagious disease and is fit to travel. The certificate should show the species, breed, age, and the identification number of the animal (microchip or tattoo) and the name and address of the importer.
If you are not using a service, which will pick up and deliver your pet in the UAE, you will have to make your own arrangements to clear customs at the cargo terminal. It normally takes two to three hours to clear customs.
To make things easy, you may want to contact a pet relocator, of which a few examples include: Qatar Pet Relocators, Qatar Vet Center, and Doha Pet Relocators. Pet relocators and some veterinary clinics/kennels help with documentation and internal logistics of pet relocation to Qatar.
To obtain an import license, contact one of the Department of Animal Resources' veterinary clinics on Al Matar Street, Al Rayyan or Al Shamal. Fill out an import request form and bring the following documents:
To be eligible, the pet must be more then four months old, and must have had its vaccinations at least 30 days before the date of travel.
Note that currently, the following breeds are banned, thus not permitted in Qatar: American Staffordshire Terrier; Boerboel; Boston Terrier; Boxer; Bull Terrier; Bulldog; Chinese Shar-Pei; Doberman; Great Dane; Japanese Akita; Neapolitan Mastiff; Afghan Hound; Rottweiler; Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
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