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Drone Laws in Saudi Arabia

Summary of Drone Laws in Saudi Arabia

Hobbyist Drone Laws For Residents of Saudi Arabia

Drone Operations in Saudi Arabia are currently regulated.


  • Hobbyist drone flights are allowed in Saudi Arabia
  • Hobbyist Saudi Arabia drone pilot license is required
  • Hobbyist Drone registration is required in Saudi Arabia for hobbyists flying over 250g drone
  • Drone Remote ID is not required in Saudi Arabia for hobbyists
  • Drone Insurance is not required but recommended for hobbyists’ drone operations in Saudi Arabia

Read below for more details on Hobbyist Drone Laws in Saudi Arabia and to find links to regulators and other credible sources!

Commercial Drone Laws For Residents of Saudi Arabia

Drone Operations in Saudi Arabia are currently regulated.


  • Commercial drone flights are allowed in Saudi Arabia
  • Commercial Saudi Arabia drone pilot license is required
  • Commercial Drone registration is required in Saudi Arabia for commercial drone operators
  • Drone Remote ID is not required in Saudi Arabia for Commercial Drone Operators
  • Drone Insurance is not required for commercial drone operations in Saudi Arabia

Read below for more details on Commercial Drone Laws in Saudi Arabia and to find links to regulators and other credible sources!

Drone Regulations For Visitors To Saudi Arabia

Drone Operations in Saudi Arabia are currently regulated.


  • Foreign visitor drone flights are not allowed in Saudi Arabia
  • Foreign visitor drone pilot license is not applicable
  • Drone registration is required in Saudi Arabia for visitors/tourists
  • Drone Remote ID is not required in Saudi Arabia for tourists
  • Drone Insurance is not required but recommended for tourist drone operations in Saudi Arabia

Read below for more details on Drone Laws in Saudi Arabia for Visitors (Tourists) and to find links to regulators and other credible sources!

Drone Rules For Government Drone Operators in Saudi Arabia

Drone Operations in Saudi Arabia are currently regulated.


  • Government drone flights are allowed in Saudi Arabia
  • Government drone pilot license is required
  • Drone registration is required in Saudi Arabia for Government operations
  • Drone Remote ID is not required in Saudi Arabia for Government operations
  • Drone Insurance is not required for Government drone operations in Saudi Arabia

Read below for more details on Drone Laws in Saudi Arabia for Government Drone Operations and to find links to regulators and other credible sources!

Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)

Drone Regulator in Saudi Arabia: General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA)

Contact Information

If you need additional details we have not covered or specific case help, contact the General Authority of Civil Aviation at:

  • Address: Riyadh – King Abdulaziz Center For National Dialogue, P.O.Box 47360 Riyadh Area Code 11552.
  • Phone: Free in KSA: 8001168888, Outside KSA: +966 (11) 2682763
  • Fax: +966 (11) 5253222 — 5253111.
  • Email: gaca-info@gaca.gov.sa

Please note, we have had difficulty getting email delivered to their contact email. Sometimes their mailbox is full and it will then reject your email. Keep trying.

Continue reading for more details on Saudi Arabia Drone Laws.


UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabian agency responsible for drone safety, GACA, has provided several internet-accessible details on flying for fun or work. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details, go to the link above.

Are drones allowed in Saudi Arabia?

According to the GACA, flying drones is legal in Saudi Arabia, but certain regulations must be strictly followed. Read on for more details.

Here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Saudi Arabia:

Drones are considered a serious threat to public security in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless, the country has created an opportunity for private individuals to import and fly drones legally.

  • Avoid flying your drone directly over people or large crowds. 
  • Never fly your drone above 150 meters. 
  • Never fly your drone beyond your visual line of sight – you must always be able to see the drone in the sky. When flying your drone, respect the privacy of others. 
  • Avoid flying your drone over airports or in areas frequented by aircraft. You must fly during daylight hours and only in good weather. 
  • Avoid flying your drone over sensitive areas like government or military installations. Drones or camera drones are not permitted in these areas.

Drone Registration Requirements in Saudi Arabia?

Drones weighing 250 grams (0.55 lbs) and above require the operator to apply for a Certificate of Aircraft Registration to register the aircraft.

Drone registrations must be renewed every three years.

All drones must display a unique identification number issued by the Registry after the Certificate of Aircraft Registration has been approved.

The identification number must be affixed in a secure and easily accessible way and visible upon inspection.

How to apply for authorization to fly a drone in Saudi Arabia?

Applications for authorized operations must be submitted in a format and manner acceptable to the President of GACA, along with information about the UAS’s performance characteristics, communications, pilot documentation, and other critical operations data.

Notes for Foreign Operators

For now, our understanding is that visitors are not able to resgister and fly drones in Saudi Arabia.

Anyone wishing to import a drone must register the serial number to obtain customs clearance. Saudi Customs will allow the drone into the country if it is registered. 

Your applications are handled by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA). It maintains an online portal through which you should be able to easily apply for the required documents. Unfortunately, that site does not appear to be working.

The regular registration site listed below does not allow foreigners to register without a national ID.


Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Saudi Arabia

Unless authorized by the President of GACA, a drone cannot be operated unless and until the following conditions are met:

  • The drone has an airworthiness certificate and is appropriately registered and marked following GACA regulations. 
  • No person may operate a drone unless the GACA Air Traffic Control provider authorizes the operation area. 
  • The President has delegated specific operating authority to the operator. 

Remote pilots must possess a current pilot certificate issued according to GACAR Part 61.

Follow the general rules listed above, but check for updates by visiting the regulator’s links provided.


Notes for operating Commercial Drone Services in Saudi Arabia

  • To operate commercially, you must possess a valid Remote Pilot Certificate issued by the GACA. 
  • You cannot operate a drone recklessly in a way that endangers another person’s life or property (this includes dropping objects from the aircraft). 
  • No person may operate a drone unless the GACA Air Traffic Control provider authorizes the operation area. 
  • You must conduct your flight during daylight or civil twilight.
  • You must maintain a visual line of sight between your drone and the ground (VLOS). 
  • The remote pilot can only fly one drone at a time. 
  • Drones cannot be used to transport hazardous materials. 
  • A drone cannot be flown directly over people. 
  • Unless authorized in advance by Air Traffic Control, no person may operate a small unmanned aircraft in Class B, C, or D airspace or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport (ATC). 
  • You must fly at or below 100 miles per hour (87 knots). 
  • You must fly at or below 400 feet above ground level (120 meters). 
  • You must give all manned aircraft the right of way. 
  • You cannot fly from a moving vehicle unless you are in a sparsely populated area.

Certification Requirements for Flying a Drone 

A Remote Pilot Certificate from the GACA is required to fly a drone commercially in Saudi Arabia. The following requirements must be met to obtain a certificate:

  • You must be able to read, write, speak, and understand English (exceptions may be made if the person cannot meet one of these requirements for a medical reason, such as hearing impairment). 
  • To operate a small UAS safely, you must be physically and mentally healthy. 
  • You must be at least 18 years old to participate. 
  • You must pass a knowledge test in aeronautics. 
  • You must obtain clearance from GACA’s Aviation Security Division.

Follow the general rules listed above, but check for updates by visiting the regulator’s links provided.


Useful published information on flying drones in Saudi Arabia

Here is a sample of what you might expect if you follow the drone laws and fly in Saudi Arabia…


Authoritative Sources of Information on Saudi Arabia Drone Laws

We will attempt to keep an updated list of online authoritative links to regulators and other official websites here:



NOTE: This page is about the Regulation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS), Small UAS, Remote Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), and drone are interchangeable terms unless specified. Model Aircraft, toy, remote-controlled, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.


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70 responses to “Drone Laws in Saudi Arabia”

  1. Aaron Rey Jaducana

    Good morning, Sir. I want to purchase a used drone online and ship it to the Philippines via hand carry/laggage when I go on vacation. Before leaving Saudi Arabia, do I need a permit from the Saudi authorities?

    1. Editorial Team

      Aaron, you wont need permission from the Saudi Authorities (assume you will be buying the drone there). However, you will need permission from the Philippines authority to take it into the country.

  2. Sheldon Mao

    Hi I am living in KSA and have Iqama, I am planing to buy DJI mini (under 250g) to fly in KSA from China. I wonder if it is possible use international shipping like DHL to import it? Should I register the bought UAV in advance before shipping?

    1. Editorial Team

      Sheldon, the information we have is quite opaque and sometimes contradictory. The under 250g drones do not have to be registered in KSA. But the notes for foreign operators say a drone must be registered for customs clearance.

      Servcies like DHL generally know the rules and follow the process, for an additional fee. Probably best to use a credible shipping agent in this case. Contact the GACA, they may have more precise recommendations.

      Please come back and share your findings. Best wishes

  3. Heniek B

    Hello. I have a question: can I transport a drone weighing up to 250 g while in Saudi Arabia only in transit? I won’t leave the airport. I know that even during transit there is a security check.

    1. Editorial Team

      For transit this should be ok

  4. Waleed

    Hi I am Saudi resident I want to bring my 249g drone from India what’s the procedure and how long it will take and what will it cost me

    1. Editorial Team

      Please see details above. Contact the regulators for further details. Links included above. Good luck

  5. jonathan

    hello for confirm how about 125g drone and only personal. is there need permit to fly. thanks a lot. update

    1. Editorial Team

      Visitors are not allowed to fly drones in KSA unless you can get the reuired registration/permission.
      If you are a citizen of KSA you do not need a permit to fly a 125g drone

  6. Lauri

    Please advise me with respect to the rule for commercial drones that reads: “You must maintain a visual line of sight between your drone and the ground (VLOS)”.
    Does this mean that “autonomous drones”. drones-in-a-box, BVLOS drones are strictly outlawed, or does it mean they are considered a different category and there are other rules for them? thank you!

    1. Editorial Team

      BVLOS and autonomous drones are regulated separately. The regulator will have specific and detailed requirements for approving such flights. You can reach out to them using the contact information above.

  7. Celio

    Bonjour,
    J’ai un drone de 249 grammes.
    Est ce que je peux rentrer avec sans aucune formalité en Arabie Saoudite ?
    Je suis perdu dans la réglementation de ce pays.
    MERCI

  8. Stefan

    Dear Editorial-Team,
    I was told by GACA that tourists (not residents) won´t normally be able to get a permit. The link given to register in the foreigner´s section isn´t working any more since a couple of month. Once signing up even completing the Captcha doesn´t help. The new page requires an Iqama-ID. This is a major set back.
    Best, Stefan

    1. Editorial Team

      Thank you Stefan. For now we have changed our recommendation until the sites are working properly.

      1. Stefan

        Thank´s a lot for updating the page.

        Has anyone managed to get permission to fly a drone in KSA as visitor within the last couple of month? Either above 250 gram or under? Any feedback would be highly appreciated.

  9. Jxyel

    I hope you’re doing well. I have a question regarding drone regulations in Saudi Arabia, specifically for a drone that is 80 grams with a camera. Do I need to register it or get a license? In the website, when trying to submit the registration forum it says in the weight field 0.1 kilograms – 24.99 kilograms. 0.1 kilograms is 100 grams which my drone falls under.

    1. Editorial Team

      If you are a Saudi citizen then registration is required if the drone is 250g or more.

  10. Ferdy Trinidad

    Hi
    My DJI Mavic pro which is under 250 grams was held by Airport Custom when I arrive last Sep 6, 2023. They asked me to apply for drone registration. I did last Sep 10 and up to now it is still under process, I have been following up via email only to received the standard reply of under process.
    My main concern, how long will airport custom hold my drone? will they dispose of it after a certain timeline? How long does an recreational drone application takes?

    1. Editorial Team

      Ferdy, we have not heard of drones being disposed. You will be able to get it on departure.
      From the replies above you can see that there are various expereince with the GACA process ranging from one month to more than 5 months.
      Please share your experience when yours is complete. Best of luck

    2. spammingwasabi

      Your DJI Mavic Pro is at least 700g. Only the DJI Mini’s are less than 250g.

      1. Shiyaf

        Hi my name is Shiyaf, i would like to know what all should i need to do to take my DJI MINI 3 (under 250 g) with me on flight to go to India. And to fly it in Saudi Arabia. I am born in india but living in Saudi Arabia

  11. Mo

    Bonjour,

    Je suis français et je dois faire une visite touristique en arabie saoudite au mois de Février 2024.
    J’ai un drone de 249 g est ce que je dois le déclarer à la douane lors de mon passage à l’aéroport à jeddah ?
    Merci

    1. Editorial Team

      Yes you must declare the drone on arrival. Please note that you must register any drone you are brining to Saudi Arabia (see notes for foreign visitors above).

  12. Alessio

    Hello. I’m running in circles with GACA.
    I’m a foreigner travelling to SA. While in SA, I will have my 249g drone dispatched by courier from abroad.
    I understand I don’t need authorisation to fly the drone, by I need to register the serial number in order to allow customs release.
    GACA keeps telling me I need to submit the request by the portal, but the portal requires a Saudi ID and a Saudi phone number.
    Have you got any recommendation how to get authorisation?
    Thanks

    1. Merlin at Drone Laws

      Alessio, we don’t have a specific recommendation for Saudi Arabia, but we have experiences in other locations where a tour group or service company has been able to help travelers. Maybe someone in our community can suggest something also. Best of luck, and please come back and share how this works out.

  13. Kostas

    Hi, just a question because im worried about the customs at the riyadh airport. im going to saudi arabia only for two days in march and from there im going to philippines for holidays but i will not fly my ma2 in saudi arabia i will just carry it with me in the bag. i dont have to register the drone in saudi arabia right? will i have a problem at the customs if i take it?

    1. Merlin at Drone Laws

      Make sure to declare it at customs on arrival. They may keep it at the airport for you to pick up for the flight out

  14. Earl

    Hi, the only requirement for customs clearance is the drone registration? And given that the drone is already registered, will they ask for additional import fees upon arrival? Thank you.

    1. Merlin at Drone Laws

      We are not aware of any import fees. There is a Drone registration fee in Saudi Arabia. We always recommend checking with the regulator.

  15. Lars

    I built FPV 5″ racing drone, I purchased all the parts from AliExpress. Is it possible to obtain the registration?

    1. Merlin at Drone Laws

      Lars, we understand there may be a path for this, but recommend you contact the regulator directly for guidance

      1. Larry Acala

        Merlin, thanks for your reply and advice.

  16. alfred

    Hello! I just received my UAS Unmanned Aircraft Registration Certificate. Took me 2.5 years for the approval from my the time of my application. Nevertheless, its better than getting rejected. I can not still fly it though, I still need an Operator Permit. Could you please let me know how to obtain it? I dont see it on the site. I have also ask GACA for my next step but was not responded yet.

    1. Merlin at Drone Laws

      Alfred, you will have to call GACA, visit a GACA location, or wait for their reply. Follow the links at the top of the page to their website to find the contact us page

  17. David

    Hello, I have just tried to bring a Mini 3 in and customs have held it. I have spent several hours there today and tried telling them it was under 250 grams so I don’t have to register but they did not seam to know if this was correct or not. After speaking with the manager he said this is only applicable to drones without cameras and as mine has a camera I have to register it. Now trying to register it, the link doesn’t work and customs said I have 10 days before they dispose of it. Can you suggest what I should do next?

    1. Merlin at Drone Laws

      David, Our recommendation for foreign operators, above, recommends registering the serial number with GACA before arrival.
      Have you tried the GACA site (link at the top of this page), which has a drone registration link? It works for us.
      We suggest you get in touch with GACA directly

      1. chester senin

        GACA SIte can only be accessed if you have a valid Iqama if you’re not Saudi. So we cannot access the site.

    2. Husain

      Hi David, Did to get your drone back ?

  18. Abu Ayman

    Can you guide how to register the drone less than 250gm?
    DJI Mavic Mini2

    1. Merlin at Drone Laws

      If you are Saudi citizen, you can go to the GACA wesbite, or this one: https://eaviation.gaca.gov.sa/uas/login.xvw

  19. Saad

    Hi i have a dji mavic mini drone less then 250g can i fly it in saudi without licence and regeneration? Please advise.

    1. Merlin at Drone Laws

      The Drone less than 250 Grams do not have to be registered, but you must get approval to fly.

      1. Daviiid

        Hello Merlin,

        Would you be kind to let us know how do we submit a fly for approval?
        I have the Mini 2 registered in GACA, so I just need to let them know everytime I want to fly, is that correct?

        Thanks for the amazing blog!

        1. Merlin at Drone Laws

          Unfortunately, there is no online method for doing so, and for now the regulation is unclear whether authorization is required each time. In addition to authorization, you will need flight clearance from traffic control if its in certain areas.
          Please follow the link at the top of this page to get to GACA website and find the contact us section. Someone there will be able to help you prepare the written request for authorization.

  20. Ghulam Murtaza

    Hi I want to bring my mavic mini 2 drone from Pakistan to saudi Arabia on saudia airline. Can you please guide me how to pack my drone accessories to avoid any problem on airport.

    1. Merlin at Drone Laws

      Ghulam, we wrote an article just for these situations. Please follow the link on the section traveling with a drone. Best wishes

  21. Sylvo

    Hello, do i understand that registration is required on GACA for flying the drone within KSA and a custom clearance is also require for bringing it within the kingdom? I plan to arrive with the drone(DJI Spark – 300g) in my luggage but i can’t find any suitable information about the custom clearance process. Any guidance, please?

    Thanks.
    Sylvo

    1. Merlin at Drone Laws

      Sylvo, please refer to the section “Notes for Foreign Operators”

      1. Rich

        The link in the notes for foreign operators seems to require a National single sign on, which in turn requires an Iqama number, which is where I got stuck.

  22. Andy

    Hi, thank you for providing the above information.

    Do you know if, as a registered Drone Operator in the UK, with a Pilots license and a permit to work approved from the CAA.

    Are these documents and licenses transferrable to the GACA and mean I can commercially operate a drone in Saudi Arabia, once I’ve registered the drone and myself with the GACA? Or do I need to complete additional training through the GACA to be able to operate drones commercially in Saudi Arabia?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Merlin at Drone Laws

      Andy, registration and training are required. It is possible that GACA may accept your CAA licenses. To operate commercially, you will require the GACA security division authorization so they can provide details. Use the links to GACA at the top of the page

  23. Waleed

    Do we need to register the drones which are under 250g Or we can fly it without registration ?

    ,And if not required can we bring it via airport without registration ?

    1. Merlin at Drone Laws

      Waleed, the regulations state that registration is not required for a 250g drone, but you will still need the authorization to fly. Please contact GACA for import questions.

      1. Anthony

        From personal experience, you will still need to open a GACA account which requires an iqama or national id, you need to also be fingerprinted at a kiosk to be able to login to the GACA site, then you need to get a apply for a customs clearance EVEN for a drone under 250g, otherwise customs will stop you and say because it is a “camera drone”, (which drone isn’t?) you need a customs clearance. If you aren’t a resident or citizen, don’t bother.

  24. Qadershah

    Hi I want to make adrone or unmanned helicopter can you tell me about how can i make for ksa i love ksa thanks

    1. Merlin at Drone Laws

      Qadershah, we only cover drone laws. We recommend you buy a commercially available drone or find a site with instructions on how to build drones.

  25. Harishankar

    What are the regulations for selling a drone model in Saudi Arabia?

    1. Merlin at Drone Laws

      Harishankar we are unable to provide you any guidance with such a broad question. Are you a retailer, trying to sell a new model, trying to sell a drone privately? In any case, you are better off contacting the regulators using the above links for specific questions.

  26. Rana Kamran

    What about drone use for Medical and Emergency purposes?

    1. Merlin at Drone Laws

      These are considered commercial activities. Please see the related section above.

  27. Rizwan

    Dear GACA Customer Support,

    I’ve following questions to apply for Remote Pilot Certificate:

    -Is a Saudi Iqama required?
    -How long does it take to issue the license using the online application?
    -Is there any other requirements from GACA to obtain the certificate?

    1. Merlin at Drone Laws

      Rizwan, this website is not related to GACA, we are an independent site. Please contact GACA directly with your questions. You can follow the link at the top of the page to find GACA contacts.

    2. Fatima Sala

      Regarding the length it takes to issue the license, I called their helpdesk today (+966 12684 7999) and the customer agent said it usually takes a month to be processed because the application is sent to the Ministry of Interior for screening and approval first. Once you receive their update, then you will be directed to pay for the license.

      1. Roslan Muslim

        For my case it took me 5 months and 20 days 😃

  28. Pradeep

    Hi, Can a foreigner fly the drone in Saudi Arabia and eligible to obtain the Remote Pilot Certificate from GACA?

    1. Merlin at Drone Laws

      Pradeep
      Yes, you can. Please follow the instruction on the page and go to the GACA online portal.

      1. Anthony

        This is not true. Only citizens and residents (iqama holders) may operate a drone in Saudi Arabia. You cannot use the online portal unless you have a national id.

        1. Robert

          Just wanted to confirm what Anthony wrote.
          You can not get permit to fly in Saudi Arabia if you are visitor/tourist, because with this status you can not get national ID which you need to apply for all these permits.

          So this info for visitors/tourists on this web page is not correct and should be updated.

          1. Editorial Team

            Robert, thank you for your comment. Our understanding is that visitors have been allowed to fly drones in KSA. The site is quite tricky to navigate and has crashed on us occasionally. We have reached out to GACA for guidance on this and will share any feedback we receive.

Leave a Comment

70 thoughts on “Drone Laws in Saudi Arabia”

  1. Good morning, Sir. I want to purchase a used drone online and ship it to the Philippines via hand carry/laggage when I go on vacation. Before leaving Saudi Arabia, do I need a permit from the Saudi authorities?

    Reply
    • Aaron, you wont need permission from the Saudi Authorities (assume you will be buying the drone there). However, you will need permission from the Philippines authority to take it into the country.

      Reply
  2. Hi I am living in KSA and have Iqama, I am planing to buy DJI mini (under 250g) to fly in KSA from China. I wonder if it is possible use international shipping like DHL to import it? Should I register the bought UAV in advance before shipping?

    Reply
    • Sheldon, the information we have is quite opaque and sometimes contradictory. The under 250g drones do not have to be registered in KSA. But the notes for foreign operators say a drone must be registered for customs clearance.

      Servcies like DHL generally know the rules and follow the process, for an additional fee. Probably best to use a credible shipping agent in this case. Contact the GACA, they may have more precise recommendations.

      Please come back and share your findings. Best wishes

      Reply
  3. Hello. I have a question: can I transport a drone weighing up to 250 g while in Saudi Arabia only in transit? I won’t leave the airport. I know that even during transit there is a security check.

    Reply
  4. Hi I am Saudi resident I want to bring my 249g drone from India what’s the procedure and how long it will take and what will it cost me

    Reply
    • Visitors are not allowed to fly drones in KSA unless you can get the reuired registration/permission.
      If you are a citizen of KSA you do not need a permit to fly a 125g drone

      Reply
  5. Please advise me with respect to the rule for commercial drones that reads: “You must maintain a visual line of sight between your drone and the ground (VLOS)”.
    Does this mean that “autonomous drones”. drones-in-a-box, BVLOS drones are strictly outlawed, or does it mean they are considered a different category and there are other rules for them? thank you!

    Reply
    • BVLOS and autonomous drones are regulated separately. The regulator will have specific and detailed requirements for approving such flights. You can reach out to them using the contact information above.

      Reply
  6. Bonjour,
    J’ai un drone de 249 grammes.
    Est ce que je peux rentrer avec sans aucune formalité en Arabie Saoudite ?
    Je suis perdu dans la réglementation de ce pays.
    MERCI

    Reply
  7. Dear Editorial-Team,
    I was told by GACA that tourists (not residents) won´t normally be able to get a permit. The link given to register in the foreigner´s section isn´t working any more since a couple of month. Once signing up even completing the Captcha doesn´t help. The new page requires an Iqama-ID. This is a major set back.
    Best, Stefan

    Reply
      • Thank´s a lot for updating the page.

        Has anyone managed to get permission to fly a drone in KSA as visitor within the last couple of month? Either above 250 gram or under? Any feedback would be highly appreciated.

        Reply
  8. I hope you’re doing well. I have a question regarding drone regulations in Saudi Arabia, specifically for a drone that is 80 grams with a camera. Do I need to register it or get a license? In the website, when trying to submit the registration forum it says in the weight field 0.1 kilograms – 24.99 kilograms. 0.1 kilograms is 100 grams which my drone falls under.

    Reply
  9. Hi
    My DJI Mavic pro which is under 250 grams was held by Airport Custom when I arrive last Sep 6, 2023. They asked me to apply for drone registration. I did last Sep 10 and up to now it is still under process, I have been following up via email only to received the standard reply of under process.
    My main concern, how long will airport custom hold my drone? will they dispose of it after a certain timeline? How long does an recreational drone application takes?

    Reply
    • Ferdy, we have not heard of drones being disposed. You will be able to get it on departure.
      From the replies above you can see that there are various expereince with the GACA process ranging from one month to more than 5 months.
      Please share your experience when yours is complete. Best of luck

      Reply
      • Hi my name is Shiyaf, i would like to know what all should i need to do to take my DJI MINI 3 (under 250 g) with me on flight to go to India. And to fly it in Saudi Arabia. I am born in india but living in Saudi Arabia

        Reply
  10. Bonjour,

    Je suis français et je dois faire une visite touristique en arabie saoudite au mois de Février 2024.
    J’ai un drone de 249 g est ce que je dois le déclarer à la douane lors de mon passage à l’aéroport à jeddah ?
    Merci

    Reply
    • Yes you must declare the drone on arrival. Please note that you must register any drone you are brining to Saudi Arabia (see notes for foreign visitors above).

      Reply
  11. Hello. I’m running in circles with GACA.
    I’m a foreigner travelling to SA. While in SA, I will have my 249g drone dispatched by courier from abroad.
    I understand I don’t need authorisation to fly the drone, by I need to register the serial number in order to allow customs release.
    GACA keeps telling me I need to submit the request by the portal, but the portal requires a Saudi ID and a Saudi phone number.
    Have you got any recommendation how to get authorisation?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Alessio, we don’t have a specific recommendation for Saudi Arabia, but we have experiences in other locations where a tour group or service company has been able to help travelers. Maybe someone in our community can suggest something also. Best of luck, and please come back and share how this works out.

      Reply
  12. Hi, just a question because im worried about the customs at the riyadh airport. im going to saudi arabia only for two days in march and from there im going to philippines for holidays but i will not fly my ma2 in saudi arabia i will just carry it with me in the bag. i dont have to register the drone in saudi arabia right? will i have a problem at the customs if i take it?

    Reply
    • Make sure to declare it at customs on arrival. They may keep it at the airport for you to pick up for the flight out

      Reply
  13. Hi, the only requirement for customs clearance is the drone registration? And given that the drone is already registered, will they ask for additional import fees upon arrival? Thank you.

    Reply
    • We are not aware of any import fees. There is a Drone registration fee in Saudi Arabia. We always recommend checking with the regulator.

      Reply
  14. Hello! I just received my UAS Unmanned Aircraft Registration Certificate. Took me 2.5 years for the approval from my the time of my application. Nevertheless, its better than getting rejected. I can not still fly it though, I still need an Operator Permit. Could you please let me know how to obtain it? I dont see it on the site. I have also ask GACA for my next step but was not responded yet.

    Reply
    • Alfred, you will have to call GACA, visit a GACA location, or wait for their reply. Follow the links at the top of the page to their website to find the contact us page

      Reply
  15. Hello, I have just tried to bring a Mini 3 in and customs have held it. I have spent several hours there today and tried telling them it was under 250 grams so I don’t have to register but they did not seam to know if this was correct or not. After speaking with the manager he said this is only applicable to drones without cameras and as mine has a camera I have to register it. Now trying to register it, the link doesn’t work and customs said I have 10 days before they dispose of it. Can you suggest what I should do next?

    Reply
    • David, Our recommendation for foreign operators, above, recommends registering the serial number with GACA before arrival.
      Have you tried the GACA site (link at the top of this page), which has a drone registration link? It works for us.
      We suggest you get in touch with GACA directly

      Reply
  16. Hi i have a dji mavic mini drone less then 250g can i fly it in saudi without licence and regeneration? Please advise.

    Reply
      • Hello Merlin,

        Would you be kind to let us know how do we submit a fly for approval?
        I have the Mini 2 registered in GACA, so I just need to let them know everytime I want to fly, is that correct?

        Thanks for the amazing blog!

        Reply
        • Unfortunately, there is no online method for doing so, and for now the regulation is unclear whether authorization is required each time. In addition to authorization, you will need flight clearance from traffic control if its in certain areas.
          Please follow the link at the top of this page to get to GACA website and find the contact us section. Someone there will be able to help you prepare the written request for authorization.

          Reply
  17. Hi I want to bring my mavic mini 2 drone from Pakistan to saudi Arabia on saudia airline. Can you please guide me how to pack my drone accessories to avoid any problem on airport.

    Reply
    • Ghulam, we wrote an article just for these situations. Please follow the link on the section traveling with a drone. Best wishes

      Reply
  18. Hello, do i understand that registration is required on GACA for flying the drone within KSA and a custom clearance is also require for bringing it within the kingdom? I plan to arrive with the drone(DJI Spark – 300g) in my luggage but i can’t find any suitable information about the custom clearance process. Any guidance, please?

    Thanks.
    Sylvo

    Reply
  19. Hi, thank you for providing the above information.

    Do you know if, as a registered Drone Operator in the UK, with a Pilots license and a permit to work approved from the CAA.

    Are these documents and licenses transferrable to the GACA and mean I can commercially operate a drone in Saudi Arabia, once I’ve registered the drone and myself with the GACA? Or do I need to complete additional training through the GACA to be able to operate drones commercially in Saudi Arabia?

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Andy, registration and training are required. It is possible that GACA may accept your CAA licenses. To operate commercially, you will require the GACA security division authorization so they can provide details. Use the links to GACA at the top of the page

      Reply
  20. Do we need to register the drones which are under 250g Or we can fly it without registration ?

    ,And if not required can we bring it via airport without registration ?

    Reply
    • Waleed, the regulations state that registration is not required for a 250g drone, but you will still need the authorization to fly. Please contact GACA for import questions.

      Reply
      • From personal experience, you will still need to open a GACA account which requires an iqama or national id, you need to also be fingerprinted at a kiosk to be able to login to the GACA site, then you need to get a apply for a customs clearance EVEN for a drone under 250g, otherwise customs will stop you and say because it is a “camera drone”, (which drone isn’t?) you need a customs clearance. If you aren’t a resident or citizen, don’t bother.

        Reply
    • Qadershah, we only cover drone laws. We recommend you buy a commercially available drone or find a site with instructions on how to build drones.

      Reply
    • Harishankar we are unable to provide you any guidance with such a broad question. Are you a retailer, trying to sell a new model, trying to sell a drone privately? In any case, you are better off contacting the regulators using the above links for specific questions.

      Reply
  21. Dear GACA Customer Support,

    I’ve following questions to apply for Remote Pilot Certificate:

    -Is a Saudi Iqama required?
    -How long does it take to issue the license using the online application?
    -Is there any other requirements from GACA to obtain the certificate?

    Reply
    • Rizwan, this website is not related to GACA, we are an independent site. Please contact GACA directly with your questions. You can follow the link at the top of the page to find GACA contacts.

      Reply
    • Regarding the length it takes to issue the license, I called their helpdesk today (+966 12684 7999) and the customer agent said it usually takes a month to be processed because the application is sent to the Ministry of Interior for screening and approval first. Once you receive their update, then you will be directed to pay for the license.

      Reply
      • This is not true. Only citizens and residents (iqama holders) may operate a drone in Saudi Arabia. You cannot use the online portal unless you have a national id.

        Reply
        • Just wanted to confirm what Anthony wrote.
          You can not get permit to fly in Saudi Arabia if you are visitor/tourist, because with this status you can not get national ID which you need to apply for all these permits.

          So this info for visitors/tourists on this web page is not correct and should be updated.

          Reply
          • Robert, thank you for your comment. Our understanding is that visitors have been allowed to fly drones in KSA. The site is quite tricky to navigate and has crashed on us occasionally. We have reached out to GACA for guidance on this and will share any feedback we receive.

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