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Abu Dhabi stops trade in drones

Abu Dhabi Business Centre has announced halt to the sale and purchase of drones in the Emirate. (Supplied)

By Wam

The Abu Dhabi Business Centre, affiliated to the Department of Economic Development, has announced a halt to the sale and purchase of drones in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The move aims to reduce the random spread of the said drones and any improper use thereof, until legislation and regulations organising the activity are issued by the competent authorities in the country.

Mohammed Rashid Al Rumaithi, Acting Executive Director of Abu Dhabi Business Centre, said, "The ceasing of trading activity for the sale and purchase of drones from shops in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi comes within the mandate of the centre to regulate and control commercial activities that may negatively affect community security.

Al Rumaithi explained that the decision comes in line with the positions of the relevant authorities in the country. "These authorities are concerned with issuing legislation and control regulations with regards to aviation security and safety in the country and have initiated the formation of a national committee that began its work during 2013 in order to undertake a thorough study of the uses of this type of aircraft, and to develop detailed laws and legislation applicable to these modern-system drones to be added to the existing regulations in force in the country in order to prevent the use of airspace without prior permission from the competent authority."

He commended the level of coordination between the Abu Dhabi Business Centre and the authorities concerned with the safety and security of buying, selling and using drones throughout the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in line with the applicable laws and regulations in this regard.

Ahmed Tarish Al Qubaisi, Acting Director of the Commercial Protection Department in Abu Dhabi Business Centre, said, "The centre began to address all sales outlets and shops in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to request them to stop selling drones to the public pursuant to this resolution."

Al Qubaisi stressed the importance of the commitment of all the relevant authorities to implement this directive, and called on the public to stop buying these types of aircraft until the legislation and regulations organising their use are issued.

Al Qubaisi added that the Control and Inspection Department in Abu Dhabi Business Centre will increase the number of inspection campaigns on all shops that practice these activities in the coming days in order to make sure they are committed to this binding directive to cease this activity for the time being until the issuance of legislations and laws that prohibit the use of drones near airports, residential areas, property, public facilities and restricted areas in the country.

The new legislation for the drones, expected to be issued soon, regulates the use of drones in terms of weight and nature of use, including the practice of individuals indulging in this hobby at the relevant clubs approved for these types of hobbies after obtaining prior government approval. The legislation will also set controls for commercial or service use by government agencies and commercial companies which should obtain an official permit before begining any activity involving the use of UAE airspace.