Pay SR250 for a permit, and legally fly your drone in Saudi Arabia

The permit system will also end the black market in drones, with heavily marked-up prices. (SPA)
Updated 14 January 2019

Pay SR250 for a permit, and legally fly your drone in Saudi Arabia

  • Commercial drone permits will cost SR500 and requires completion of a GACA training course
  • Issuance of permit seen to end black market in unmanned aerial vehicles

RIYADH: Saudi drone enthusiasts were celebrating on Sunday after aviation chiefs moved to end confusion over the devices’ legality.

A recreational drone permit will cost SR250, just under $70, the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) said. Applicants require only a national identity card or iqama, and the make and  serial number of the drone.

Commercial drone permits will cost SR500, although applicants must complete a GACA training course.

One permit is required for each drone, but there is no need to apply for further permission to fly it.

Anyone wishing to import a drone must register the serial number on the GACA website to obtain customs clearance. “If the drone is registered, Saudi Customs will allow it into the country, no problem,” GACA said. 

The decision has delighted hobbyists, enthusiasts and commercial drone operators who faced investigation and detention if caught. Several people trying to smuggle drones into the country have had them confiscated by Customs, and foreign journalists and filmmakers were also banned from bringing them into the Kingdom without permission from the Media Ministry.

“There was always a great deal of confusion regarding drone permits,” said Seif, a Saudi filmmaker. “Where you were referred to depended on who you asked and you ended up not flying or flying illegally.” 

The permit system will also end the black market in drones, with heavily marked-up prices. 

The machines are expected to appear soon in stores around the country, at market price.


Saudi envoy receives Libyan ambassador to the UN

Updated 18 January 2020

Saudi envoy receives Libyan ambassador to the UN

NEW YORK: Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN, held talks in New York with Taher El-Sonni, Libya’s UN ambassador and permanent representative. 

The two sides discussed issues of mutual concern and latest political developments in the region. 

Al-Mouallimi congratulated El-Sonni for his new apppointment and conveyed the Saudi leadership’s best wishes for prosperity, stability and progress to the Libyan people. 

Al-Mouallimi reiterated Saudi Arabia’s rejection of any foreign interference in the Libyan affairs, adding that Riyadh will continue to push all concerned parties to reach a political solution that guarantees the unity of Libya and saves
people’s lives.