Recreational drones banned in United Arab Emirates after deadly attacks

A drone strike on an oil facility and an airport in Abu Dhabi, which was claimed by Houthi rebels, killed three

Adam Smith
Monday 24 January 2022 15:08
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The United Arab Emirates has banned flying of recreational drones after three people were killed in an attack on an oil facility.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who are fighting the Saudi-led military coalition that runs the UAE, claimed an assault on both the facility and a major airport in the capital of Abu Dhabi.

It is the first time that the UAE has acknowledged such attacks.

The UAE said the Houthis targeted the country with bomb-laden drones and cruise and ballistic missiles, adding the country had intercepted some of the projectiles.

In response to the strike, the Saudi-led coalition has escalated attacks on the rebel-held parts of Yemen in the last week.

Government regulations in the UAE already restrict flying drones in residential areas as well as near, around and over airports. Drone users typically must obtain a certificate from the civil aviation authorities.

While the Interior Ministry did not refer directly to the attack in imposing the ban, it said the decision came after finding rampant misuse of the permits granted to those who practice such activities.

"MOI (Ministry of Interior) is currently stopping all flying operations for owners, practitioners and enthusiasts of drones, including drones and light sports aircrafts," it said in a statement.

Exceptions might be granted by the permit authorities for businesses using drones for filming, the ministry said.

Additional reporting by agencies

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