The UAE government has ordered to stop all flying operations of private drones and light sports aircraft in the Gulf country for a month, days after two Indians and a Pakistani national were killed in Abu Dhabi in a rare drone and missile attack claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
In a statement, the Ministry of Interior ordered to stop all flying operations of drones and light sports aircraft for owners, practitioners and enthusiasts from January 22.
According to the statement, the ban also encompasses air and sail spots. ”The decision came after the misuse spotted recently, not limiting the practice of these sports to the areas identified in the user permits and trespassing into areas where these types of activities are prohibited,” said the statement released by the UAE’s official news agency Wam.
The regulations were put in place in coordination with the General Authority for Civil Aviation and in line with the relative guidelines, it said.
It said that exceptions might be granted for filming. The entities that have work contracts or commercial or advertising projects that rely on filming using drones must communicate with the permit authorities to take the necessary exceptions and permits to carry out their work and projects, it said.
The ministry reminded users that anyone performing these activities during that period and disregarding guidelines will be subject to legal liabilities.
Last week, Yemen’s Houthi rebels targeted a fuel depot in Abu Dhabi and the city’s main airport, heightening tensions in the oil-exporting region. The UAE blamed the attack on Yemen’s Houthi rebels, saying this sinful targeting will not go unpunished.
The UAE ”reserves its right to retaliate to these terrorist attacks and this sinful criminal escalation”, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
The Houthi rebels have taken responsibility for several drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities in the past. The UAE is part of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen fighting Houthis.