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United Arab Emirates – Animal Welfare and Cultural Issues

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country located in the Middle East, and its capital city is Abu Dhabi. The UAE is known for its vast deserts, towering skyscrapers, and luxurious lifestyle. However, the country is also home to many domesticated animals, and the welfare of these animals is an important issue for many residents and visitors. In this article, we will explore the prevailing attitude to animals and pets in the UAE, the laws regarding pet ownership, the major animal charities operating in the country, the pet supply stores commonly available, and any cultural taboos or sensitivities associated with different types of animals.

Prevailing Attitude to Animals and Pets

The prevailing attitude to animals and pets in the UAE is generally positive, and many residents consider their pets to be an important part of their family. However, there are still some cultural differences in the way animals are perceived and treated in the country.

Traditionally, dogs have not been widely kept as pets in the UAE due to cultural and religious beliefs that associate dogs with impurity. However, this attitude has been changing in recent years, and many people now keep dogs as pets. Cats are a more popular pet in the UAE and are widely accepted as pets in the country.

Laws Regarding Pet Ownership

The UAE has laws and regulations regarding pet ownership to ensure the welfare of animals in the country. According to the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, owners are required to provide their pets with adequate food, water, shelter, and medical care.

All dogs in the UAE must be registered with the local municipality, and owners must obtain a license to keep a dog. Owners are also required to keep their dogs on a leash in public areas and ensure that their pets do not pose a danger to other people or animals. In addition, there are restrictions on certain dog breeds in the UAE, such as pit bulls and Doberman pinschers.

Major Animal Charities

There are several major animal charities operating in the UAE that work to improve the welfare of animals in the country. These charities provide shelter, medical care, and adoption services for animals in need.


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One such organization is the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC), which provides support and shelter for women and children who have been victims of abuse. The organization also provides shelter and medical care for animals that have been abused or abandoned.

Another organization working to improve animal welfare in the UAE is the Emirates Animal Welfare Society (EAWS). This organization provides rescue and rehabilitation services for animals in need, and also works to promote responsible pet ownership and raise awareness about animal welfare issues in the country.

Pet Supply Stores

There are many pet supply stores in the UAE, both physical and online, that offer a wide range of products for pets. Some of the most popular pet supply stores in the UAE include:

  • Petland: a popular chain of pet stores with locations across the UAE that sells a range of products for pets, including food, toys, and accessories.
  • Pet’s Delight: a pet store chain that sells a wide range of products for pets, including food, grooming supplies, and toys.
  • Pet Arabia: an online pet store that offers a range of pet products, including food, grooming supplies, and accessories.
  • Fetchr: an online pet store that offers a range of pet products, including food, toys, and grooming supplies.

Cultural Taboos or Sensitivities

In the UAE, there are some cultural taboos and sensitivities associated with different types of animals. For example, dogs are often viewed as unclean animals, and some people may feel uncomfortable around them. It is important to be respectful of local customs and traditions when interacting with animals in the UAE.

Another cultural sensitivity in the UAE is the treatment of camels. Camels are highly valued in Emirati culture and are often used for transportation and racing. It is important to treat camels with respect and care when interacting with them.

In conclusion, the UAE has a growing population of pet owners, and the government has implemented laws and regulations to ensure the welfare of animals in the country. There are also several animal charities and rescue organizations that work to provide care and support for animals in need.

While there are some cultural taboos and sensitivities associated with animals in the UAE, it is important to be respectful and mindful of local customs and traditions when interacting with animals. With the right education and awareness, we can all work together to promote animal welfare and create a better future for animals in the UAE.


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