The UAE has banned the flying of drones in the country for recreational use, following the recent drone and missile attacks by Yemen's Houthi-allied armed forces targeting sites in Abu Dhabi.
According to the country's official WAM news agency, on Saturday the Ministry of Interior prohibited "all flying operations for owners, practitioners and enthusiasts of drones, including drones and light sports aircraft"
"Anyone performing these activities during that period and disregarding guidelines will be subject to legal liabilities," it added. The ban was implemented with immediate effect and will last for one month. However, companies that have contracts or commercial projects which rely on using drones are able to approach the authorities for the "necessary exceptions and permits".
Although last week's attack was not mentioned, the reason for the decision was due to "misuse spotted recently" where users were "trespassing into areas where these types of activities are prohibited".
Codenamed Hurricane Yemen, the operation according to the Houthi military spokesperson Brigadier General Yahya Saree involved Samad-3 drones, Quds-2 cruise missiles and a Zulfiqar ballistic missile and was in response to the "escalation of the aggression" of the Saudi-led coalition, which the UAE is part of. The targets were an oil facility and Abu Dhabi's airport, in addition to Dubai airport, it has been claimed. There were three fatalities and six wounded.
The Saudi-led coalition responded with a series of deadly air strikes across the country and the capital Sanaa. A prison in the northern Houthi heartland of Saada was also bombed, resulting in at least 80 deaths and 200 wounded.
Yesterday, the UAE said it foiled a second missile attack by the Houthis involving two ballistic missiles. The attack, referred to as "Hurricane Yemen 2" by the Houthis included targeting the Al-Dhafra Air Base in Abu Dhabi which hosts US forces and sites in southern Saudi Arabia.
On Friday, Saree reiterated his warnings to the UAE, calling on foreign companies in the country "to leave because they invest in an unsafe country and the rulers of this country continue in their aggression against Yemen."
Yesterday the Houthi movement's spokesperson Mohammed Abdulsalam warned in a televised interview of further attacks against UAE military and economic institutions if it "does not stop its blatant interference" in Yemen. "Designating [the Houthis] as a terrorist organisation has no value and will never affect the course of battle," he added.