How to make drone (survey or other) business in MENA

Hi Folks,

Being stationed in MENA (Gulf), how can I make business with basic knowledge of GPS drones?

Using Emlid ecosystem.

Apart from drone I have knowledge of Linux, programming and System Engineering.

Who consumes the surveying/geodesist data/services? Can it be profitable commercial business?

PS: I see here other people from MENA, thus the question.

I had to Google it, but is that in the middle east? The first thing I would look at is where your primary coverage area would be and what the flight restrictions are. I know that they can be pretty tough in some areas.

Do you have a business plan? What is your end goal?

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No business plan, location is UAE - all drone operations must be licensed.

Goal is just to understand if there can be any business model applied to my hobby :slight_smile:

But firstly - I need to understand - who needs precise geodesist data? How RTK works? I can see that people have fleets of drones. It means either research or commercial work.

Thus my question - what is are subjects of the research and what is the commercial work being done?


It seems to me that all your answers can be found on Google, and then be explained much better and more precise that can be done in a forum-post.

If you want to start a business, there are more or less 2 approaches:

  • You have at lot experience within the field of work (this can always be gained, but will take time (and failures), and can find an investor to help you get started (or you have the money already).
  • You have a lot of money to invest in others, and then hope they with proper business advice can make their knowledge earn back the investment and then some.

You can’t expect answers to be delivered on a silver-platter, simply because we don’t have them, and even if we have them, you might find that one business case does apply to your local environment.

I suggest googling to:

  • find out how RTK works
  • find out what a surveyor does for a living
  • find out his responsibilities
  • find out new technologies/inventions that can disrupt/revolutionize this line of work

Yes, it might take longer, and be more frustrating, but the answer will be better, longer, more precise, and in the end, make you smarter as well.


Actually thats the sort of information I was looking for, to start with!

I will search, but now with knowledge that I am searching in right direction.


The use of drones is really up to your imagination. There has been so much progress over this past year alone that there is a large enough user base to begin demanding certain functionalities. The simplest form would be simple aerial marketing and /or progress photos. Next would be orthomosaic maps. You basically make a flight with certain characteristics and you natively receive a single high resolution map of the entire area surveyed. In the U.S. I am using this for municipalities and developer master planning and GIS departmental assistance. I work for a construction company so progress maps with different information overlayed are a huge benefit.
All that said there is a vast amount of additional data that can be generated from that one flight alone. We are still creating business cases as we go so study a little and start getting contacts that you can learn a little about their data use so you can see where the drone can easily fit without disruption to a workflow.

Agriculture, Municipalities, Archaeology, Earth Sciences, Construction, Real Estate and Development are a few of the prime clients as of now.

Just Google or search this forum or and you will find allot of guidance on the following terms.

  • Orthomosaic
  • GeoTiff
  • DXF
  • Contours
  • Point Cloud
  • DEM
  • DSM
  • DTM
  • TIN

Also be aware that if you are not a registered (read, educated) land surveyor by trade, you might face legal difficulties, as you can’t offer some products with the needed approval stamp.
At least that is how it here, so there are certain products I would have to market under another name, and without the guarantee, that a land surveyor can attach to his products.

The whole mapping part is one such example. While my maps might be just as good, or maybe even better, they cannot be used for measuring tasks (like placing a building, placing a road etc), because of the above.

From a business point of view, you then just hire one, problem solved :smiley:


Yep, stay away from property lines and easements.


Don’t forget about YouTube! ; )

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Thats super useful! Thank you very much!!

I will also search the keywords, this is precious info.

Got it. I will need a certified surveyor in the team.

This a very good info about progress maps.

There is many construction going on here.

In the US you only need a surveyor if you are doing work that deals with dedications to public record. Creating data references from existing monumentation is fine. Private work that doesn’t disturb adjoining properties is fine. GCP’s are fine. As long as we are not messing with existing dedicated monumentation or setting other permanent control points that the public can access then there is nothing anyone can do besides take you to court. Very unlikely someone will actually go that far if you abide by the current laws.


I registered domain name now.

Will be filling the web site and looking for investors. One idea is simple: progress maps.

Another idea - sand dunes migration monitoring, desert nature & climate monitoring.


Greate idea.
Its highly valuable any work for a better climate. Should be on anybodys nr1 priority list.
I am constantly thinking a way to utilize Reach in such way.


Unexpectedly and surprisingly easily I have found partners and now we are making Drone startup here.

Initial orientation will be:

  • Falcon training with fast flyer quadcopter carrying a bait
  • Falcon filming

We will prepare sample products and exhibit on falcon tournament in September.

Now I need to construct drone which can fly 130km/h and carry 300g payload (bait).

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The exhibition/falcon tournament starts 27th August.
Thus busy preparing - sorry for no updates in Project Share section.

We will present a whole model range there:

  • New model - X4 for Falcon Training (65-70 km/h) - mainstream product
  • New Experimental EDF X4 for Falcon Training (160-180km/h) - experimental product
  • Heavy 800mm X8 for DSLR (Titanium Weaver Mk1)

Photos will come soon.

Despair DJI.

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This model does not have a name yet.
The box is a case for 10Ah 6S.

Flight time expected 5 minutes.
Speed - hopefully very fast… Like 180km/h.


The Alabama Chrome adds a nice touch.


Wow it looks more like turbofan jet engines than electric. The RPM must be off the charts.


So must the frequency of the sound coming from those :stuck_out_tongue: