Apartment dwellers in a part of the United Arab Emirates have received blanket eviction notices — for their pets.

Officials in Ajman, an emirate north of Dubai, have banned pets such as dogs and cats from apartments and put a two-dog limit for single-family houses. Abu Dhabi's The National newspaper on Monday quotes top Ajman official Sheik Rashid Humaid Al Nuaimi as saying the new rule will be phased in, starting now, for health and sanitary reasons.

The report says pets will be only allowed in single-family homes with outdoor space.

Pet ownership is not part of traditional Emirati culture, but the UAE has millions of expatriate residents who have dogs, cats and other pets.

Ajman is one of seven semi-autonomous emirates, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, in the UAE.