Traditional routing protocols cannot provide a seamless connectivity in a highly dynamic and dense mobile ad hoc network of UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) nodes, due to frequent link breaks, high congestion and the quality of service (QoS) demands of time-sensitive and high data-rate data delivery. In addition, the control overhead and delay increase significantly in these schemes with the increase in the network size. Proactive routing algorithms, such as the OLSR (optimized link state routing) protocol, are widely used in the literature to accommodate strict demands on time-bound data delivery. OLSR maintains routes to all reachable nodes in the network which minimizes the route discovery time, but incurs a huge control overhead. To address this issue, we propose two algorithms which reduce the control traffic overhead at the cost of a minimal drop in PDR (packet delivery ratio) as compared to the standard OLSR protocol. It is observed that the routing schemes which use multiple metrics for the route selection can significantly improve the QoS of the flow as compared to the single-metric (i.e., shortest hop) based route selection schemes, such as OLSR. Furthermore, they can provide quality-aware routes for complex scenarios where flows may have time-varying QoS requirements. Therefore, we have proposed a routing scheme using the hop count, residual link lifetime and buffer occupancy. Our scheme outperforms the standard OLSR protocol in every tested scenario, including medium and high node mobility with low, medium and high degree of congestion. Furthermore, our proposed scheme uses only 1-hop information for the route selection which significantly reduces the overhead and delay as compared to those multi-metric based routing schemes which require global knowledge for their route selection.