If you are traveling to Dubai-Don’t bring in these items or else……..

Posted by allysonrt on May 14, 2008


It is illegal to bring oil paintings, books, magazines and sculptures that do not adhere to the religious and moral values of the country.

  • Counterfeit currency will land you in jail.
  • It is illegal to bring in ivory items.
  • Any harmful or radioactive substances are also banned.
  • Do not exceed the airport duty free allowance: 2,000 cigarettes and 400 cigars. The allowance is 2 litres of spirits and 2 litres of wine for non-Muslims.
  • It is illegal to bring in alcohol via Sharjah Airport.
  • Laser pens or laser emitting devices are not allowed.
  • Some over the counter medicines (OTC) are prohibited and for which you will need your doctor’s prescription.
  • All kinds of weapons and ammunition.
  • Chemical and organic fertilisers are not allowed.
  • Seeds and agricultural arboretums are banned.
  • Telecommunication equipment such as certain types of telephones, two-way radios and communication devices.
  • Any endangered species.


    Dubai: Having medicines in your travel bag is second nature to most people, but if you’re not careful, those medicines to relieve a cough or treat painful gastric ulcers can land you in jail.
    As signatory to the 1988 UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, which enforces two earlier conventions against narcotics and psychotropic substances, the UAE prohibits certain chemicals, and medicines with these chemicals, from entering the country.
    Some medicines, which are over-the-counter in other countries, are also considered controlled items in the UAE as they produce effects that contravene local laws.

    To bring these medicines in, residents and non-residents alike must have a medical prescription from a UAE-licenced physician. For those who received treatment abroad, they must show a medical report from a doctor detailing their illness and the reason for taking the medicines.

    Dr Easa Al Mansouri, director of the Pharmacy and Drug Supply Department at the Ministry of Health, said this was to make sure that the medicines would be used legally. “How can [the customs officer] be sure if [an overseas] prescription is legitimate?” he said.

    “If they have a medical report with them, then nobody should stop them,” added Humaid Al Shamsi, assistant undersecretary for pharmaceutical supplies at the ministry.

    To be on the safe side, both suggested visitors and residents should forego bringing in the ‘dodgy’ medicine and get a prescription upon arrival in the UAE. However, that might be a problem as many people are unaware of these regulations until they land in trouble.

    Although the troublesome medicines are listed in various UAE health websites – there are 365 of them – finding them is a roundabout process.

    “There are no warnings posted at the airport. Travel agencies don’t tell us,” said Dr Mohammad Samir, who recently moved to Dubai.

    “My friend’s mother was stopped once because she brought in a medicine her doctor prescribed to her in the UK that’s not allowed here,” said Dr Baher Massoud, medical director at a pharmaceutical company.

    “It’s very important to know. If we bring a medicine and we don’t know it’s illegal, it may jeopardise [our stay in the UAE],” added Michael Lopez, who recently moved to Dubai from the Philippines.

    Banned: What not to bring

    – The UAE has identified a group of drugs with the potential to lead to addiction if not controlled and has prohibited their entry.
    – For a full list you can visit the UAE ministry of health website: www.moh.gov.ae

    – Many common cold and cough remedies, which you might assume to be harmless, must be accompanied by a prescription. Many of these drugs are available over-the-counter (OTC) in other countries.
    – Some sleeping tablets, painkillers, anti-depressants and hormone replacement therapy drugs are banned here.
    – Poppy seeds, a common ingredient in dishes in some countries, are illegal her.
    – Betel leaves and betel nuts are also banned.
    – All kinds of sex stimulants are banned.
    – Some controlled drugs according to UAE Federal Law are alfentanil, amphetamine, codeine, fentanyl, ketamine, methadone, methyphenidate and morphine.
    – The trade names of some controlled medicines which are registered as medicines in the UAE (i.e. a doctor’s prescription is required) Ketalar, Physeptone, Ritalin, Sosegon, Subutex Ultiva, Abilify, Anexate, Arthrotec, Ativan, Barnetil, Buccastem, Clopixol, Cytotec, 123 Cold, Actifed Compound, Actifed DM, Activelle, Adol Cold, Adol Compound, Adumbran, Akineton, Algaphan, Anafranil, Andriol, Artane, Tussifin with codeine, Unified DM, Vesanoid, Virormone and Zoloft.
    – Please check with the UAE embassy in your country on prohibited or controlled medicines in the UAE before travelling here.


    Guidelines to help travellers avoid bringing in banned medicines to UAE

    By Bassma Al Jandaly, Staff Reporter
    Published: March 08, 2008, 01:09


    Dubai: Each country has its own laws and regulations to protect citizens and visitors.

    Rules and regulations differ from country to country and what is allowed in one country could be prohibited and even considered a crime in another country.

    One rule that differs vastly from some other countries is the bringing of certain pharmaceuticals into the UAE.

    Everyone, including visitors, are subject to the UAE’s laws and regulations and tourists may find that they are different from the rules in their own country.

     As the UAE becomes one of the most popular tourist and transit destinations in the world here are some guidelines to help travellers avoid bringing in any banned medical substance or drugs.



    There is a zero-tolerance policy towards intoxicating drugs and possession. Even a very small amount of illegal drugs found on the person will lead to a long jail sentence. Drug trafficking will lead to a life sentence or the death penalty.

     But there are certain medicinal drugs, even over-the-counter drugs, which although legal when taken under a doctor’s supervision in one’s home country, could land that person in jail in the UAE. Some over-the-counter drugs are considered controlled items in the UAE as they produce effects that contravene local laws.

    The presence of these illegal drugs is detected by blood or urine tests, and even very small quantities of such medicines are subject to prosecution by the authorities.

    Before coming here it is wise to be informed that possession of a number of pharmaceuticals could land you in trouble here.

    If you are undergoing medical treatment in your country and you are travelling to the UAE, be sure to carry with you a doctor’s prescription of the medication which you are bringing.

    Possession of certain prescribed medicines (especially those containing codeine, a common ingredient for pain relief and cold and flu medication) will land you in jail here.

    There are 365 such medicines listed on the UAE’s health ministry’s website.

    Be aware also that there are no warnings posted at airports. Travel agencies may not inform you of such restrictions.



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