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Banned Items

Banned Medication and Other Items

The UAE government prohibits travelers coming to or passing through the UAE from carrying certain items. These include but are not limited to weapons and ammunition, narcotics, pornographic materials, non-Islamic religious pamphlets for missionary activities, fireworks, ivory, chemicals, fertilizers, and any objects that do not adhere to the religious and moral values of the UAE. For a more complete list of banned items, please visit the Dubai government’s website here.

Certain substances in prescribed or over-the-counter medicine are also controlled or restricted in the UAE. Narcotics are also absolutely prohibited, and thorough searches are conducted at the airport. Even very small amounts found on a person or in luggage will result in imprisonment and deportation.

The UAE Ministry of Health regularly updates its report for controlled and restricted medicine on its website (Arabic). Some medicines may appear on the list under generic names or include ingredients that are included on the list, so it is strongly recommended that travelers contact the Drug Control Department (DCD) to inquire about specific medicine and whether and how it may be brought into the UAE. The DCD will evaluate the case and issue its approval if warranted. All prescribed medication, whether restricted or regular, must be clearly labeled and accompanied by a doctor’s prescription and medical report, both of which should also be notarized and attested by the state, the U.S. Department of State, and the UAE Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Only one month’s supply of controlled and restricted medicine can be brought into the country. For non-controlled prescription medicine, up to three months’ supply can be brought in.

You can contact the Drug Control Department of the UAE Ministry of Health at +971-2-611-7342 or +971-2-633-4958 (fax is +971-2-631-3742), and check their website for the latest updates.

NOTE: The information and regulations of the Drug Control Department in the UAE Ministry of Health are subject to changes and updates. The US Consulate General cannot take any responsibility in regard to the consequences of traveling without checking with the DCD and seeking its approval prior to arriving in the UAE.