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Banned substances in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a very strict, zero-tolerance anti-drugs policy and conducts thorough searches at its airports, using highly sensitive equipment. Possession of even tiny amounts of illegal drugs has resulted in severe punishments to travellers entering or transiting the UAE.

Travelling to the UAE with personal medicine

If you are carrying controlled medication into the UAE, you have the option for prior approval through the Ministry of Health and Prevention website:

The conditions for carrying personal medicines include the following:

  • If it is a controlled/psychotropic/narcotic; you have to keep a copy of the medical prescription including the diagnosis which should be provided by your doctor at the time of prescribing. The quantity must not exceed more than one month’s supply.
  • If it is not under the above category i.e. POM (prescription only medication), you have to keep a valid medical prescription from your doctor. The quantity must not exceed more than 3 months’ supply.

For more details visit Ministry of Health and Prevention website.

Before you leave for the airport:

Travellers to the UAE are strongly advised to familiarise themselves with what medications they can and cannot bring into the country. 

Please contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of the United Arab Emirates for advice if you are considering taking medications or other drugs into the UAE.

List of United Arab Emirates consulates(Opens an external website in a new tab)