Travellers should be warned about banned narcotics and controlled medicines in Dubai and the UAE
Guidelines with a banned list of medicines, narcotics and psychotropic medication have been released as a ministerial decree to prevent travellers from bringing prohibited medication into the UAE.
With the banned list including medicines such as codeine, pseudoephiderine and pholcodine, which are commonly found in pain killers and cough syrups, tourists coming into Dubai and the UAE are encouraged to check their medication before travelling. Even prescribed medicines must be within the UAE laws and restrictions and you can only carry the required quantity.
Visitors are advised to contact the Ministry of Health drug control department to check whether their medication is on the controlled list and if it needs prior permission to be brought into the country, as failure to do so could lead to punishment.
However, we’ve also prepared a guideline for tourists travelling with medication in the UAE, with all the information you need on banned and controlled medicines. To sum it up: check the banned list, only carry the required amount and take a valid medical prescription with you...
What you need to know:
The UAE conducts thorough searches at its airports, with a zero-tolerance for drug related offices, therefore it’s important for tourists to be extra vigilant when it comes to their medication and prescriptions.
Any personal medicines will be subject to inspection by the ministry’s inspectors and the customs department at the port of entry into the UAE, so even if you’re just passing through the airport the restrictions still apply to you. You must also note that just because the drugs or medication are allowed in your own country, it does not mean they are permitted in the UAE.
If you are travelling with medication:
If you’re travelling with controlled medicines that are strictly for personal use then you will also have to carry a valid medical prescription from the country of origin. If the original prescription is not available, then you will need to carry an attested prescription instead.
If you’re staying in the UAE then an additional authenticated certificate or permit from the relevant health authority is also needed.
The amount of medicine that you can bring into UAE:
In the case of controlled medicines for personal use, the amount of medicines cannot exceed more than 30 days of treatment.
For regular medicines which aren’t on the controlled list, known as prescription-only medicines, you must carry your valid medical prescription and the amount of medicine you carry cannot exceed more than 3 months of treatment.
The list of banned medicines:
Find the full list of banned and controlled medicines here.