taking medication into dubai

Simple Guide for taking Medication into Dubai

What do I need to know about taking my medication into Dubai?  Is my medication banned in Dubai?

This simple guide to taking medication into Dubai will answer these important, and often troubling, questions.  Thankfully, the rules for taking medication into Dubai are very straightforward.

The questions on travel forums about bringing medicine to Dubai are endless and the confusion is enormous.   Spend five minutes reading the results of a Google search on ”taking medication into Dubai” you’ll probably be too perplexed and scared ever to visit.  Thankfully, the truth is simply this:

The government of Dubai has no interest in stopping visitors bringing in their legally prescribed medication and wants you to have a healthy, worry-free holiday.

Taking Medication into Dubai – Dubai Banned Medicines List

This mythical list is probably the single most off-putting and confusing part of this whole subject.  There is an awful lot of outdated and contradictory information on the internet.

The simple, and somewhat dull, truth of the situation is that Dubai and the UAE have a controlled drugs list just like every other country in the world.  There’s nothing big, scary or particularly special about Dubai’s controlled medications list.  As long as it’s legally prescribed for you, you can bring medication into Dubai.

Simple Guide for Bringing Prescribed Medications to Dubai

You can bring any legally prescribed medication into Dubai as long as you follow the simple rules:

1 Carry a copy of your prescription or a doctor’s letter to confirm the medication you are bringing to Dubai has been legally prescribed for you

2 Keep the medicine in its original packaging

3 Bring as much as you need for your trip – don’t, for example,  bring six months’ supply of medication for a two week trip

Any time you fly, to any destination, it’s best to pack essential medication in hand luggage in case your checked baggage goes astray.

There is no need to declare medication and it’s very unlikely you will be asked about it.  Information online inferring that all arriving passengers are subject to rigorous searches is simply incorrect.

Taking Medication into DubaiBringing Codeine into Dubai

Codeine is a controlled substance in Dubai and you can’t bring it in without a prescription.  If you use medicine with codeine as an ingredient, you have two choices:

1 Go to your doctor and get a prescription

2 Leave the medicine at home and use an alternative

Taking Medication into DubaiOver the Counter Medication

Some medicines which are available over the counter in other countries require a prescription in Dubai.  This is particularly true of cough and cold remedies which may contain codeine or pseudoephedrine.  It’s essential that you check the ingredients of any OTC medication before you travel to the UAE.

You’ll find a list of restricted medications by brand name and generic name, here.

Taking Medication into Dubai – Medication in Transit

Even if you are just in transit in Dubai you should follow the rules for importing medication for two reasons:

1 An unforeseen circumstance (think an Icelandic volcano or other major disruption) could force and unplanned stop in Dubai

2 You’ll need your prescription for your final destination country anyway

The internet may be full of horror stories but there is no need to worry.  The rules are simple and taking medication into Dubai isn’t really any different to taking it to any other country.

So, go to Dubai and enjoy a healthy, stress-free holiday!

See also:  Dubai – Simple What to Wear Guide


taking medication into dubai


3 thoughts on “Simple Guide for taking Medication into Dubai

  1. Vicky

    This is so helpful thank you! I am going to Dubai tomorrow and was considering going without the diazepam I have for a fear of flying- only take it if there is turbulance but it saves me from a full blown panic attack. Everything I had read on google had made me regret booking the trip! I’m hoping a simple photo copy of my prescription will suffice!


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