UAE Laws

Banned Items and Restricted Ingredients in the UAE

There is no tolerance for drug trafficking or drug-related offence. There is a harsh penalty for smuggling, trafficking and possessing drugs.

Banned items include pornographic material, non-Islamic religious pamphlets for missionary activities, fireworks, ivory, weapons & ammunition, chemical and organic fertilizers, laser pens, radar jammers/other unauthorized communication devices, endangered animal species, and any objects, sculptures, paintings, books or magazines which do not adhere to the religious and moral values of the UAE, according to Dubai.ae.

Introducing the pornographic materials in the form of magazines, books, soft copies (in your mobile phone, iPad or laptop) into the United Arab Emirates are illegal. However, magazines, books, pamphlets, videos you are carrying may be subject to scrutiny and may be censored.

Importing pork products are not legal in the UAE.

Drug trafficking in UAE

There is no tolerance for drug trafficking or drug-related offence. There is a harsh penalty for smuggling, trafficking and possessing drugs, even if the drug has few grammes volume. Punishment for drug trafficking can be the death penalty and possessing drugs can lead to a minimum 4-year jail, even if possession is the smallest amount of drug which is illegal in the UAE. The UAE authorities count the existence of narcotics in your blood as the possession.

You also must be careful about herbal highs, like Spice, which are illegal contents in the United Arab Emirates. In the case, you’re a transit passenger at the UAE airport on your way to other destination. Airports have installed advanced technology for the security of the airport, so transiting visitors carrying drugs even in smallest amount may face prosecution.

Carrying Body Protection Equipment to the UAE

Body protection equipment like cleaning kits, gun belts, or weapons/ammunition, they require permission before taking them with you in transit or entering in the UAE. It doesn’t matter what the small quantity is, or for what purpose you are taking them.

Carrying Security Equipment to the UAE

Other equipment such as listening or recording devices, satellite phones, high-power cameras, radio transmitters or binoculars may be required a license for using them in the UAE. Electronic cigarettes are also illegal in the UAE.

Banned and Prohibited Items in Dubai

There are particular items that are banned from/to importing/exporting.

1. All kinds of Narcotic drugs (Hashish, Cocaine, Heroin, Poppy Seeds, Hallucination Pills, etc..).
2. Goods intended to be imported from boycotted countries.
3. Goods from Israeli origin or bearing Israeli trademarks or logos
4. Crude Ivory and Rhinoceros horn.
5. Gambling tools and machineries.
6. Three layers fishing nets.
7. Original engravings, prints, lithographs, sculpture and statues in any material.
8. Used, reconditioned and inlaid tires.
9. Radiation polluted substances.
10. Printed publications, oil paintings, photographs, pictures, cards, books, magazines stony sculptures and mannequins which contradict Islamic teachings, decencies, or deliberately implying immorality or turmoil.
11. Any other goods, the importation of which is prohibited under the authority of U.A.E. customs laws or any other laws in the country.
12. Forged and duplicate currency.
13. Cooked and home-made foods.

SOURCE: Dubai Customs

There are chemicals or drugs that are banned in the UAE, therefore it’s necessary to make sure that the medicines you’re carrying do not contain a prohibited ingredient.

If you’re carrying bakery products, be careful about poppy seeds. Bakery products might contain poppy seeds. Banned items are also niswar, gutkha, betel leaf or nuts, qat leaf.

According to the GulfNews.com, “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 here. 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.”

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Arif Mohammad

I'm a blogger and a content writer at Mudawwana.com, Higher Diploma in Human Nutrition (Credit-rated in EQF Level 5), Professional Education Program in Nutrition (Wageningen University, the Netherlands). Studied Medieval Arab-Islamic History, Constitutional & Legal Studies of the Muslim World, Islamophobia studies & Islamic Law.

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