Are customs strict in Dubai?
What is and is not allowed when you go on holiday to Dubai. Let’s start with things that are definitely not allowed, such as drugs (including soft drugs). Some form of drugs is severely punished in the United Arab Emirates, even though the amount is zero!
There are even medicines that contain certain substances such as codeine that are not permitted without a declaration!
What is totality not allowed in Dubai?
- Recreational drugs and narcotics, a few grams of Weed, for example, can already serve a prison sentence of a few years!
- Certain medicines
- False money
- Items used for black magic, witchcraft or sorcery
Publications and illustrations that contradict or question the values of Islam
- Exotic, protected and endangered animals
- Certain dog breeds
- Gambling attributes and / or machines, everything related to gambling is forbidden in Dubai, so you won’t find any casinos here.
We go deeper into each topic on the page.
Zero tolerance for drugs
There is a total zero tolerance for controlled or recreational soft or hard drugs in Dubai! A miniscule amount of Weed is enough to get a minimum 2-year prison sentence!
When your drugs are offered in Dubai, refuse this at all times! This is really not done in Dubai.
An example: A British man was sentenced to 2 years in jail for suspected possession of cannabis. However, he had nothing in his possession, but tested positive for cannabis. The man was still in a rush just before the flight, making him look suspicious.
The result was an effective prison sentence of 2 years.
Cigarettes and alcohol
You can import cigarettes, cigars and alcohol if:
- You are 18 years or older
- The amount of alcoholic beverages and beers does not exceed 4 liters or 2 trays of beer (each consisting of 24 cans with a capacity of less than 355 ml)
- You have a maximum of 400 cigarettes with you and this does not exceed the value of 2000 AED.
- The value of the cigars is no more than 3000 AED
All information about the use of cigarettes and alcohol can be found on the page laws and rules.
Certain medications banned in Dubai.
Tourists must be careful with medicines that they bring from their own country! Some medications may contain substances that are banned in the Dubai, leading to the arrest of those who transport them!
In this way you may not bring more medicines than necessary for the time of your planned stay.
Some medicines contain substances that are prohibited in Dubai, such as codeine that is in certain medicines that are perfectly legal with us, but you can take a limited amount of them with you.
If you would like to take such medicines, it is advisable to surf to the website of the Ministry of Health and Prevention. If you cannot find a solution, contact the embassy of your home country.
Bringing cash to Dubai?
What restrictions are there on bringing cash to Dubai?
When you travel to Dubai and you have a large sum of cash with you, you have to have it cleared through customs. With a large sum we speak of an equivalent amount to 100,000 AED, converted to approximately USD 27,000, GBP 21,000.
If you are from an EU country you are required to state this from € 10,000. This comes to around 40,000 AED.
To convert your own currency to AED or vice versa you can go to https://www.xe.com
What food can you bring into Dubai?
- 20 kg of yogurt
- 50 liters of oil (including olive oil)
- 10 kg of fruit and vegetables
- 100 kg dates
- 10 kg of sweets and bread (beware with poppy seeds on bread, poppy seeds are forbidden in Dubai)
- 30 kg of cereals, breakfast cereals and red meat
- 10 kg of fish and seafood
- 500 g caviar
- 11 kg of eggs
- 20 kg of honey and other sugar products
- 5 kg of herbs and spices, including vinegar, orange blossom water and rose water
- 500 g of saffron
- 10 kg of special food, eg baby food
- 20 liters of drinks and syrups, including water
- 5 kg of juice concentrates
- 25 kg canned food
Can you bring pets to Dubai?
Taking your dog or cat to Dubai is possible unless you have a permit from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. You must also be in possession of a health certificate, passport and the details of your pet’s microchip.
Some pets must be tested for rabies before they can enter the United Arab Emirates. More info on the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment website.
Contact Customs in Dubai
If your questions with this page are not answered, you can contact customs directly.
Telephone: +9714 417 7777
Fax: +9714 417 6316
Address: Client Relationship Section, Client Management Department, Dubai Customs, PO Box 63 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm