Streamlining Your Travel: A Handy Guide to Items Prohibited on Dubai Flights

Oct 09, 2023

Streamlining Your Travel: A Handy Guide to Items Prohibited on Dubai Flights

Residents as well as tourists from abroad are frequently flying and traveling in the United Arab Emirates.

As millions of citizens and families return from their home nations and vacations abroad, this is also one of the busiest times for airlines and airports in the nation.

Many locals and visitors may bring goods that are prohibited or restricted in the nation, and they must obtain permission from the relevant authorities before bringing them here.

Therefore, it is crucial for locals to be informed of such things in order to avoid breaking local regulations and facilitate their travel.

There is a list of things that are prohibited by the government and bringing them in could get you in trouble. Although these things are permitted in a limited number of quantities, one should always be careful.

Here is the list of items that are banned:

  • Controlled/recreational drugs and narcotic substances
  • Frozen poultry and birds
  • Betel leaves (paan)
  • Counterfeit/pirated goods and content
  • Indecent and obscene materials
  • Gambling tools and machines
  • Counterfeit currency
  • Items used in black magic, witchcraft or sorcery
  • Publications and artwork that contradict or challenge Islamic teachings and values


List of items that are restricted and may require prior approval in Dubai:

  • Animals, plants, fertilizers
  • Medicines, drugs, medical equipment
  • Media publications
  • Transmission and wireless devices
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Cosmetics, personal care products for exhibitions
  • E-cigarettes and electronic hookah


However, there are certain items that are exempted from customs duties and will be allowed entry:

  • Gifts whose value does not exceed Dh3,000
  • 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars
  • 500 grams of tobacco (minced or pressed for pipes or minced/pressed tobacco for smoking, tumbâk (pure tobacco) or hookah molasses)
  • Alcoholic beverages not exceeding 4 litres or 2 cartons of beer, each consisting of 24 cans not exceeding 355ml for each can
  • Passengers aged 18 and above must declare cash/cheques, promissory notes, payment orders, precious metals or stones with value exceeding Dh60,000 or equivalent in foreign currencies
  • For passengers under 18, the amount in their possession will be added to the permitted limit of their parent/guardian or accompanier


Condition for exemptions

  • The baggage and gifts must be of a personal nature and not in commercial quantities
  • The passenger must not be one who frequently visits the same customs centre or who trades in the items in his possession
  • The passenger must not be a crew member
  • Cigarettes and alcoholic beverages are not permitted entry and are not subject to duty exemption for passengers under 18 years of age


Abu Dhabi International Airport has also listed items that are banned and permitted.

Each traveller is permitted to bring the following with them into the UAE:

  • 4 litres of alcohol or one carton / 24 cans of beer
  • Dh2,000 worth of cigarettes or 400 sticks of cigarettes
  • Dh3,000 worth of gifts, including perfume
  • Dh3,000 worth of cigars
  • 2 kilograms of tobacco


List of items that are restricted:

  • Drugs such as cannabis, opium etc.
  • A doctor’s prescription should be carried along with any medication
  • Some drugs and medications that may be purchased over-the-counter in other countries are classified as controlled substances in the UAE and are illegal to possess
  • Firearms and dangerous weapons
  • Religious propaganda and offensive printed materials, CDs, videos, or films
  • Pirated video and audiotapes or illegal computer software will be confiscated

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