UAE Travel: list of Prohibited Items for Residents and Tourists

Asma Ahmed - | UAE

Residents must be aware of these goods in order to avoid breaking local regulations.

Restricted and Permitted Items at UAE Airports

The UAE's airports are currently experiencing a substantial influx of passenger traffic, comprising both residents and foreign tourists. This period marks a peak for airlines and airports in the country, as they manage the influx of millions of residents and families returning from vacations and visits abroad.

As travelers arrive, it's important to note that some items may be restricted or banned in the country. Residents and tourists alike must secure approvals from the relevant authorities before bringing such items into the UAE, ensuring a smooth and lawful journey.

A list of prohibited items has been established by authorities, and bringing these items into the country can result in legal consequences. However, specific quantities of some of these items are permitted:

Prohibited Items:

  • Narcotics and controlled/recreational drugs
  • Poultry and birds that have been frozen
  • Paan (betel leaves)
  • Counterfeit/pirated merchandise and content
  • vulgar and indecent materials
  • Machines and gadgets for gambling
  • counterfeit money
  • Black magic, witchcraft, or sorcery items
  • Publications and artwork that contradict or criticize Islamic principles and values are prohibited.

Restricted Items Requiring 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

Certain items, however, are exempt from customs duties and will be allowed entry:

  • Gifts worth less than Dh3,000 (400 cigarettes or 50 cigars)
  • 500g of tobacco
  • 4 liters of alcoholic beverages or 2 cartons of beer
  • Passengers above the age of 18 must report any cash, checks, precious metals, or stones worth more than Dh60,000.

Exemptions come with conditions:

  • Gifts and luggage must be for personal use only; business usage is not permitted.
  • Passengers should refrain from trading or making repeated trips to the same customs office.
  • Crew members are not permitted.

Abu Dhabi International Airport also provides guidelines:

Each traveler can bring:

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

Restricted Items:

  1. Drugs, with few exceptions, that need a prescription from a doctor
  2. Risky weapons and firearms
  3. Religious agitprop and objectionable content
  4. Media piracy and illegal software

Moreover, travelers can ensure a smooth trip and stay out of legal trouble when entering the UAE by abiding by these rules.

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Asma Ahmed
Asma Ahmed
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