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Destinations / Itineraries Dubai customs

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Mary, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. Mary

    Mary Reader

    Hi Lucky,

    How strict is Dubai customs? I have planned a trip to Dubai, with first class awards on Ethiad and Emirates. I've now discovered that my medical prescription, is on the banned substance list? It says that Dubai has a zero tolerance policy and there is a 4 year sentence. Is this really true?! I've been taking this medicine for the past five years and will probably need to keep doing so. I've read that a doctor's prescription, needs to be notarized, then you need a letter from your home state Secretary of Health (?) then the U.S. government's Secretary of Health (?) and finally approval by the Dubai Ministry of Health? Do you know if any of this is true? What has been your personal experience going through Dubai customs? I will cancel my trip if I need to, although it would be a great disappointment, because I worked so hard to earn the miles for this wonderful trip.

    Sincerely,
    Mary
     
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  2. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    @Mary -- This is not something you want to get wrong. I've never even been glanced at in Dubai customs, but the penalties are outrageous, and not worth risking, in my opinion.

    So I would go ahead and follow the rules -- You don't need to cancel your trip, just do the paperwork (even though it's annoying).
     
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  3. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

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    Is there a place with a lists of substances banned from being brought into Dubai?
     
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  4. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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  5. Sean M.

    Sean M. Member

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    99+% of people will never be checked. If you are among the fraction of people who are checked and if the paperwork is not in order, you can expect a lengthy jail sentence followed by deportation. Ignorance of the law is not a valid defense. As a Westerner, you will probably get "pardoned" after a few weeks and deported quietly, but even a few weeks in the local jail isn't fun.
     
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  6. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    @Sean M. -- Can I pick your brain further? I have a nasty inner ear situation at present, and have a cocktail prescribed for every 12 hours of flight, one ingredient of which is Pseudoephedrine branded as Sudafed.

    Sudafed itself isn't on the list that I can see, but about a dozen other things containing that dose of Pseudoephedrine are. I'll only have three tablets with me, so it's not a huge deal to just toss them and buy more, but any idea as to if agents going by the official drug names versus ingredients?

    Just realized that the note the doc wrote for me is on scratch paper, not stationery, so it looks pretty sketchy.
     
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  7. Samoa

    Samoa New Member

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    I did the same research a few weeks ago. In summary, it seems like many suggest that: "According to the medical department of the United Arab Embassy in London, any medication is acceptable if it has been prescribed by a doctor and the passenger has a prescription including name, address and date of birth."

    But to be on the safe side, I would send an email (not letters?!) to the drug department and keep a copy of their response with me:
    "If you have any further queries, the Embassy recommends that you contact the Registration and Drug Control Department of the Ministry of Health to check whether your medication is on the controlled list and as such requires prior permission for importation. The Department can be contacted by e-mailing: [email protected] or [email protected] or by fax +971 2 631 3724. "
     
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  8. Sean M.

    Sean M. Member

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    Unfortunately, like most things in the UAE, there is no consistency in policy interpretation or enforcement. With only 3 pills and a somewhat legitimate looking medical prescription, you probably wouldn't have an issue even if you were searched. More likely you would never even be searched to begin with.
     
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