The United Arab Emirates has a very strict, zero-tolerance anti-drugs policy and conducts thorough searches at airports using highly sensitive equipment.
Possession of tiny amounts of illegal drugs has resulted in the imprisonment of travellers entering or transiting the UAE.
Some prescribed and over-the-counter medicines that are available in the US, UK and India, for example, are considered to be controlled substances in the UAE. Any such medication is not allowed into the UAE without prior permission from the UAE Ministry of Health.
Those buying food supplements have to get them from approved pharmacies and health centres after consulting the doctor or the pharmacist.
A doctor’s prescription should be carried along with any medication that is brought into the country. It is not permitted to bring more than three month’s supply of medicine, as per guidelines of the health ministry.
Do also keep in mind that medicines can be carried in your checked in luggage, but if one needs medicines during the flight, they can be placed in the hand luggage, provided one has documentary evidence.
Recently the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHP) issued warning circulars against 12 medicinal drugs mostly containing Sildenafil and Sibutramine and other hazardous chemical substances. While Sildenafil causes a sharp drop in blood pressure, Sibutramine shoots up the blood pressure. Both substances can pose a great risk to heart and arteries patients, diabetes, and children. They can also cause irregular heart beat and even stroke. (See list of UAE restricted and controlled medicines or drugs.)
The health and concerned entities in the country place the drug safety as a top priority, and take a series of precautionary measures regarding any involved in this type of crime.
The UAE health authorities also follow the warning circular updates issued by the world health agencies such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency.
Guidelines of the Ministry of Health for the importation of medicines for personal use:
- Resident and non-resident patients can bring into the country a maximum of three months’ supply of prescription medicine for their personal use.
- Psychotropic medicines can be brought by non-residents to cover their personal consumption for a maximum of three months period.
- Psychotropic medicines can be brought in by resident in a quantity sufficient for one month consumption. However, residents can bring a maximum three month supply if the medicine is not available in the UAE provided that they obtain the prior approval of the Drug Control Department.
- Resident and non-resident patients should not bring narcotic medicines into the country without the prior approval from the Ministry of Health. Each case will be studied and approved. A valid prescription and medical report from the concerned hospital or department will be required.
- Medicines that arrive in the country via postal courier cannot be released to the patient unless the above requirements are fulfilled.
Source Credit: Khaleej Times