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Prescription medicines into Dubai

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Prescription medicines into Dubai

Old 19th Jul 2019, 00:25
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Prescription medicines into Dubai

A question for those living in the UAE. My wife and daughter are travelling to Europe next week and due to her medical condition will be breaking their journey both ways in Dubai for a couple of days to rest and recover as to do it in one hop is too arduous for her. They are booked on Emirates. Since booking months ago we have stumbled upon websites that advise us that certain medications ( controlled drugs )are banned in the UAE . Even Codeine is banned can you believe it. A couple of these "prescribed controlled drugs" are in her medications.
Question....how serious are they in the UAE about enforcing this? How do locals get by as these medications are common in western countries, or are they very old laws that are not enforced any more?
Unfortunately her travel agent never told her about any of this at the time of booking and if they had she would have traveled via Singapore instead and given Emirates a miss.
Any info would be appreciated.
mostlytossas is offline  
Old 19th Jul 2019, 00:54
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They are very serious. Very serious.
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 02:45
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Get a letter frm the doctor stating the name/s of the medication and the reason (type of illness).

Check with Emirates locally with the letter from the doctor and get a response from them in black and white. They should be able to help.

Another option is to ask if they have an airside/transit hotel so that you can break the journey there.

Finally declare meds on arrival Dubai and be prepared to source locally if the meds get conficated. Medical insurance to cover this.

Good luck.
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 04:45
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Finally declare meds on arrival Dubai and be prepared to source locally if the meds get conficated. Medical insurance to cover this.


they are transiting...if at all possible travel without the meds...as mentioned abov very serious and more than one news story has emerged when the traveller thought they had all the proper documentation and had done everything right only to find out the hard way they had not...
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 08:38
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A stay airside at the airport hotel might indeed be your safest bet. Not the best place in town but you won't be walking out for fresh air anywhere in Dubai mid July...
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 10:30
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Originally Posted by atakacs View Post
A stay airside at the airport hotel might indeed be your safest bet. Not the best place in town but you won't be walking out for fresh air anywhere in Dubai mid July...

doesn't matter, they catch people when passing through transit security....
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 11:21
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Have a look at this website:

UAE MOH - Issuing permission to import medicines for personal use

You can submit a request online to carry controlled drugs into the UAE for personal use. Providing the Ministry of Health approves your request, you simply take this approval with you when you travel. This is not mandatory but the other option is declaring what you have with customs when you arrive, which could be far more time consuming and perhaps problematic.
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Old 21st Jul 2019, 01:51
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Firstly thank you all that took the time to help with advise. As a return courtesy I thought I would let you know what we are going to do about it all. Pretty much what Anilv suggested. That is she has been to her Doctor and who has written a letter stating all her Medications and what they are for with his contact details included. A couple of the opioid based drugs she takes as needed will be left home and sourced in Ireland if required. The others she has to take so will take a double dose before landing then declare them on entry and if they are are confiscated well bad luck and again will purchase more on arrival in Ireland. She has a letter to explain that to a local GP too. We are hoping they may get held in storage then given back to her on departing Dubai but don't know if that is possible as they are expensive.
The form suggested by Emma R we were aware of thanks anyway but no use to us as it takes up to 5 days for a reply and they leave tomorrow.
So that is it, we will see how they go.
As a future reference would anyone know if the same restrictions to medical drugs apply in Qatar? As flying with them is a option next time we go to Europe or would we be better to route via Singapore,Bangkok or Hong Kong?
Thanks again
Mostlytossas
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Old 21st Jul 2019, 08:56
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Join Date: Dec 2017
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Be careful with the double dosing approach, if itís in your bloodstream it still qualifies as possession if they want to throw the book at you

iím not certain of the rules in Qatar but I would imagine they would be similar

as an aside Japan is also pretty strict especially on codeine so itís not limited to the middle east
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Old 21st Jul 2019, 11:10
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Originally Posted by Buswinker View Post
iím not certain of the rules in Qatar but I would imagine they would be similar
I know of someone that ended up staying a whole night in detention upon arrival to Doha while awaiting for trial for carrying medicines. He carried the prescription from his GP at the States with him and this is what saved him during trial. He wasn't given the chance to show the prescription, in a moment notice he was behind bars.
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