United Arab Emirates (UAE) home to both Emirates (Dubai) and Etihad (Abu Dhabi) made headlines last month after releasing very confusing guidelines (read more here) for travelers and those transiting that they would need to get advance approval for ALL medicines by filing out very intrusive form, uploading passport and travel information.
Now, ministry has clarified that this approval process doesn’t apply for “regular” medication and only for narcotic-based, psychotropic and controlled ones (still all very common today).
Here are the updated guidelines (if anyone can make sense what they mean):
Here’s an excerpt from the Gulf News (access their piece here):
The ministry spokesperson had said that travellers carrying any kind of personal medication to the UAE would require to mandatorily register on the ministry’s website and obtain approval to carry them.
The ministry has now clarified that this only applies to narcotic-based, psychotropic and controlled medicines and is not mandatory for regular medicines.
The banned list also contains medicines that are not registered in the UAE, herbal medicines that might contain some banned substances, medical devices that might contain banned medication and medicines that have been discontinued in the UAE.
Other than the list of the medicines and chemical compositions mentioned on the website, all other medicines are deemed ‘regular’ or prescription-only medication (POM).
Here’s 77 page guide how to fill out the required online form that you can access here:
UAE is not very good at communicating their “rules” and readers were commenting earlier that many of these “banned” substances that required clearance (even now) were very common.
Not sure why the need to get approval for prescription medication before of your trip? Wouldn’t it be enough to carry your prescriptions in case the customs want to have a closer look at your pills?
It was inconceivable that UAE would even had resources in place to go through all the applications that theoretically travelers would have needed to file if ALL medication would have needed to be declared in advance.