Before you pack your suitcase! Bringing Prescription Medicine to the UAE

A quick guide on to how to get prior online approval for medication following the The UAE Ministry of Health announcement of a new approval process.

New Online Requirements

October 2018

Post Updated December 2018 with new information – see below.

The UAE Ministry of Health announced the requirement for all tourists and residents entering the UAE to complete an electronic form to get online approval to carry any kind of medication for personal use, prior to entering the UAE.

What the regulations say 

Updated 8th December 2018 – See below image, this taken from the MOH website.

 “In order to carry personal medication, both controlled and regular medication, it is now mandatory for all passengers entering UAE to get this prior approval from the ministry to carry their prescription-based medication.

Supervised medicines with a prescription are allowed for one-month entry. Other medicines with a prescription are allowed for three-months entry. Any medicine that does not meet these requirements will be seized at the airport.

The onus is on passengers should know the law even if the medicine is legal in their country of origin, thereby there will be no excuse for importing medicines without a prescription or categorised as drugs.”

*Dr Ameen Hussain Al Amiri, assistant undersecretary for Licencing and Public Health Policy at the Ministry of Health.

As it is now ‘visitor season’ in the UAE and I’m expecting to travel soon, I thought I would do some research to find out how this is going to work in practice.

Please note it’s early days for the implementation of these new regulations, so I’m publishing what I’ve found out, but things may change so please do your own research.

Cost of Service : FREE


Issuing permission to import medicines for personal use

MOH Website – Details of the process and all relevant PDF documents

MOH LOGIN – Login page to start the 3 step online process.

PROCESS GUIDELINES – Guidance of the process – see pages 5-6 and pages 31-36

Guidelines for carrying of personal medicines with travelers into the UAE – guidelines and listing

Annex to travelers guidelines-1 ~ Alphabetical list of controlled Narcotics / Psychotropics / Controlled and Semi Controlled drugs plus level of restrictions

Further help:

Email: or Tel +971 2 652 0500

Travel Advice from Gov UK – Guidance from Gov UK for travel to the UAE

The Process

STEP 1 – Set up a User Profile 

Visit the Ministry of Health website and set up a user profile.


(see pages 5 &6 of the process guidelines)


STEP 2  – Complete your personal information.

You’ll need your Emirates ID and Passport information as well as travel dates

(see pages 33 of the process guidelines)

STEP 3 – Provide details of the medicine.  

You will need details of dosage etc

You can add an additional record for each type of medicine.

Page 33 of the process guidelines

STEP 4 – Upload documents

Upload a copy of the Prescription and Medical Report

SUBMIT your application

Page 33 of the process guidelines.

STEP 5 – Approval

Once approved the certificate will be available for download in your MOH account.

Download a copy of your approval certificate


This is a new process and as yet I have not yet tried it so can’t share my personal experiences.

The website says there is a 5 day turn around on approval, whilst Dr Al Amiri mentioned 1 day. Be prepared and complete the process early and expect some amendments or changes to the process or regulations from time to time.

Whilst I will try and keep this post updated with changes, always do your own due diligence and research using the links above in the Useful Resources section.


This appears to be the most recent update (Dec 2018) – Requirement only for narcotic, psychotropic and controlled medications (see link below for that listing).

The electronic pre approvals service is now optional rather than mandatory, but medicines have to be declared on arrival in the UAE.

Attestation of documents

My understanding of this, is that attestation is only required for medicines with narcotic or psychotropic substances *

*clarification being sought

Additional Information

Dr Al Amiri advised passengers to check with their country’s health authorities if the medicines have any narcotic or psychotropic substances. The prescription should be attested by the official authorities according to the accredited assets to avoid any sanction.

Allaying fears of punitive action, Dr Al Amiri said that if any passenger failed to get this prior approval the custom would seize the medication.” There is no punitive action. If it is a small quantity of non-narcotic medication, the authorities will decide if they want to allow. In case of other kinds of control medication it will be seized at the port of entry without prior approval.”