Customs at Dubai Airport

Customs officers at Dubai International Airport reserve the right to inspect any passenger’s luggage who is travelling through the airport.

If you are importing pets or domestic animals such as cats and dogs then you must ensure that you apply for and obtain an import permit from the Ministry of Environment and Water in advance.

For further details on this type of permit visit –

Resident and non-resident passengers who are travelling through Dubai International are permitted to bring a maximum 3 month supply of medicine into Dubai for their personal use. However, an original prescription from a registered medical practitioner must be shown and stamped and signed by the official UAE embassy in the country of origin with details of the patient, description of disease, etc. All medications brought into Dubai should be in their original packaging and not expired.

Please note that no psychotropic medicines are allowed (even for personal use) without prior approval from the Ministry of Health, in small quantity or with prescription. Seizure of such medicines will be punishable under law.

Should you wish to contact Dubai Customs direct you can do so by contacting Dubai Customs on their Toll Free number 800 800 80.

If you are outside the UAE, please dial +971 800 800 80, fax: +971 4 345 9933. Or alternatively you can e-mail them at

Permitted Luggage & Items at Dubai Airport

Permitted Customs-Exempted Items:

Passengers are permitted to bring the following items into Dubai without paying customs duty:

  • Gifts whose value does not exceed AED 3,000.
  • The Number of cigarettes should not exceed (400) cigarettes, (50) cigars, (500) grams of tobacco (minced or pressed for pipes), minced or pressed tobacco for smoking, tobacco or mild-tasting tobacco. Exceeding the above will be dutiable.
  • The amount of alcoholic beverages and beers should not exceed 4 liters of alcohol beverages, or 2 cartons of beer (each consisting of 24 cans, not exceeding 355 ml for each can or its equivalent).

Permitted Customs-Exempted Luggage

  • Passenger’s personal belongings are permitted entry and shall be exempted from customs fees.
  • Still and moving image video cameras with their appropriate tapes, films and accessories.
  • Cash money, currencies and travelers cheques altogether less than AED 100,000 and the passenger’s age shall not be less than 18 years old.
  • Radio systems, combined broadcasting apparatus, CD and DVD players with agreeable quantities.
  • Agreeable quantities of projectors for displaying slides and films including accessories.
  • Telescopes.
  • Mobile telephone.
  • Portable TV sets.
  • Computers including laptops.
  • Baby strollers.
  • Portable music equipment.
  • Sports equipment.
  • Portable typing sets.
  • Portable calculators.
  • Disabled wheelchairs and cars.

Conditions for Exemption at Dubai Airport

  • The following conditions shall be in force for the Dubai Airport duty exemption for the above:
  • Baggage and gifts must be of a personal nature and not in commercial quantities.
  • The passenger should not be a frequent traveler with goods on a regular basis, or a member of the respective conveyance crew.
  • Passengers must be above 18 years of age for carrying allowable cigarettes or alcoholic beverages into the country.
  • The aforementioned conditions apply to whoever accompanies the passenger.

Banned Items at Dubai Airport

  • All kinds of Narcotic drugs (Hashish, Cocaine, Heroin, Poppy Seeds, Hallucination Pills, etc..).
  • Goods intended to be imported from boycotted countries.
  • Goods from Israeli origin or bearing Israeli trademarks or logos
  • Crude Ivory and Rhinoceros horn.
  • Gambling tools and machineries.
  • Three layers fishing nets.
  • Original engravings, prints, lithographs, sculpture and statues in any material.
  • Used, reconditioned and inlaid tires.
  • Radiation polluted substances.
  • Printed publications, oil paintings, photographs, pictures, cards, books, magazines stony sculptures and mannequins which contradict Islamic teachings, decencies, or deliberately implying immorality or turmoil.
  • Any other goods, the importation of which is prohibited under the authority of U.A.E. customs laws or any other laws in the country.
  • Forged and duplicate currency.
  • Cooked and home-made foods.

Dubai Airport Customs – Self Declaration

The following items must be declared by the passenger to the Customs officials on arrival at Dubai Airport and non declaration may be treated as smuggling which is an offence punishable by law.

  • Radios, striking appliances, self-defense equipment and sharp edged knives and swords.
  • Domestic pets and skins of endangered animals subject to CITES Convention (hides, ivory & stuffed animals).
  • Cash money (inclusive of currencies and traveler cheques) above AED 100,000 – or the equivalent in other currencies.
  • Films, Books, Photographs, Visual & Compact Discs even if for personal one.
  • Gifts of commercial value exceeding AED 3,000/-.
  • Weapons, ammunition and military equipment.
  • Medicines of all kinds even if for personal use.
  • Fireworks & explosives.
  • Trees, plants and soil.
  • Narcotics of all kinds.

Temporary Admission of Exhibition Goods at Dubai Airport

Passengers bringing goods to Dubai Airport for exhibition or trade purpose are required to submit self declaration on arrival to Dubai Airport and to keep a deposit equivalent to 5% of the CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) value of the goods.

The documents required are:

  • Original invoice.
  • Certificate of origin.
  • Packing list.

An authorization or official confirmation letter of participation from the Exhibition host is required for the items brought for trade exhibition. The customs staff at Dubai Airport will then process a Temporary Admission Customs Bill.

Passenger Deposit Refund Procedure

On Departure, the passenger should proceed to the arrival lounge at Dubai Airport and show the Customs bills processed earlier to the security personnel to let you in to the Customs Area.

  • After the inspection of the equipment or the goods imported into the country by the Customs Inspection personnel and tally the goods, the deposit will be refunded to the passenger.
  • The refund of the deposit amount will be reduced corresponding to the short of the goods then imported.

Duty Payable for Excess Quantity and Value

Excess quantity and value at Dubai Airport

Goods accompanying the passengers shall:

  • Be subject for Customs duty to the quantity and value in excess of exemption as stated above Exemption Conditions where no customs duty is paid, excess quantity shall be detained and a detained receipt will be issued to pay the required duty within 30 days from the arrival date. Extending detention period is possible upon the passenger’s request and approval by Head of the Customs Center or his representative for another 30 days to clear the goods by paying the duty.
  • If the prescribed period described above is elapsed, the goods will be moved to the auction shed to be sold in the public auction held by Dubai Customs.

Cash Amounts Declaration at Dubai Airport

  • All passengers arriving in the country are to declare the cash amounts in their possession, which exceed AED 100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Dirham) or any other equivalent amount of currencies and traveler’s cheques by filling the declaration form; and any passenger whose age is less than 18 years old, should not be allowed to carry the amounts exceeding the aforementioned limit, and the amounts in his/her possession shall be added to the allowed limit of his/her legal guardian if he/she accompanies him/her

Medicines for Personal use at Dubai Airport

  • Passengers (resident and non resident) can bring into the country a maximum of three months supply of medicine, for their personal use and an original prescription must be enclosed (stamped and signed by official embassy of UAE in the country of origin, with details of the patient, description of the disease …etc) of registered medical practitioner. All the medications should be in original packaging and not expired. No psychotropic medicines are allowed without prior approval from the Ministry of Health ( even for personal use, in small quantity and/or with prescription. Seizure of such medicines will be punishable by law.

Dubai Customs Privileges

Customs officers have the full right to inspect any passenger’s luggage even if none of the aforementioned cases is applicable.

The following is regarded by Dubai Customs as appropriate declaration methods by the passengers of their possessions:

  • Verbal declaration.
  • Written or electronic declaration.