What cannot be imported into the United Arab Emirates, and what cannot be exported

When packing a suitcase for a trip, tourists always experience the most when planning to visit Arab countries, they are worried about whether it is possible to bring medicines, alcohol into the emirates and what prohibitions exist.

This is justified by harsh laws, clear rules and serious requirements in relation to local residents, migrants. Specialists of real estate agencies in the United Arab Emirates publish requirements on their websites and ask you to familiarize yourself with them in advance so as not to encounter problems at the border.

Customs control features

Customs has existed in the UAE for over a hundred years. After passing through several stages, the customs took on an institutional form during the era of such sheikhs as Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Rashid bin Said Al Maktoum. The Federal Customs Administration (FCA) conducts customs policy, enforces customs laws and regulations, and represents the UAE domestically and internationally. Local customs departments carry out the executive work and develop customs policies for each emirate, based on the GCC General Customs Law (PDF). The UAE leads the world in the Customs Efficiency Index.

The index measures the effectiveness of customs authorities in 63 countries around the world. This is determined by asking an audience of entrepreneurs and institutions about their experience with customs services in the field of shipping.

Do’s and Don’ts: Main Categories

It is important for tourists to know whether certain categories of goods can be imported into the emirates or if it is better to abstain. The UAE is very strict regarding the import of prohibited goods and smuggling of prohibited goods into the UAE. The wide list of prohibited items includes:

  • narcotic substances and medicines, the import of which must have a permit;
  • pirated content;
  • fake currency;
  • items used in black magic, witchcraft;
  • publications and works of art that contradict or challenge Islamic teachings, and
  • values can potentially become a ground for conflict on religious topics;
  • gaming tools and machines, as well as other gambling-related elements.

Restricted items in the UAE

Some goods, such as animal products, medicines and weapons, can only be imported/exported after obtaining the necessary permits from the competent authorities. If a person comes to the country and is interested in how to buy an apartment in the United Arab Emirates or is planning a visit for the purpose of tourism, the rules remain the same for everyone.

The following import limits are provided for food:

  • 20 liters of yogurt;
  • 50 liters of oil (including olive oil);
  • 10 kg of various types of vegetables and fruits;
  • 10 kg of sweets and bakery products;
  • 30 kg of grains, cereals and red meat;
  • 10 kg of fish and seafood;
  • 500 g caviar;
  • 11 kg of eggs;
  • 20 kg of honey;
  • 5 kg of herbs and spices, including vinegar, orange water and rose water;
  • 500 g saffron;
  • 10 kg of special food such as baby food;
  • 20 liters of drinks and syrups, including water;
  • 5 kg juice concentrates;
  • 25 kg canned food.

When wondering if alcohol can be brought into the Emirates, a traveler should know that he is allowed to take no more than 4 liters of alcoholic beverages or 2 blocks of beer with him to Dubai. And also no more than 2 liters of alcoholic beverages in Abu Dhabi. Limits, restrictions and requirements vary depending on the emirate and its local laws.

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