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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear all,

I am currently living in London, UK, and about to move to Dubai for work.

I have heard that there are several medications prescribed by UK doctors, or available over the counter, that are banned or restricted in Dubai.

When I move to Dubai, I would like to bring a supply of my prescribed medicines with me.

However, I cannot find anywhere on the internet, a list of the banned and restricted medicines. Every link I have found is broken or expired, including the link provided on this website in the important info section.

Can anyone please, please point me in the right direction of a working link for the up to date list?

I am so worried about this!! I don't know what I will be allowed to bring with me, how much, or how to go about ensuring that I have done everything correctly.

Any help or advice would be hugely appreciated!

Thank you!:)
 

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Dear all,

I am currently living in London, UK, and about to move to Dubai for work.

I have heard that there are several medications prescribed by UK doctors, or available over the counter, that are banned or restricted in Dubai.

When I move to Dubai, I would like to bring a supply of my prescribed medicines with me.

However, I cannot find anywhere on the internet, a list of the banned and restricted medicines. Every link I have found is broken or expired, including the link provided on this website in the important info section.

Can anyone please, please point me in the right direction of a working link for the up to date list?

I am so worried about this!! I don't know what I will be allowed to bring with me, how much, or how to go about ensuring that I have done everything correctly.

Any help or advice would be hugely appreciated!

Thank you!:)
The full list is available for download (as an Excel file) from this site: UAE Embassy in Canberra » Traveling with Medication

teuchter
 

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You can bring meds in from the restricted list with an attested letter from your doctor. Send the letter to the FCO in Milton Keynes and then to the UAE Embassy in London. This gives you permission to bring in a restricted medication for your own use. As a visitor you can bring 3 months supply, as a resident you can bring a year supply.
All the meds on the restricted list can be prescribed by a UAE doctor once you are here but usually alot more expensive than in the UK.
I am on long term meds - my GP in the UK gives me a year supply on one prescription (£7) whereas in Dubai it would cost me £400 a month!.
 

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Thanks for this info, I am in the same situation.

One question: When you come through customs with 3 months/1 years worth of meds (& if you are anything like me that will be like HALF a suitcase!) do you need to declare them? Then do you have to go through all your meds with them?

I'm currently trying to come off a very strong painkiller, banned in the UAE, before I arrive...just figure that'd be easier but dang it's not fun!

M
 

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compaq7500 said:
I suffer from asthma are Ventolin/salbutamol inhalers and becontide inhalers banned in the uae.
No, I carry these inhalers with me everywhere, through customs etc with no bother, never even asked for a doctors note. Dubai is a leading researcher for asthma :)
 

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Thanks for this info, I am in the same situation.

One question: When you come through customs with 3 months/1 years worth of meds (& if you are anything like me that will be like HALF a suitcase!) do you need to declare them? Then do you have to go through all your meds with them?

I'm currently trying to come off a very strong painkiller, banned in the UAE, before I arrive...just figure that'd be easier but dang it's not fun!

M
NO you do not have to declare restricted meds, just have attested letter in case. There is a big difference between Restricted and Banned Meds. If your painkillers are on the Banned list - do not bring them in!!! Codeine based painkillers are banned - you risk a tour of a UAE prison if you are caught with them even with a doctors letter.
 

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Thanks Wandabug.

I've checked through the banned/restricted lists and know where I'm at. However I do have to say, for visitors at least it's worth checking the 'rules'. I am on both morphine based and codine based painkillers and while I could stop the cocodemol no trouble, we were invited out to Dubai on our 'orientation trip' with very short notice and there was NO way I could come off the fentanyl patch in that time (read: withdrawal makes me a jibbering wreck who would probably looking like a hard core addict or a drug carrier to customs!) so, after stressing out about it and picturing time in jail etc (after all I would have had codeine in my system anyway ... Just call me the next Codeine Tracy) I telephoned the medical department of the UAE Embassy in London. The guy practically laughed at me and assured me that with a letter detailing why I needed it I was fine to be on & take in fentanyl patches, a banned substance.

I have to say, rather than reassuring it actually makes me feel like everyone is following different rules and it depends who you come across, which is a bit worrying! But for that trip I had no choice and obviously no repercussions!

I would suggest anyone with doubts in the UK calls the embassy med dept and go through your medications with them, at least then you are, well as sure as you can be!

M
 

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Fentanyl is not a banned substance, it is on the Restricted List (ie it can be bought into the country with an attested letter).
 

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You can buy Ventolin over the counter here. Incidentally, it's not strictly true about codeine based meds being banned here. Part of the medication I was prescribed following disc surgery was Solpadeine. Interestingly, you can buy it over the counter in the UK - the codeine content is very low. Here, it has to be prescribed and the scripts are very carefully monitored.
 

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My son takes Concerta (similar to Ritalin) which is in the banned list. I contacted the Ministry of Health in Dubai and they told me we can bring in a 30 day supply with a valid prescription and a letter of authority from the NHS stating he/we are entitled to have the drug in our possession. I had previously assumed that we couldn't bring it in at all as it was a banned substance, and was considering trying to switch him to different meds (which can take months to get right) so I was very relieved!
 

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I think this is what I find so difficult to get my head around - that meds on the banned/restricted list can be obtained or allowed in in some circumstances and yet in other (but seemingly still legitimate) situations can land you in prison.
Or maybe it's a case of a lot of urban myths!

Obviously when you're new to all this you would just prefer to stay on the right side of things!
 

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Marthabelle said:
I think this is what I find so difficult to get my head around - that meds on the banned/restricted list can be obtained or allowed in in some circumstances and yet in other (but seemingly still legitimate) situations can land you in prison.
Or maybe it's a case of a lot of urban myths!

Obviously when you're new to all this you would just prefer to stay on the right side of things!
Welcome to the sandpit! It's a world of contradictions and you will soon get used to it and realize that, most times, you will need to ask the same question at least six times, in six slightly different ways, to get the right answer !
 

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People get mixed up with the banned vs restricted. There are a few banned drugs and they cannot be bought in, like any country. All the medications on the controlled/restricted list CAN be bought in with permission from a UAE Embassy - i.e. an attested letter/prescription, or can be prescribed by a UAE doctor.
If a drug is on the Controlled/Restricted list it does not mean it is banned.
 

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My son takes Concerta (similar to Ritalin) which is in the banned list. I contacted the Ministry of Health in Dubai and they told me we can bring in a 30 day supply with a valid prescription and a letter of authority from the NHS stating he/we are entitled to have the drug in our possession. I had previously assumed that we couldn't bring it in at all as it was a banned substance, and was considering trying to switch him to different meds (which can take months to get right) so I was very relieved!
Concerta is NOT banned in the UAE. It is a controlled/restricted drug and can be bought in with a letter. It was never on a banned list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi there

Sorry I am only replying now. I just signed up to this, and already managed to forget my settings. But I can see this forum will be my new favourite resource!

wandabug and teuchter, thank you so much for your help and speedy replies. They have eased my worries a little.

Can you tell me, what is "an attested letter", and how I can get one?

Marthabelle, I understand your issue. I also phoned the London med dept, and the man just said bring in whatever, as long as it was prescribed by a doctor, and have them write a letter naming all your meds.
But, wandabug, is this any different from an attested letter?

Marthbelle, are you using the list supplied by teuchter, or have you found a more recent one?

He also said that I shouldn't bring in ANY over the counter meds, even aspirin...!
And he seemed very suspicious when I asked if I can bring in a years supply, and said I didn't need that much if I will have med insurance in the UAE??

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks guys!!
 

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Hi. Get a letter from your doctor stating that the meds are for you. Send this letter to the FCO in Milton Keynes who will confirm that it is from a registered UK doctor and then send it to the UAE Embassy in London who will stamp it. This is giving you permission to bring in a restricted medication for your own use. The letter will not be accepted by customs if this has not been done. They will not care what someone told you on the phone .From customs point of view if it hasn't been attested how do they know you haven't just written it yourself and the same with a prescription-it must be stamped by the UAE embassy first, customs would not know how to confirm a genuine prescription from other countries. Any over the counter drugs not on the restricted or banned lists can be bought in, no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi. Get a letter from your doctor stating that the meds are for you. Send this letter to the FCO in Milton Keynes who will confirm that it is from a registered UK doctor and then send it to the UAE Embassy in London who will stamp it. This is giving you permission to bring in a restricted medication for your own use. The letter will not be accepted by customs if this has not been done. They will not care what someone told you on the phone .From customs point of view if it hasn't been attested how do they know you haven't just written it yourself and the same with a prescription-it must be stamped by the UAE embassy first, customs would not know how to confirm a genuine prescription from other countries. Any over the counter drugs not on the restricted or banned lists can be bought in, no problems.
Thanks wandabug!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Does anyone know, what is the particular situation with bringing Dicoflenac and Metformin to Dubai?

Thanks for your help!! :)
 
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