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Hi

My husband and I are moving to Dubai in March next year, and I've been trying to figure out the likelihood of getting into trouble at the airport for bringing a 3-month supply of nuvaring (a prescription contraceptive) with me.

Provided I have a letter from the doctor, and the prescription, and everything in its original packaging - should I be OK? My husband also has a script for an anti-anxiety medication, and sometimes takes valium for which he has a script.

I've heard of a process of getting pre-approval from the UAE Drugs Department, but is that ever actually done in practice? And if we were to be pulled aside by Customs, and we didn't have a pre-approval are they more likely to (a) just confiscate the items, or (b) something more serious?

I'm torn between horror stories and 'you'll be fine' on other sites, so thought I'd ask those that have lived and travelled in and out many times. Would really appreciate any feedback. :)
 

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the valium [diazepam] and the nuvaring are definitely controlled substances and possibly the anti-anxiety depending on what it is. you can refer to the list of restricted medications here: UAE Travel: Tourist: Drug guidelines - UAEinteract

in any case, check these links for further instruction and contact info for the Drug Control Department from whom you may need permission for any controlled substances with a prescription.

you are right, there are horror stories that get blown out of proportion and there are people who will tell you not to worry about it, "oh i brought in codeine with the little rx sheet from my doctor, i had no trouble at all!" but that was their experience. it will not necessarily be yours. one thing to learn here in the UAE right away is that rules and guidelines are sometimes grey and subject to whomever you are dealing with at the time. and definitely the possibility of being denied entry to the country or arrested immediately does exist if you haven't done your due diligence. not worth the risk. one of the links below is the actual ministry of health guidelines for customs control.

Banned Items | Consulate General of the United States Dubai, UAE

http://www.uaeinteract.com/travel/drugs.pdf
 

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Hi,
You need to check and triple check (but even then you will get conflicting advice).
Many medications are on the restricted list for bringing in to Dubai - but a local doctor can prescribe them to you, if they are necessary.
If you bring a restricted medicine in, then consequences can be very serious.
Valium, for instance is a class A controlled drug in UAE - so i personally would not be bringing that in, even with attested prescription. If i really needed it, i would visit a doctor here and have it prescribed locally.
Cheers
Steve
 

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Surely if you are taking Valium (diazepam) regularly you would be better off not moving country but staying home and sorting out the underlying causes as to why you need to take valium in the first place. Having said that - once you are knee deep in the bureaucracy here, you might be needing the valium after all!

Bottom line: don't carry any drugs across any international borders. If you are still considering it, watch as many episodes of Banged Up Abroad as you can, and then watch them again.
 

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Surely if you are taking Valium (diazepam) regularly you would be better off not moving country but staying home and sorting out the underlying causes as to why you need to take valium in the first place.
all due respect but i think you are being quite rude with your statement. the OP said her husband sometimes took valium [and in conjunction with anti-anxiety meds]. she asked for advice about transporting medication. she did not ask for our judgements via the internet on her husband's state of health or decided course of treatment.

you have no idea of what his context is or why he needs the valium. they may very well know why and i could think of many reasons for it being prescribed and used safely and effectively.

but frankly, it is none of our business. and you would do well to banish your cliche notions of a soap opera character in denial and turning to pills and keep your unsolicited medical advice to yourself.
 

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If I am not mistaken, I think there is some sort of ruling that you can bring in a certain number of days worth of medication. Get a stamped doctor's letter. Pack the medication in your hand luggage in case your bags go astray and get yourself register with a GP when you get here. I also think certain medications for conditions such as your husband's may have to be prescribed by a psychiatrist.
 

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Hi

My husband and I are moving to Dubai in March next year, and I've been trying to figure out the likelihood of getting into trouble at the airport for bringing a 3-month supply of nuvaring (a prescription contraceptive) with me.

Provided I have a letter from the doctor, and the prescription, and everything in its original packaging - should I be OK? My husband also has a script for an anti-anxiety medication, and sometimes takes valium for which he has a script.

I've heard of a process of getting pre-approval from the UAE Drugs Department, but is that ever actually done in practice? And if we were to be pulled aside by Customs, and we didn't have a pre-approval are they more likely to (a) just confiscate the items, or (b) something more serious?

I'm torn between horror stories and 'you'll be fine' on other sites, so thought I'd ask those that have lived and travelled in and out many times. Would really appreciate any feedback. :)
My Wife flew over with me in August. She too has anxiety issues and was prescribed Valium. She kept them in her hand luggage as she needed them on the plane. No one said a word. Obviously our bags went through the scanning procedure and all. Thought it was worth mentioning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks all for the constructive feedback... and cautious_mover for the free medical advice! :D

I think we'll go the pre-approval route, could be money well spent to ensure we don't have any problems..

As for the anti-anxiety meds, my husband managed to speak with a local doctor in Dubai who confirmed it would be no problem getting a script over there, so will just do that after we land.

Thanks again :eek:
 

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Oh the subtlety of the English language and how its so easily misunderstood by our North American cousins....what was the Churchill quote: two nations divided by a common language?

Anyway good luck with your move - bring plenty of money, bags full of patience and a sense of humour....you can leave the logic at home.
 

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My husband brought his medication (controlled) just with the original Rx bottle. And he got more once he was here from a doctor here in Dubai. He doesn't carry it around but if he needs to he brings the Rx with the Dubai doctors approval and contact info.
As for the statement about banged up abroad - I don't recall them saying they wanted to bring 10 kilos of heroine with them... Nor do they want to hide their Rx inside their bodies, lol.
As long as you claim it on your customs card, have your Rx with doctors note, medication in original Rx, the worse that can happen is they take it from you. I don't see how they can arrest you if you do what you are supposed to do and are not trying to sneak it in.
And if we are basing our decisions on TV shows, Border Security is a good one ;)
 

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You need to read about the UK female locked up for having Codeine prescription medicines in her baggage and the DJ for having poppy seeds...

Aside from illegal substances, travellers have also been held for possession of prescription drugs.

Tracy Wilkinson was held in custody for eight weeks before customs officers accepted the codeine she was carrying had been prescribed by her doctor for back pains.

Meanwhile, a Swiss national is serving a four-year jail term after three poppy seeds from a bread roll he ate at Heathrow airport were found on his clothes.

So in response you don't need 10KG of heroin to get a leading role in the all new episodes of Banged Up Abroad. Just the Wrong Sandwich...
 

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“Visitors need to verify that their medicines are allowed in the UAE”, how this is done I’m not sure it seem to be hit and miss on entry. Valium is a medication of the benzodiazepine class of psychotropic. Some medicines containing psychotropic substances are a no-no in the UAE and expat holders are supposed to carry a prescription from a UAE-licensed medical examiner. Visitors, your Doctor should have a list (Large book) they refer too, “extra caution” should be taken so my best advice is go back to your local doctor and get them to advise a suitable equivalent (psychotropic) which is available in UAE until your settled. Only bring what you can consume on flight or until you see one of our fine local doctors. Hope this helps!
 

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To be clear there are NO banned medications here. There are restricted medicines. This means you are only allowed to bring in a certain amount with a stamped doctor's letter. It may help you to know I was prescribed codeine based meds here after disc surgery. People I know have traveled here with morphine based meds. While it's important to be aware and abide by the law, I also think it's important to put this into perspective. As I said in a previous post, every country has their own list, so the UAE is not alone in this.
 

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Each country has it's little differences, we just need to respect the laws and abide by them. Pain killers and antibiotics are so easy to get yet an over the counter sleeping aid isn't.
 

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mariot said:
Each country has it's little differences, we just need to respect the laws and abide by them. Pain killers and antibiotics are so easy to get yet an over the counter sleeping aid isn't.
Not entirely true some medicines are just not available at all - not sure whether by decree or just aren't available
 

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Hi,
I am not precisely in a ruhn for Valium; however, I am moving to Dubai and would appreciate a piece of information regarding meds.
Are birth control drugs sold in the UAE and would I need a prescription?
 

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“Copied from Dubai airport website”

Passengers travelling through Dubai International (residents and non-residents) can bring into the country a maximum three month supply of medicine for their personal use. An original prescription from a registered medical practitioner must be enclosed (stamped and signed by official embassy of UAE in the country of origin, with details of the patient, description of disease, etc.). All 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 under law.

For more information visit Dubai Customs - Travelers Guide, I tried but the link doesn't work for me. Try Dubai customs website search PDF dated 21/6/2012 which is the same as above.

You can also reach 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 if you had the appropriate address.

Hope this helps!
 
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