Stock DUBAI CUSTOMS airport
Animals, certain medicines and vehicles can only be imported to the UAE after receiving necessary permits from relevant local and federal authorities. Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Courtesy Dubai Customs

Dubai: Bringing in certain goods and items, as well as your pets to the UAE, would require passengers to apply for an import permit before they travel, to ensure they do not face any issues at the customs clearance at UAE airports. Depending on the type of restricted item or good you are bringing in, you would need to apply to a specific local or federal authority to receive the necessary permits. It is also advisable to apply for the permit a couple of weeks in advance to ensure you do not face any issues when you arrive in the UAE.

Here is all you need to know.

1. Cash and personal goods worth more than Dh60,000

Passengers arriving in the UAE must make sure that the cash and personal goods they carry does not exceed the value of Dh60,000, as any amount greater than that would need to be declared to the customs authority at the airport.

According to the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) this includes the value of jewellery, personal items, and cash. If you are travelling to or from the airports in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, or Ras Al Khaimah, you can use the newly launched Afseh platform to fill out the declaration form.

If you are travelling through the international airports in Dubai, you can use the 'iDeclare' platform.

Applying for the permit is free of cost and you can expect the permit to be approved within a day if you fulfill all the requirements.

2. Controlled medicines and drugs

In the UAE, visitors and residents must obtain pre-approval for controlled substances from the UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP). This includes narcotic, controlled and semi-controlled drugs. The permit is not mandatory for other drugs.

To find out the categories of drugs, narcotics and psychotropic medicines allowed in the UAE, according to MOHAP’s regulations and guidelines, click here  and for a step-by-step guide on how to apply for the permit, click here.

3. Pets and domestic animals

In the UAE, international passengers can import cats and dogs only after receiving a permit from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE).

According to MoCCAE, pet owners can obtain an import permit, which is valid for use for 30 days from the date of issuance.

The relevant authorities will examine the animal at the entry port when they arrive in the UAE and release the animal if it meets all the import permit’s conditions and specifications, including having received the required vaccinations.

Important documents for importing animals and pets into the UAE

For the permit, pet owners must have the following documents:

• A certified health certificate, issued by the competent veterinary authorities from their country.
• The pet’s vaccination card or passport, which must include the microchip number, the animal’s full description (species, colour, gender, and date of birth) and the listed vaccines must meet all the requirements stipulated by MoCCAE.
• Rabies testing certificate – this document is not mandatory for all animals.

Also, depending on which country you are arriving from, the requirements might differ. So, before you travel, it’s important to check with your airline about the regulations for travelling with pets or contact the MoCCAE’s toll-free number – 8003050 if you are in the UAE, or +97124444747, if you are calling from outside the UAE.

You can fill out the application for the permit through this link:


Dh200 - Request permission to import cats and dogs, per head
Dh500 - Request to release dogs, per head
Dh250 - Request to release pet cats, per head


4. Vehicles

For importing vehicles into the UAE, you will need to apply for a vehicle clearance certificate from a local customs authority.

According to the Dubai Customs website -, you can import new or used cars. The following documents need to be provided if the vehicles are brought to the country by a person:

• A passport copy
• The vehicle's purchase invoice

The imported vehicles will be checked and evaluated by the customs inspectors and customs tax of five per cent will be imposed on the total assessed value of each car.

If you are importing a vehicle through a shipping company, the requirements will be different, and the documentation will be managed by the company.

In Dubai, you can apply for the clearance certificate from Dubai Customs Service Centres. You can find a list of all their locations here:

For Abu Dhabi, you can apply for a clearance certificate through Tamm, the official platform for Abu Dhabi government services, through this link:

5. Technical equipment

According to - certain devices such as satellite phones, listening or recording devices, radio transmitters, and binoculars, may require a licence from Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) for use in the UAE. You can apply for the permit through this link:

The permit is issued free of charge.