Dubai: Residents and tourists travelling to the UAE do not need prior approval to carry regular medicines for personal use, the Ministry of Health and Prevention has clarified on its website, laying to rest several queries that had arisen due to the ministry spokesperson’s earlier statements.

The ministry spokesperson had said that travellers carrying any kind of personal medication to the UAE would require to mandatorily register on the ministry’s website and obtain approval to carry them.

The ministry has now clarified that this only applies to narcotic-based, psychotropic and controlled medicines and is not mandatory for regular medicines.

A detailed list of narcotic-based, psychotropic and controlled medicines mentioned in Schedule IV of the UAE Narcotic Law 14 of 1995 is available on the ministry’s website.

The banned list also contains medicines that are not registered in the UAE, herbal medicines that might contain some banned substances, medical devices that might contain banned medication and medicines that have been discontinued in the UAE. 

Other than the list of the medicines and chemical compositions mentioned on the website, all other medicines are deemed ‘regular’ or prescription-only medication (POM).

The website explains: ‘Prescription only medicines (POM) are medical preparations not listed in Schedule IV of Narcotic Law 14 of 1995 of UAE, even if their use is permitted in the country of departure.

These must not contain any of the substances mentioned in the International Control Drugs conventions or on the list of Controlled registered medicines mentioned in the ministry’s controlled drug annexure.


Although the guidelines mentioned on the link state that all medication including general medicine requires to be registered, a call representative at the ministry’s toll free line 80011111 clarified that, as of now, people carrying POMs do not need to register themselves or seek formal approval from the ministry.

Residents and tourists to UAE can carry their POMs without having to seek prior approval, provided they fulfil three prerequisites.

These include:

■ a doctor’s prescription;
■ a medical report that explains why the individual requires the medication; and
■ the quantity of medication is restricted to a duration of not more than three months.

Residents and tourists can log on to the ministry website and go to the section entitled ‘individual services’.


This section also carries a complete guideline for issuing permission for import of personal medicine for travellers.