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Duty free allowances for Dubai UAE

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Duty free limits on arrival in Dubai

Duty free allowances and limits at Dubai Airport (DXB). How much alcohol and how many cigarettes can I bring in? Customs and duty regulations for Dubai and the UAE. Prohibited and banned items list.

The rules applying to bringing in duty free goods to Dubai and the UAE are similar to what you'd expect in most places - some alcohol, cigarettes, no drugs, limits on commercial goods. Conflicting information is seen on various travel related websites though, and of course, rules can and do change.

Table below has information from 3 official websites (Dubai International Airport DXB, Dubai Customs, and Department of Tourism Commerce Marketing DTCM - Dubai government tourist website) as of February 2008 (no changes as of 2016 as far as we know, except for cash limit). dubaifaqs.com¹
wine 2 liters 4 liters 4 liters 6x750 ml bottles
spirits 2 liters 4 liters 4 liters 4x1 liter bottles
beer   4 liters 24 cans 24 cans
cigarettes 2000 (10 cartons) 400 (2 cartons) 400 (2 cartons) 2 cartons
tobacco   2 kilograms 2 kilograms 40x 50g packets? Or 10x?
cigars 100 2 kilograms   100x cigars?
perfume     3000 dirhams 3000 dirhams
commercial goods   3000 dirhams 3000 dirhams 3000 dirhams
personal effects   no limit   reasonable amount
currency (cash)2, 3   US$10,000 / AED 40,000 US$10,000 / AED 40,000 AED 100,0003
drugs (narcotics)   declare any   don't bring any
drugs (medicines)   declare any   don't bring any
books, DVDs, videos   declare any**   don't bring porn**
weapons   declare any   don't bring any
explosives & fireworks   declare any   don't bring any
animals   declare any   don't bring any
plants & seeds   declare any   don't bring any
pork products no info no info no info personal consumption
  1. The last column is our opinion and should not be assumed to be correct, neither should the information from websites - your nearest UAE embassy should have the most up to date information, or contact Dubai Customs department.
  2. Dubai Customs were reported on 14 August 2010 as saying that cash (including traveler's checks) in excess of US$10,000 or the equivalent (about AED 40,000) must be declared when entering the UAE. Arabian Business quoted Yusouf Al Sahlawi (Yousef/Yousuf), Executive Director/CEO of Policy and Legislations Division at Dubai Customs who said "Non declaration may be treated as smuggling which is an offence punishable by law." But he didn't say what the punishment might be.
  3. Media reports in June 2011 said that the UAE Central Bank would increase the limit from AED 40,000 (US$10,000) to AED 100,000 from beginning September 2011.

**Censorship of books, films, movies, videos, DVDs

Despite what you may hear, Dubai is not completely draconian when it comes to bringing in reading material and movies. You will be asking for trouble if you attempt to bring in pornographic movies and magazines, however men's magazines like FHM, Esquire, Maxim are freely available in Dubai bookshops (with inappropriate areas of photos blacked out) so bringing one or two of those with you is not likely to be a problem. Same for movies which might be slightly censored when shown in the cinema in Dubai (DVDs available in rental shops in Dubai will occasionally have uncensored "naughty bits").

Banned and prohibited items list

Not a comprehensive list, but items which might be unusual or often asked about. Items such as weapons, drugs, fireworks, dangerous items, animals (except for domestic pets), ivory, etc are banned or require a special import licence.

Last update Friday 10-Jun-2016
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