customs in Dubai
Updated 8 months ago

Wondering what are the products that you are authorized to bring when moving to Dubai? Find out in this article.

If you are moving to Dubai, you might be bringing some items in your luggage in addition to what you’re shipping over. These are probably items that you use on a daily basis, such as toiletries, clothes, etc. While it is possible to make use of your personal baggage allowance, you need to know that certain items are prohibited. Some items can have restrictions placed on them, which means you are only allowed to bring a certain limit, for example for alcohol. Check with your airline carrier for the list of prohibited items.

A lot of expats find it convenient to ship their personal effects and belongings. This can take some time to arrive and clear, depending on the shipping conditions. You may use the services of a shipping company either by air freight or sea freight.

Personal items - exemption of customs fees and duties

For your personal belongings, there will be no customs fees to pay. You will also be exempted from customs fees for baby strollers, sports equipment, laptops, portable TV and DVD players, portable radio, wheelchair, and video cameras. You are also allowed to bring gifts, provided that the value does not exceed AED 3,000. You are also permitted to take up to 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 500 grams of tobacco. For alcoholic beverages, this should not exceed four litres. Anything beyond these amounts will then have customs duty apply.

Furthermore, gifts and personal belongings should be strictly for personal use and consumption, and not for commercial use. Please note that when you are travelling to Dubai, the customs agents have the right to inspect your luggage.

If you are importing goods from your home country to Dubai, you will be exempted from customs duty for your personal belongings. Anything that is a brand new item or in commercial quantities will have a 5% customs duty applicable to them.

For clearance of personal effects, you will require the following documents:

  • A copy of your resident visa
  • A copy of your passport
  • A written list of the imported goods

If you are importing a vehicle from your home country to Dubai, you should check the import regulations in effect at the time of your import. Based on these, you can then bring a vehicle to Dubai. Please note that you have the right to bring your vehicle, whether used or a brand new one. To clear the vehicle yourself, you will need to bring a copy of your passport and the invoice of the vehicle. The Customs officers will then check and evaluate the vehicle. A customs fee of 5% of the value of the car will be applicable.

There are more documents you will require to present in the case that you are importing a car through a shipping company. Find out more in our article Shipping my stuff to Dubai.

Prohibited items

As with any other country, there are rules that apply and some items are not allowed. The following lists a few of these items (you can find a full detailed list on the Dubai Customs website):

  • Narcotic drugs (such as cocaine, heroin, etc)
  • Goods originating from Israel, and anything bearing Israeli trademarks or logos
  • Gambling tools and equipment
  • Forged currency
  • Firearms
  • Pornographic materials
  • Printed material (books, magazines, cards, photos) that contradict Islamic teachings
  • Goods whose importation is prohibited by UAE laws, or goods imported from boycotted countries

 Useful links:

Dubai Customs website

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.