Customs Regulations

Visitors over 18 arriving at Abu Dhabi International Airport are allowed to bring in the following duty-free:

  • 4L of alcohol or one carton (24 cans) of beer
  • 400 cigarettes
  • 2kg of tobacco
  • Gifts up to the value of Dhs3000

UAE regulations on what you can bring into the country are very strict. Along with the usual bans on illegal drugs, firearms and other weapons, you may not enter the country with the following:

  • Materials (such as books) insulting to Islam
  • Pork products
  • Pornography
  • Israeli products
  • Many over-the-counter and prescription medications

For a full list of medications that are illegal in the UAE check Note that many of the banned medications (such as painkillers using codeine) are perfectly legal as over-the-counter drugs in many countries, so read carefully.

For controlled, but not banned, medications, the UAE introduced a pre-approval entry form for importing drugs for personal use in late 2018. It can be found at Approval generally takes around five days.


Visitors travelling on an Israeli or a Qatari passport will not be allowed to enter the country. Passport holders from other countries that have an Israeli stamp or a Qatari stamp in their passport should have no issues.


Free visas (either 30-day or 90-day depending on country) are available on arrival for 60 nationalities.

Visa on Arrival

Citizens of 20 countries including Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, UK and USA can get a 30-day single-entry visa on arrival, which is extendable.

Nationals of a further 40 countries, including nearly all European countries, Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Honduras and Uruguay, receive a 90-day multiple-entry visa on arrival, which can't be extended.

Other Visas

If you are not eligible for a visa on arrival, you need to apply for a sponsored visa before travel. If you're flying to Abu Dhabi International Airport on Etihad Airways, you can request for the airline to pre-arrange the visa (30-day single-entry visa Dhs350).