I'm a citizen of east European country.

I'm going to visit Dubai.

I plan to buy some electronics at Dubai duty free stores on my arrival to Dubai.

Will I have to pay duties for electronics I buy at duty free stores when I cross Dubai customs control on arrival?

If I unbox electronics then and there and carry it as my belongings in carry-on luggage, do I need to pay duties?

1 Answer 1


Most countries will have a "duty free" allowance that applies to most people entering the country. This allowance will cover good bought outside of the country, as well as goods bought at Duty Free stores on arrival into the country.

For the UAE specifically, the allowances are :

  • 4 litres of alcohol or one carton / 24 cans of beer
  • AED 2,000 worth of cigarettes or 400 sticks of cigarettes
  • AED 3,000 worth of cigars
  • 2 kilograms of tobacco
  • AED 3,000 worth of gifts, including perfume

If you go over these limits, you will generally be required to pay duty and taxes.

Presuming the electronics you are buying are not gifts for someone within the UAE, none of those categories are relevant to you, so you will not need to pay duty on them.

That said, it is unlikely that you will find a good price for what you are intending to buy at Dubai Duty Free, especially on arrival (where, as per my answer to your other question, GST is still charged). You will most likely find a better price elsewhere within the city, or on a website like http://uae.Souq.com or http://www.carrefouruae.com

  • Perhaps the UAE but certainly most countries do not have such stores. Main international arrivals do not allow people to pass through any stores by the way the path to immigration, baggage claim and the exit is designed. Even if you an importation allowance, it does not mean you will be able to do so on arrival either.
    – Itai
    May 20, 2018 at 18:59
  • @Itai Your comment appears to be completely unrelated to my answer...
    – Doc
    May 21, 2018 at 3:52
  • @Doc Thanks for the links! I have a question though. I’ve compared prices for iPhone in Apple Dubai Duty Free, Apple site and uae.Souq.com. And Souq’s prices are even cheaper than the US Apple site offers. How can it be? I don’t think Apple would allow any reseller to sell its gadgets cheaper than its own price. Do Souq sell refurbished or counterfeits?
    – Green
    May 26, 2018 at 12:49
  • Souq is a little like ebay - various sellers with various sources. The cheaper phones are probably "grey market" imports from other countries.
    – Doc
    May 27, 2018 at 8:15

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