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My girlfriend and I are flying from Ireland to Australia but have 2 stopovers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (about 3 hours in Dubai and 4 in Abu Dhabi, one self check-in and the other is just a connecting with no self-check in).

We have a vibrator, small and compact. Are we able to put this in checked luggage or under stow luggage…?

Not really wanting a fine or to be out in prison because of it. Would it be best to throw out?

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    There are some answers here, but I would appreciate an up-to-date answer that distinguishes between checked luggage and carry-on luggage.
    – svavil
    Commented Oct 11, 2023 at 21:07
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    Thank you, I saw that answer but lower in the thread someone claims they were fined $250USD. Checked luggage meaning carry-on and understow meaning where they put under the plane? Not sure if this makes sense
    – Ruan
    Commented Oct 11, 2023 at 21:33
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    Do you need it while travelling? Otherwise why don't you just get a new one in OZ if you are afraid of being arrested for a vibrator?
    – Matte.Car
    Commented Oct 11, 2023 at 21:51
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    @Ruan checked luggage is the luggage you check in, i.e. not your carry-on luggage, but what you give to the airline to be put into the cargo hold. I've never heard of "understow".
    – Chris H
    Commented Oct 12, 2023 at 7:00
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    yeah, either buy one on arrival if you can't live without one, or airmail it to your hotel in your name. Or just do without like most travelers.
    – jwenting
    Commented Oct 12, 2023 at 7:15

2 Answers 2

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Neither: you should leave your vibrator at home. You can easily buy a new one in Australia.

If you have a "self-transfer" in DXB or AUH, you will need to take all your luggage, both checked in and carry on, through Customs, and this often involves getting it X-rayed. Sex toys are illegal in the United Arab Emirates, so if it's spotted the consequences will be unpleasant, although most likely to be just a fine, not jail time.

Alternatively, instead of a naughty, illegal sex toy, you could bring along a perfectly legitimate handheld deep tissue massager like this one sold in the UAE.

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    Another option: mail it to your final destination. Commented Oct 12, 2023 at 19:43
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    Figure out the potential cost of the fine, and then spend up to that much on new ones at the destination. Freight them home if desired, or dispose at the end of holiday.
    – Criggie
    Commented Oct 13, 2023 at 3:04
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There are two aspects to this question: The black and white legal answer, and then the reality of the situation on the ground. The legal answer is that sex toys are illegal, and if found, you will be subject to confiscation and/or a fine and/or jail time. As others have mentioned, just buy one at your destination and dispose of it before returning home.

The reality is that sex toys are readily available and people travel in and out (and through) the UAE with them regularly. Anecdotally, the worst case scenario is that you bag will be opened and the offending item will be removed, often without you even knowing (i.e. no TSA style "your bag has been checked" notice). But obviously your experience will vary - we were happy to take the risk!

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    In practice, I don't disagree, but the actual "worst case scenario" is jail time, not silent confiscation. Why take the risk? Commented Oct 13, 2023 at 11:11
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    "The reality is that sex toys are readily available and people travel in and out (and through) the UAE with them regularly": citation needed. I doubt you have real data to back that up; at most you have personal experience, which is inevitably very limited. How many times did you do it? And do you know for sure of other people who did it and got away with it? Commented Oct 13, 2023 at 12:52
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    @lambshaanxy are there any news reports (or other publicly available information) concerning the imprisonment of travelers for the possession of sex toys or the disposition more generally of sex-toy-possession cases against travelers in transit at the airport?
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 15, 2023 at 17:35
  • @phoog The linked answer has somebody claiming they were fined. Also, the OP is doing a self-transfer, meaning they're not just transiting but entering the country. Commented Oct 15, 2023 at 20:57
  • Self Transfer does not mean that you would not be scanned and the Dubai airport has some most advanced scanning equipment installed. It would be silly to even think about fooling machines. Commented May 24 at 13:26

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