I am flying from US through Dubai and then flying back via dubai and staying over in Dubai for a week-end for fun.

I take prescription anti depressants (Buproprion) and also anti-anxiety meds for fear of flying (Clonazepam). I've read (extensively) in the Web a bunch of horror stories about how they have sensitive equipment and test all luggage and carry-on. One site said I have to get a notarized letter from my state and then one from the US department of state. Seems extreme.

I've also read that as long as you have your prescriptions and a doctor's note explaining why you need them, you should be OK - especially if you are only bringing in what would be normal for your condition. DXB processes so many passengers/day, it is doubtful I will get a second look. Buproprion isn't on any list for Dubai that I can find, Clonazepam is, but isn't considered a narcotic.

So if I do get a copy of my prescription, a doctor's letter, and perhaps an itemized bill from my health insurance co (so they know that I am for real) will this be enough?

I realize that there is a lot of info on the net but much of it is contradictory and out-of-date. I am interested in people with recent knowledge and experiences.

  • Never in Dubai, but probably 20 other airports with meds, USA and Europe, and never mentioned once. Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 1:04
  • Since originally writing previous comment: have transited in Dubai, without generating the slightest interest in my meds. Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 20:39

2 Answers 2


In my experience of travelling through DXB (repeatedly, within the last 6 months, with prescription medication each time), they definitely do not scan all baggage with any kind of 'equipment' that can detect personal quantities of prescription medication.

To be honest, I don't think they'll either notice or care. So I think the answer to your question "what do I need?" - assuming your prescription is printed on the medication box - is 'nothing'.

  • 3
    Agree with this answer. Flown through Dubai with antidepressants / anti-anxiety medication - never been questioned. As a general rule, I keep scans of my prescriptions on my phone if I ever need them. Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 18:54

As a general rule - if you are carrying medication - you should also carry a doctor's prescription for that medication (if applicable); especially if its a controlled substance (like a controlled narcotic or pain killer); but it is also recommended even if you are taking relatively innocent medication - as what is controlled depends on each country.

Truthfully, Dubai Customs pulls you over based on your behavior/demeanor rather than a wholesale approach of scanning everyone. They will pull you over if:

  1. You look nervous/suspicious edgy.
  2. Your bags trigger a secondary check - your personal baggage is scanned right after immigration.

If you use a pill organizer; make sure it is empty and the medication is in its original packaging/box with its labels (this just helps to identify the drugs - otherwise you may have to wait as a sample of the medication is tested to confirm its contents).

Practically speaking, from my numerous visits to Dubai - it is a very rare that one is pulled over for medication - unless you are carrying a very large amount without justification - or if it is not packed appropriately. Dubai is a hub for international drug smugglers for both recreational and prohibited drugs - so the authorities are especially looking out for these indicators.

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