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I realize that there is a lot of info on the net but much of it is contradictory and out-of-date.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. Jan 4, 2016 at 1:04
  • Since originally writing previous comment: have transited in Dubai, without generating the slightest interest in my meds. 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.
    – Ankur Banerjee
    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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.