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I've been traveling full time for over a year. In a couple of weeks, I'll be passing near Dubai, so I decided it would be nice to spend a week there, since I've always wanted to see it. I've got a few things in my luggage that I'm concerned might raise red flags.

  • Over the counter medicines (Aleve, Benadryl, Lortadine, Simethicone, Melatonin)
  • About 20 condoms (I'm single)
  • A socialist political magazine I picked up in South America
  • A Kindle with various books that may be considered offensive to different people
  • About 50 little plastic pill ziplocks
  • Hemp clothing with small pot leaf symbols on the tags

Should I leave all of those things behind? Are any of them safe to travel with to Dubai?

I've also heard lots of horror stories about people being sent to jail for 4 years over innocent little things like residue from over the counter drugs, or microscopic pieces of weed that they didn't even know about stuck to their shoes from a party. Do I need to be concerned about that too?

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    Regarding the condoms I guess you are fine: Carrying Condoms while traveling to Dubai answers that. For the rest idk, but could you specify "plastic pill ziplocks"? I'm at a loss here, you mean the ziplocks or the content? If the latter care to specify in more detail? – mts Sep 23 '16 at 13:21
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    A bunch of these images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/31VM1SloOkL.jpg mostly empty except a few with the over the counter medicines I mentioned above. – Jo Sprague Sep 23 '16 at 15:05
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    I read a story, possibly on Quora, of a man who got locked up when they found a single marijuana seed stuck in the tread in his shoe, or something very similar. So it could be a problem. I'll try to find a link so you can get a firsthand version of the story. – hippietrail Sep 24 '16 at 11:49
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    OK here's various links: [1], [2], [3] – hippietrail Sep 24 '16 at 11:49
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    Geez, those articles make me think I shouldn't visit Dubai at all, unless I have access to one of those fancy machines to check myself for residues before I get there. – Jo Sprague Sep 24 '16 at 17:38
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Dubai is fairly liberal, I've been there a number of times and never had any issues with Customs. Always had condoms, some medicine, and a tablet with books/photos/whatever. Your luggage is scanned by Customs, but that's all.

Officially, Dubai customs has a web site, but the list of prohibited items (at bottom) seems to be mostly typical.

About 20 condoms (I'm single) A socialist political magazine I picked up in South America A Kindle with various books that may be considered offensive to different people About 50 little plastic pill ziplocks

This should be fine unless your books or magazine "contradict Islamic teaching", whatever this means.

Over the counter medicines (Aleve, Benadryl, Lortadine, Simethicone, Melatonin)

Those may be a problem. Especially OTC medicine, it is hard to say if any of those contains a substance prohibited to import in UAE.

Hemp clothing with small pot leaf symbols on the tags

No idea at all; certainly not in the banned list, but one never knows.

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There is nothing in your list that would get you denied entry.

The OTC medicines should be in their labeled packaging/boxes (and not loose pills). All the medicines you mention are available OTC in Dubai as well, so you do not need a prescription with you.

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    I'm not worried about getting denied entry, I'm worried about getting thrown in prison for four years over an unintentional infraction. – Jo Sprague Sep 26 '16 at 15:14

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