The British government has updated its travel advice for tourists visiting the United Arab Emirates, warning that it is illegal to bring some items, such as some skincare products and E-cigarette refills, into the country and alcohol and drug laws also cover having the illegal substances present in your blood stream or being drunk while transiting through the airport.
The United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on September 16 updated its travel advice for entry requirements to the UAE to state that, as per local laws, “some skincare products and E-cigarette refills may contain ingredients that are illegal in the UAE such as CBD oil. If found in possession of such products, they will be confiscated and you may face criminal charges”.
CBD oil contains cannabidiol, a substance found in the marijuana plant and often used to manage pain relief, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and sleep disorders, according to sister publication, Arabian Business.
According to a report by CNN, CBD oil is also present is items such as soaps, moisturizers, eyeliners and lipsticks which are sold legally in the UK and the United States.
As part of the travel update, the FCO also stated that “tourists in Dubai are able to obtain a temporary liquor licence for the duration of a month from the two official liquor distributors”.
The notice added that tourists arriving in the UAE “will be provided with a code of conduct document and will be asked to confirm they understand rules and regulations in relation to purchasing, transporting and consuming liquor in Dubai. This licence is only for use in the Emirate where it is issued”.
The updated information also warned that passengers in transit through the UAE under the influence of alcohol may also be arrested.
In relation to illegal drug use, the FCO stated “there is zero tolerance for drugs-related offences. The penalties for trafficking, smuggling and possession of drugs (even residual amounts) are severe. Sentences for drug trafficking can include the death penalty and possession of even the smallest amount of illegal drugs can lead to a minimum 4-year jail sentence. The Emirati authorities count the presence of drugs in the blood stream as possession. Some herbal highs, like Spice, are illegal in the UAE”.