Author Topic: Surviving a trip to Dubai  (Read 261 times)

Offline CandyGram4Mongo

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Surviving a trip to Dubai
« on: January 09, 2019, 11:36:28 AM »
Am heading for Dubai.  Am hopeful others will share their experiences like Surfivor did in the Surviving a Trip to Israel thread http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=59898.msg709804#msg709804.

What I know so far; will followup afterwards:
1. Illegal over-the-counter meds include Excedrin, several forms of Tylenol, some forms of Advil and a bunch of other stuff per the official site .  NOTE: their website's controls behave unexpectedly; use caution when attempting to scroll or search. 
http://www.mohap.gov.ae/en/AwarenessCenter/Pages/UnauthorizedMedicines.aspx
Unofficial site here is more user-friendly but has a gazillion ads.  Note that the unofficial site is vastly out of synch with the official site, but adds some forms of Robitussin and St Joseph's cough syrup.
http://dubaiofw.com/banned-medicines-in-uae/
Looks like Aleve will be the painkiller of choice.  Don't see any problems with Immodium.

2. Prohibited goods include items of Israeli origin, so the IBD is coming out of my kit.  No red lasers.
https://www.dubaicustoms.gov.ae/en/eServices/ServicesForIndividuals/ViewCustomsInformation/Pages/Prohibited-and-Restricted-Goods.aspx

3. Items that must be declared include but aren't limited to radios.  BTW, there are EXCELLENT comments, questions, and answers in the "comments" section of this unofficial site:
https://www.dubai-online.com/essential/customs/

4. Under the you-gotta-be-kidding-me heading - woman jailed for traces of codeine in her blood https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/unitedarabemirates/1488716/Briton-held-in-Dubai-on-drug-charge-after-taking-painkillers-charge.htmlA "passport irregularity" led to a urinalysis.
So, I'm pretty sure that means if you're coming from someplace where cannabis is legal, you could have a real problem if there's a "passport irregularity" or any other excuse to administer a whiz-quiz.  There are also documented cases of arrests for poppy seeds and having some sort of poppy-ish results in the urinalisys.  I'll be traveling with a herd of Canadians.  Might get interesting.

5. There's a lot of other stuff to know - will post more after my return.  In the mean time, here's the official USGov info site link:
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/UnitedArabEmirates.html


Offline David in MN

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Re: Surviving a trip to Dubai
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2019, 04:16:05 PM »
I've had 2 close friends travel there. Both for business. One said he felt very safe and as long as he kept being polite the locals knew that hassling him was bad for business so as long as he stayed more or less on the good side of the law he felt fine. He did bring his wife and had some issues there but again as long as they were polite and helpful it was OK.

The other was one of my mentors. While brilliant at cobbling machines to do what he wanted he was VERY rough around the edges. He had another story. He said that there are a ton of rules in public but once you got to the hotel you could have all the booze and prostitutes you wanted. From his point of view there was a massive discrepancy between public and private affairs. To the point where the concierge got him Jamaican rum (he's Jamaican).

At the end of the day they know where their bread is buttered. If you are polite and decent and respect their norms you should do fine. Dubai markets itself in Europe as the "crossroads of the world" for good reason. Also, be smart. No matter where I go it has the "best" wine, coffee, bread, pastry, etc. Whatever they put in front of you is amazing and you've never had anything like it. It likely won't be a lie but all people like being complemented on their culture. Use your openness to engage in the culture. It's done us wonders in our travels. My wife holds that the tongue of the Peking duck is the best part...

Offline CandyGram4Mongo

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Re: Surviving a trip to Dubai
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2019, 11:29:40 AM »
Thanks David - +1!  1 thing I forgot about was power adapters.  Looks like standard US ain't gonna get it done at my hotel, so off to Best Buy...

Offline never_retreat

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Re: Surviving a trip to Dubai
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2019, 06:30:00 PM »
Learn some Arabic.

Offline surfivor

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Re: Surviving a trip to Dubai
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2019, 02:09:05 PM »

When are you going and for how long ? How did you decide to got there ? Have a nice trip.