Is marijuana allowed in Dubai


Drugs in the United Arab Emirates

In Dubai, possession and consumption of cannabis and other illegal drugs are equally liable to a prison sentence of at least four years. Even those who never own or use cannabis in Dubai are not safe from punishment: If someone only uses cannabis abroad and a urine test is positive weeks later in the Emirates, he or she has to be behind bars for at least four years.

Trafficking in illegal substances can even be punishable by death. Despite the strict penalties, Dubai is an important hub for drugs of all kinds. Deliveries of hundreds of kilograms of hashish from Pakistan and other countries that were to be shipped on from Dubai have been tracked on several occasions. Dubai is also an important transport hub for imports and exports to and from Afghanistan (see CLN # 70, 07/12/2002).

The police justify the fact that in Dubai no distinction is made between drugs with different properties with the entry-level drug theory, which also seems to persist in the UAE. Dr Mohammed Murad Abdullah, Director of Research and Studies at the Dubai Police Department, is quoted as saying:

Dr Abdullah supported the principle which treated all drugs and drug abusers under the same sentencing umbrella.

"There is no difference because once you use drugs you need three years of rehabilitation to be cured. Soft drugs lead to the inevitable use of hard drugs so it is best to treat them with the same severity, ”he said. It is this "inevitable progression" which is at the center of much of the Dubai Police’s effective educational programs.

However, there are some drugs in Dubai that are more generous than others. The duty-free allowance for cigarettes in the Gulf State is a whopping 100 boxes. Two years ago, an article in the UK's Guardian revealed that even the UAE ambassador in London was involved in international cigarette smuggling. According to a report by the World Customs Association, Dubai is one of the main hubs for international smuggling rings. In Great Britain alone, 77 million untaxed cigarettes in 39 deliveries from Dubai have been confiscated so far, according to the Guardian on December 17, 2001.

Dubai: Life sentence for 0.6 grams of cannabis [CLN # 129, 10.10.2003]
Middle East: Dubai Court Sentences Woman to Life for Selling a Joint [DWC # 597, 08/13/2009]
Life-term in drug case [Khaleej Times (AE), October 6, 2003]
UAE frees British woman who got life term for drug smuggling [Guardian (UK), 04.06.2003]

The Drugs Don’t Work [Al Shindagah (AE), May 1998]
Dubai diplomat accused of smuggling BAT cigarettes [Guardian (UK), 17.12.2001]

See also: Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, index.htm