Pharmacies in Dubai are an integral part of the city’s healthcare system, offering a wide range of services and products. From over-the-counter medicines and prescription drugs to beauty products, Dubai pharmacies cater to every healthcare need.
The city is home to hundreds of pharmacies, including both local chains and international franchises, ensuring that you’re never too far from a trusted source of medications. You will find plenty of them both in popular tourist spots and residential areas. What are the best pharmacies in Dubai? What do they sell? How much are medications in Dubai? You will find all the answers in my Dubai pharmacy guide. I’ve been to many Dubai drugstores, and you can read below about my experience.
What can you buy in Dubai pharmacies
Dubai pharmacies offer a vast range of products, catering to every health need. If you’re feeling under the weather, you can find a wide variety of over-the-counter medications to help with anything from a common cold to a headache. For more serious conditions, prescription drugs are readily available, ensuring that you have access to the medication you need to stay healthy.
Beyond medications, Dubai pharmacies also offer a selection of wellness and beauty products. Many pharmacies in Dubai have sections dedicated to skincare, haircare and cosmetics, allowing you to maintain your beauty regime while also taking care of your health.
You can easily find toothbrushes and toothpaste, shampoos, shower gels, face and body creams, diapers, cotton pads and swabs, sunscreens, feeding bottles, children’s cosmetics, manicure sets, contact lenses and multi-purpose solutions. Moreover, you will find nutritional supplements, vitamins and healthy foods, making Dubai pharmacies a one-stop-shop for all your health and wellness needs.
And it’s not just about products. Dubai pharmacies also offer services such as health screenings, vaccinations and medication counselling, making them an essential part of the city’s healthcare system.
Do pharmacies in Dubai sell authentic and good-quality products
OK, I know this question is quite important. When it comes to health, there’s no room for compromise. That’s why Dubai takes great pride in ensuring that all pharmacies sell only authentic and good-quality products. The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) strictly regulates the pharmacy sector, ensuring that all medicines sold are genuine and safe.
Furthermore, all pharmacies in Dubai are required to employ a licensed pharmacist who is responsible for dispensing medications and providing advice to customers. This ensures that you’re not only getting quality products, but also professional guidance on how to use them safely and effectively. From my experience, all pharmacists in Dubai speak English well (at least in popular tourist areas), so it will be easy to communicate and explain what you want.
Dubai’s commitment to quality extends to all products sold in pharmacies, not just medications. Whether you’re buying a skincare product, a nutritional supplement or a health food, you can trust that it has been thoroughly tested and approved by the relevant authorities.
Do I need a prescription to buy medicine in Dubai pharmacies
In Dubai, as in many other places around the world, certain medications require a prescription from a registered medical practitioner. This includes most antibiotics, antiviral drugs and medications for chronic conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. This is to ensure that these potent medications are used responsibly and under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
However, there are also many medications that can be bought over-the-counter in Dubai pharmacies. These include common analgesics, antihistamines, and cough and cold remedies. Before buying any medication, it’s a good idea to consult with the pharmacist, who can provide advice on the best product for your needs and how to use it safely.
If you’re visiting Dubai and need to refill a prescription, it’s important to note that foreign prescriptions are not usually accepted. You will likely need to see a local doctor to get a new prescription. However, some pharmacies may accept foreign prescriptions for certain medications, so it’s worth checking with the pharmacist.
What medications can you buy without a prescription in Dubai pharmacies
While certain medications require a prescription in Dubai, there are many that can be bought over-the-counter. This includes common medications for pain relief, allergies, digestive issues, coughs and colds. You can also buy a range of vitamins and supplements without a prescription.
When buying over-the-counter medications in Dubai pharmacies, it’s important to read the label carefully and follow the instructions. If you’re unsure about anything, don’t hesitate to ask the pharmacist.
Many pharmacies in Dubai also offer a range of homeopathic and herbal remedies, which can be bought without a prescription. These products can be a good alternative for those who prefer natural treatments. However, they should be used with caution and under the advice of a healthcare professional, as they can interact with other medications and may not be suitable for everyone.
Can I take my prescription medication to Dubai
Dubai has strict regulations on the import of medications, and certain drugs are either not allowed into the country or restricted. This includes some common prescription medications, as well as over-the-counter drugs which might be allowed in other countries. If you’re planning to bring medication with you to Dubai, it’s important to check the list of prohibited and controlled (or semi-controlled) substances published by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP).
If your medication is allowed, you will need to carry it in the original packaging, complete with the prescription label. You should also bring your prescription, as well as a letter from your doctor explaining your medical condition and the need for the medication. This will help avoid any issues at customs. In general, it’s a good idea to bring enough medication for your stay in Dubai.
What medications are forbidden in Dubai
The UAE has strict drug laws, and certain medications are considered controlled (or semi-controlled) substances. This includes some common prescription medications, as well as certain over-the-counter drugs. The list of controlled substances is extensive and includes drugs that are commonly available in other countries.
Some common medications that are considered controlled substances in the UAE include certain painkillers, antidepressants and medications for ADHD. If you’re planning to bring these or any other medications with you to Dubai, it’s important to check the UAE Ministry of Health’s list of controlled substances.
If your medication is on the list, you will need to apply for a special permit to bring it into the country for personal use. This involves submitting an application to the UAE Ministry of Health. As a tourist, you will need to send the following documents along with your application:
- Copy of your passport
- Copy of your prescription issued not more than 3 months before the application
- Copy of a medical report issued by your doctor or medical facility not more than 1 year before the application explaining your medical condition and the need for the medication
You can find more details and apply via the link above.
Dubai pharmacy prices
The price of medications in Dubai can vary, depending on the type of drug, the brand and where you buy it. In general, prescription drugs tend to be more expensive than over-the-counter medications. However, the government regulates the prices of many medications to ensure that they remain affordable.
Dubai pharmacies also often have promotions and discounts, especially on over-the-counter products. It’s a good idea to check a few different pharmacies to find the best price.
If you’re visiting Dubai and need to refill a prescription, you may find that the cost is different from what you’re used to back home. This is because drug prices vary from country to country, depending on factors such as import costs, taxes and local market conditions.
Here are some average medicine prices in Dubai pharmacies:
- Panadol (24 tablets): AED 17
- Betadine sore throat spray: AED 55
- Strepsils: AED 24
- Voltaren emulgel: AED 33
- Otrivin nasal spray: AED 25
- Telfast tablets: AED 56
- Imodium: AED 15
If you find these prices too high compared to your county, I recommend bringing your own emergency supply. However, do not forget to check the list of forbidden and controlled medications to make sure you are allowed to bring them into the UAE.
List of pharmacies in Dubai
Finding the right pharmacy in Dubai is easy, given the sheer number of options. You will find them in all major tourist areas, big shopping malls and residential areas. The range of products is often similar but there are differences as well. Here’s my list of some of the top pharmacies in Dubai.
The largest retail pharmacy chain in the UAE, Life Pharmacy offers a comprehensive range of products and services. Their logo can be frequently seen in Dubai streets. Established in 1996, the chain has over 200 pharmacies in the country. They have a wide selection of medications, health supplements, skincare products and more. They also offer home delivery and online shopping.
Super Care Pharmacy
A trusted name in Dubai with a history spanning more than 40 years, Super Care Pharmacy boasts a wide range of healthcare products and services. They have a well-stocked pharmacy section, as well as sections for beauty products and health foods. They also offer health screenings and vaccinations.
Established in 1965, BinSina is one of the oldest and most trusted pharmacies in Dubai. You can buy all sorts of products from these pharmacies with complete confidence, from over-the-counter medications to skin care products, vitamins, nutritional supplements and more. They also have a team of trained pharmacists who can provide advice and guidance.
A popular international chain headquartered in the UK, Boots Pharmacy offers a wide range of healthcare products, including prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, beauty products and health foods. They also offer health services such as vaccinations and health screenings.
With over 200 branches across the UAE, Aster Pharmacy is a convenient and reliable choice. In their pharmacies, you will find, among other things, medication, oral and skin care products, products for home rehabilitation after illness, nutritional supplements and much more.
Medicina Pharmacy is another trusted brand on the market with their branches strategically located in Dubai and the UAE. Besides prescribed medications, you can find there many healthcare products, cosmetics, food supplements, babycare products and more.
O2 Pharmacy is known for its modern approach to health and wellness. It not only provides a wide range of medicines but also offers health advice and information. Their concept is influenced by Generation Y ideas, and O2 calls itself the first five-star luxury pharmacy in the region. Moreover, they offer a loyalty program.
Al Manara Pharmacy
Next on my list of the best pharmacies in Dubai is Al Manara Pharmacy. With more than 50 branches, Al Manara Pharmacy is a trusted name among residents and tourists alike. It offers a wide range of products, from prescription drugs to over-the-counter medicines, health supplements and personal care items.
The staff at Al Manara Pharmacy are well-trained and knowledgeable. They are always ready to assist and provide advice on the best products for your needs.
Originally from Egypt, Seif Pharmacy has dozens of branches in central Dubai. This pharmacy chain is known for its wide range of products and excellent service. Whether you’re looking for prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicines, you’re sure to find them at Seif Pharmacy.
If you’re seeking urgent medication or just replenishing your beauty regime, Dubai’s pharmacies have got you covered. With a wide range of products, quality service and convenient online options, you can trust Dubai’s pharmacies to cater to all your healthcare needs. Stay healthy and have fun in Dubai!
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