To many potential travelers, Abu Dhabi must seem like a mysterious, exotic outpost in the Middle East devoid of the familiar items that make life easier in the West. Nothing could be further from the truth. This city is home to world-class malls, modern pharmacies, huge grocery stores and state-of-the electronics vendors. Most everything one could desire is available here. However, there are a few exceptions.
Totally unnecessary items: No need to lug sunscreen, sandals, beach towels, formal clothes or over the counter medicines halfway around the world when you can get all of these in Abu Dhabi. For those planning a romantic second (or third!) honeymoon, even the popular “ED” pills are available here without prescription. Travel light outbound and leave room to bring your new purchases back home.
Items you must leave at home: Abu Dhabi is modern and progressive city, but its roots and culture are Muslim. This means some OTC and prescription drugs are restricted entry into the U.A.E.. Read the list here for the latest official exclusions. It’s also a good idea to leave the thong bikini at home too, although most anything else goes. Delete those “iffy” files from the laptop, objectionable materials are forbidden.
One last hint: Make liberal use of en-route or airport duty-free liquor purchases. Once you leave the Abu Dhabi airport upon arrival, you will have no opportunities to acquire that 12 year old bottle of single malt scotch in the city to help chase away the jetlag. See Duty Free Rules .