United Arab Emirates Download PDFAdd to comparison

According to Federal Law No.15 of 2009, the sale of e-cigarettes and e-shishas are prohibited in the country and the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes is also banned in accordance with a decision of health ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The GCC is a regional political and economic union which includes all Arab states in the Persian Gulf, except Iraq. Although there is no law stating that vaping is illegal, the Director of health and safety department at the Dubai Municipality has said, “If people have vapes or e-cigarettes, they can smoke it only in designated areas" but reportedly members of the public are unclear on the legal status of vaping. Repeat offenders who sell vaping equipment are liable to considerable fines. Recently however, there have been reports that the UAE is reassessing its ban in relation to e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn products. Government consumer watchdog the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (Esma) is reportedly reviewing data to assess if the ban should be lifted.
Selling e-cigarettes (containing nicotine) and control mechanisms
Sale of e-cigarettes
Banned[1, 2, 3]
References

1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/

2. Global tobacco control website. Available at: https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052

3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

General use and availability
Legal to use
Yes[1, 2, 3]
Legal to sell e-cigarette device
No[1, 2, 3]
Legal to sell nicotine
No[1, 2, 3]
Legal to import device - trade
No[1, 2, 3]
Legal to import nicotine - trade
No[1, 2, 3]
References

1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/

2. Global tobacco control website. Available at: https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052

3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

Advertising & promotion
Public advertising allowed in all Media
No[1, 2, 3]
References

1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/

2. Global tobacco control website. Available at: https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052

3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

Health
Minimum age restrictions on sales
Yes 18+[1, 2, 3]
Legal restrictions on vaping in public places
Yes[1, 2, 3]
References

1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/

2. Global tobacco control website. Available at: https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052

3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

Notes on methodology & limitations

Data has been collected from a range of sources which are openly available online, such as vaping information/regulation websites & direct from country's legislation where available. In a few instances information has been included which was received from individuals specialising in the field. The regulatory picture changes frequently and these data boxes show the situation at time of going to press. This website will be updated as/when new regulatory information is received. There are gaps in the data available - readers are invited to send in updated information to the GSTHR team.

Country News

  • Thursday, February 21, 2019
  • UAE doctors won't promote vaping to help smokers quit

  • E-cigarettes will not be offered as an aid to help smokers quit until the full health impact is determined, doctors have said.

    This week the government's product regulator said e-cigarettes and vaping products could be sold legally from mid-April.

    Regulation will ensure consumers will have transparency over the vaping products they buy and help authorities stamp out black market and unregulated sellers.

    But government doctors said the country will not go as far as some nations in promoting the devices to problem smokers.

  • Monday, February 18, 2019
  • UAE to allow sale of e-cigarettes and vaping devices

  • New regulations will allow the legal sale of e-cigarettes and vaping devices in the UAE for the first time.

    Manufacturers will be allowed to sell the battery-powered products as long as they meet new standards and carry health warnings similar to traditional cigarettes.

    The Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology confirmed the move on Sunday. The new rules - known as UAE.S 5030 - allow the sale of electronic cigarettes, electronic pipes, electronic shisha devices plus the liquid refills.

  • Monday, January 14, 2019
  • Take it from a nicotine addict, shisha is no joke

  • A new UAE study has confirmed what every shisha lover has long suspected: there are higher levels of cancer-causing metals in shisha products than in cigarettes. The ­research was co-authored by ­Professor Mohamed Al Hajjaj of the University of Sharjah, Abdus Khan of Khalifa University, [...] The study looked at 13 medwakh tobacco products and three shisha products, analysing their properties to determine metal concentrations. Their findings may not have been surprising, but they were terrifying all the same. [...]

  • Tuesday, January 01, 2019
  • Shisha contains high levels of cancer-causing metals, UAE study finds

  • Metals that can cause cancer are present in higher levels in medwakh and shisha products than in cigarettes, a new UAE study found. Scientists in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi found that in comparisons to cigarettes, both medwakh and shisha tobacco contain more nickel, chromium, copper and zinc. The research follows a study earlier this year reporting much higher levels of nicotine and tar in medwakh than in cigarettes.

  • Monday, November 19, 2018
  • Hooked on hookah: UAE experts report surge in shisha addicts

  • A rising number of UAE residents are seeking help after becoming hooked on shisha, an addiction expert has said.

    Johanna Griffin, a Dubai-based specialist, said there has been a noticeable spike in patients attempting to kick the habit. They had often started smoking shisha, she revealed, unaware that evidence suggests they can be more dangerous than cigarettes.

    Kamal Naji, 27, quit cigarettes before turning to shisha, which has now become a “part of his life”. He enjoys one immediately after finishing work, and another in the evening.