Dubai Visitor Tax

Dubai “Tax”, well not in the literal sense of the word seeing as Dubai is a tax free country.  It is not however, if you live here as an expat, a visitor free country.  We love having visitors to stay with us in our house, at the moment when they come they share the playroom with the toddlers toys and generally are woken up by an excited toddler running in to say good morning to them which I am sure fills people with delight.

The thing is, we have a tax that needs to be paid if you stay in our house.  And its a visitor tax that I’m sure any expat anywhere in the world will impose.

The tax of THINGS WE MISS.  There are many things you miss living away from your home country, family, friends,  local amenities and above all food.

Imagine living on holiday where it’s great eating the local food for 2 weeks but by the time you are leaving you are ready for that full dirty English breakfast with English toast.

Now imagine not heading home to get said English breakfast.


And so, we impose the Dubai visitor tax on all of our guests and they must bring us the food and items that we most miss from home but can’t get out here.  However my mum has drawn the line at filling a suitcase with Warburtons for us….

Dubai Tax

1.  Chocolate

Nowhere in the world does real dairy milk chocolate like the UK.  Nowhere.  Here they add some anti melting agent and it doesn’t taste the same.  In fact all its good for is cooking with, chocolate cornflake cake anyone?

2.  Calpol

I think Calpol is a UK standard, here we can get Nurofen and Panadol but it’s not quite the same as dosing the Toddler up on things I can’t reminisce about taking as a child.  I loved that magic purple liquid.  I still love the smell of it.  Nothing quite says you’ll feel better soon that a lick of Calpol.  So this appears in the suitcase.

3.  Metanium

Best.  Nappy.  Rash.  Cream.  Ever.

Never seen anything like this stuff, have a rash, apply the yellow stuff overnight, gone by morning.  Not available in Dubai so it comes via visitor tax.

4.  Gripe Water

Again, not available in Dubai, but amazing for windy Baby Boy.

5.  Organix Oaty Bars

Again Dubai can be a bit hit and miss as to what supplies are in the shops, what they have in one week won’t necessarily make the shipment the week after.  Oaty bars can normally be found but not with the same variety as the UK and definitely at a premium price to the UK.

They are just so handy to throw in my bag for an on the go snack I like to have a constant supply.

6. Part Baked Baguettes

My compromise on the bread situation.

7.  Jelly Babies

These are deemed a pork product because of the gelatin.  Again, it’s a product that is hit and miss in the shops but widely used by the husband for running training as they are a fantastic source of quick release carbohydrate and energy.

8. Corn Tortillas

Randomly the ones available in Dubai are really small.  No good for Quaesdillas.  Besides they can be slipped into a suitcase.

And finally the big one….

9.  Alcohol

There is no getting into our house unless you bring your full quota of duty free.  2 bottles of spirits, 3 litres of beer or most importantly 5 bottles of wine.  No alcohol, no entry.

There are many more and they vary from person to person, if you are an expat what is missing on my list that I need to add to my visitor tax?



  1. August 12, 2015 / 10:24 pm

    Haha, I’d totally impose the tax too! Especially the five bottles of wine thing, though I’d need visitors approximately every three weeks…

    • Laura
      August 14, 2015 / 6:18 am

      Haha that’s what alcohol licences are for – its just cheaper *free* when visitors bring it for you!

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