The birth control pill is set to become less readily available to women in Dubai as authorities move to make it prescription only.
Pharmacies in the emirate have been warning buyers that the rule change will soon take effect, leading to mass purchases and a shortage of stock in some outlets.
The health authority has also been conducting inspections of pharmacies to ensure they are no longer offering the pill over the counter, according to staff.
The change places Dubai in line with Abu Dhabi, where a prescription is required to obtain the birth control pill.
Dubai Health Authority’s regulation department directed enquiries on the change to the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health said all birth control pills were already prescription only under its regulation.
Sex outside of marriage is illegal in the UAE and other forms of contraception like the morning after pill are banned.
However, pharmacy staff in Dubai previously did not ask questions when selling the birth control pill to women.