Austin faces up to four years in prison when he is sentenced Tuesday, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"I'm pleading guilty but by mistake," Austin was quoted as saying during a short hearing in Dubai. "I had no knowledge and no intention of violating the laws of the U.A.E."
The songwriter, whose life story was loosely depicted in the 2002 movie "Drumline," was arrested May 19 at Dubai's airport.
He was on his way to a three-day birthday party for supermodel Naomi Campbell at a Dubai hotel, the newspaper reported. He was charged with cocaine possession and has been held without bail at a police station, it said.
The newspaper said four attorneys accompanied Austin to the hearing: Mohammad al-Reda of the United Arab Emirates, Qays Hatem al-Zu'bi of Bahrain, Joel A. Katz of Atlanta and another American lawyer who declined to give his name.
Austin, who is based in Atlanta, has several hits to his credit, including Pink's "Just Like a Pill" and TLC's "Unpretty." He won a Grammy Award for best R&B album in 1999 for producing TLC's multiplatinum "Fanmail." He also produced "Drumline" and "ATL."