Intranasally administered non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) offer an innovative opportunity in the field of pain management. Combination of the nasal physiological advantages such as the rich vascularization and large absorption area along with novel nanomedical formulations can fulfill all the necessary criteria of an advanced drug delivery system. Nanoemulsions represent a versatile formulation approach suitable for nasal drug delivery by increasing the absorption and the bioavailability of many drugs for systemic and nose-to-brain delivery due to their stability, small droplet size and optimal solubilization properties. In this study we aimed to develop meloxicam (MX)-loaded mucoadhesive nanoemulsions and to investigate the nasal applicability of the optimized formulations. Our results indicated the optimized nanoemulsion formulation (MX-NE3) had a droplet size of 158.5 nm in monodisperse droplet size distribution (polydispersity index of 0.211). The surface charge was -11.2 mV, which helped with the colloidal stability upon dilution at simulated nasal conditions and storage. The high encapsulation efficiency (79.2%) mediated a 15-fold drug release and a 3-fold permeability increase at nasal conditions compared to the initial MX. Proper wetting properties associated with high mucoadhesion prosper the increased residence time on the surface of the nasal mucosa. No cytotoxic effect of the formulations was observed on NIH/3T3 mouse embryonic fibroblast cell lines, which supports the safe nasal applicability.