Can Tourists Buy Alcohol In Dubai?

Can Tourists Buy Alcohol In Dubai
Do tourists need an alcohol licence to drink in Dubai? – To purchase alcohol for consumption at home, Dubai residents must apply for an alcohol licence with their Emirates ID. This is now free of charge until the end of 2023. Tourists can bring their original passport to liquor stores in Dubai, where they can apply for a free 30-day licence.

Can a tourist purchase alcohol in Dubai?

Do tourists need a license to purchase alcohol in Dubai? – In order to purchase alcohol from liquor stores in Dubai, tourists can apply for an instant 30-day alcohol license. They’ll just need to visit a store with their passport and Dubai entry stamp. This option is not available to resident visa holders in Dubai. Again, as of January 1, 2023 this is free of charge.

Can I buy alcohol in Dubai on visit visa?

Documents required for an alcohol license in Dubai – Once a laborious process, applying for an alcohol license is now a fast and completely hassle-free process. First, you must meet the eligibility criteria. That means you’ll need to be a resident of Dubai, non-Muslim, and over the age of 21.

If you live in Dubai but your residency visa is issued by another emirate, you will need to apply for a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to the relevant department in that emirate. NOC’s can be obtained from the Abu Dhabi Special Licence Office or the Sharjah Police Headquarters in those emirates. If you are on your spouse’s visa, you will also require an NOC from your spouse.

If you are not a resident of Dubai, it is possible to apply for a tourist alcohol license which permits you to legally buy and consume alcohol for 30 days. However, this can be extended if required. Once complete, you are free to buy and consume alcohol at any authorised alcohol retailer in Dubai.

  • No consumption in public places
  • No drinking and driving
  • No public intoxication
  • Alcohol must be concealed when in public

There are several ways to make your application. Either online, in-person at any African + Eastern store, or you can choose to have an application pack sent to your home address. You can also work with a Dubai licensing expert such as Business Incorporation Zone who can manage your application on your behalf.

  1. If applying in store, you need to visit a licensed alcohol distributor in Dubai.
  2. When in store, you will need to fill out a few details and show your Emirates ID and NOC if applicable.
  3. You may find information online suggesting that you also need to provide an Ejari tenancy agreement and proof of earnings to apply for a liquor license.

Many sites also list other documents that you are required to submit, such as a copy of your passport, visa stamp, and a colour passport photo. However, this is no longer the case. Provided you have your Emirates ID, you can make your application. Applications are usually approved within 48 hours with licenses issued within four weeks.

  1. However, you will be issued with a temporary license while your new application is processed, so you can purchase alcohol right away.
  2. It is important to note that these are the requirements to buy and consume alcohol in Dubai.
  3. Each emirate has its own laws and regulations regarding liquor.
  4. In Abu Dhabi, for instance, residents and tourists can buy alcohol without a license, as long as it is for personal consumption, and it is to be consumed in a private home or correctly licensed premises.

In Sharjah, the sale, consumption, storage and transportation of alcohol is strictly prohibited.

  • Holders of liquor licenses in the UAE must also keep in mind that it is only valid in the emirate in which it was issued.
  • Apply for your alcohol license permit in Dubai
  • If you’re armed with the right expertise, applying for a liquor license in Dubai doesn’t have to be overly complicated.

That being said, it does require a level of prior knowledge of the process. And, as with any paperwork, it also benefits from an expert eye. What’s more, it is important to note that the process is only straightforward if your account application is complete at the time of submission and free from errors.

  1. We are a team of company registration professionals who are passionate about bringing the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to life.
  2. As well as handling license applications, we can also handle all government formalities, permissions, work permits, and visa applications required to live and work in the UAE.
  3. When forming a new company, our experts can establish your company on your behalf, make your license, visa, and bank account applications, and take care of all the necessary admin – leaving you free to get on with running your business.

: The Alcohol License Permit in Dubai 2022: Rules and Costs

Can I buy alcohol without license in Dubai?

The Alcohol License Permit in Dubai 2022: Rules and Costs While the UAE is a Muslim country, it is by no means a completely dry state. And thanks in large part to Dubai’s vast expatriate community, it is no secret that alcohol is freely consumed in appropriately licensed premises such as hotels and clubs.

  • It may also be consumed in private premises.
  • In fact, around half of the UAE’s residents say they drink alcohol, with the average drinker consuming one to three alcoholic beverages every week.
  • However, due to strict laws surrounding alcohol, its sale and consumption are tightly controlled.
  • Anyone wishing to sell and consume alcohol requires a license.

And anyone flouting this rule can face serious consequences including fines and visa revocation. That said, there is no need to fall foul of this law, as, with the right support, obtaining an alcohol license in Dubai is both fast and straightforward.

Can I drink alcohol in Dubai hotel room?

Drinking Is A-OK, in the Right Places – Tourists are permitted to drink in licensed restaurants, hotels and bars attached to licensed hotels. It is unacceptable and punishable to drink in public places—even beaches. Dubai is incredibly strict about public drunkenness and has zero tolerance for drinking and driving.

Can visitor buy alcohol in UAE?

IMPORTANCE OF ALCOHOL LICENCE IN DUBAI – Dubai welcomes expats and tourists from all over the world. The city has vibrant nightlife and alcohol is available fairly easily across the city. However, alcohol purchase and consumption are regulated, which is why having a liquor licence in Dubai is mandatory.

Remember that a Dubai alcohol licence is mandatory for residents who want to purchase alcohol. As per tourist laws for visiting Dubai, consuming alcohol in licenced restaurants and pubs doesn’t require a liquor licence. However, if you wish to purchase alcohol, you must have a temporary licence. Earlier, consuming alcohol without a licence was a crime. However, after laws regarding alcohol consumption changed in 2020, this rule was made redundant.

Can Tourists Buy Alcohol In Dubai Having a liquor licence in Dubai is mandatory for residents wanting to buy alcohol at home

Is alcohol cheap in Dubai?

Alcohol in restaurants and cafes in Dubai The prices of alcohol are a lot higher in Dubai than we are used to, a normal glass of Heineken (0.33 cl) costs around 6 to 8 dollar and a glass of wine is between 10 and 12 dollar. Cocktails start at 12 dollar and can go up to 35 dollar.

Is alcohol legal in Dubai for foreigners?

UAE Alcohol rule changes since November 2020: –

Consumption of alcohol is no longer a criminal offense and a license fee is no longer required for residents or tourists. A person still must be at least 21 years old to buy alcohol legally in the UAE, and anyone caught selling alcohol to someone deemed underage will be punished. Alcohol can only be consumed privately or in licensed public places.

As you will no doubt still come across conflicting information in this regard, we have left all the previous alcohol licensing information on this page.

What is the alcohol rule in Dubai?

Alcohol – UAE Residents can drink alcohol at home and in licensed venues. Liquor licences are still required for Residents in Dubai but are no longer required for Residents in Abu Dhabi and other Emirates (save for Emirate of Sharjah) to purchase alcohol for personal consumption.

In Dubai, tourists are able to obtain a temporary liquor licence for the duration of a month from the two official liquor distributors in Dubai. Tourists will be provided with a code of conduct document and will be asked to confirm they understand rules and regulations in relation to purchasing, transporting and consuming liquor in Dubai.

This licence is only for use in the Emirate where it is issued. Liquor licences are not available to non-residents in the other Emirates, but it is possible for tourists and visitors to buy and drink alcohol in licensed venues, such as hotels, restaurants and clubs.

  • However, you should be aware that it is a punishable offence under UAE law to drink or be under the influence of alcohol in public.
  • British nationals have been arrested and charged under this law, often in cases where they have come to the attention of the police for a related offence, such as disorderly or offensive behaviour.
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Generally, the legal age for drinking alcohol is 18 in Abu Dhabi, but a Ministry of Tourism by-law prevents hotels from serving alcohol to those under the age of 21. In Dubai and all other emirates besides Sharjah, the drinking age is 21. Drinking alcohol in Sharjah is illegal.

Can you buy alcohol at Dubai airport?

1. Re: Buying alcohol at Dubai Duty Free on arrival 4 years ago Tourists may not buy alcohol from the official liquor shops in town; alcohol licences are only available to residents. You may buy alcohol at the duty free shop at the airport when you arrive – the shop is in the baggage reclaim area and helps pass the time whilst waiting for your baggage to appear on the carousel! You may buy up to 4 litres of alcohol per person, so 4 x 1 litre bottles of spirits each, or 5 x 75cl bottles wine each or a combination of wine and spirits not exceeding 4 litres per person.

Is it allowed to take a girl in hotel in Dubai?

3. Can unmarried couples stay in the same hotel room? – According to the law, it’s illegal for unmarried couples to stay in the same room during a holiday in Dubai. In reality, this is not strictly enforced and it’s unlikely you’ll be challenged on it.

Can I smoke in Dubai?

The UAE’s law prohibits sale of tobacco and tobacco products to children. Smoking in public transportation, private vehicles and indoor places in the presence of a child is also prohibited.

Do restaurants in Dubai serve alcohol?

Can you drink alcohol in Dubai? The answer to that question could convince you to book your Dubai holiday, or not. Yes, you can drink alcohol in Dubai but it’s not as easy to buy alcohol in Dubai as it is in most Western or Asian countries. Information on adult beverages and a few tours and dining events which include refreshment. Can you drink alcohol in Dubai? Yes. I bought this beer in Dubai UAE. Find out how and where! Your corner shop most likely won’t sell alcohol as the sale of alcoholic drinks is regulated. Only licensed establishments can sell alcoholic drinks in Dubai. It is very likely that your hotel, or restaurant, will be licensed to sell alcohol, be that beer, wine, or spirits.

  • Glitzy hotels and celebrity guests are well-known in Dubai,
  • Most of those guests will be looking for a glass of wine or a rooftop cocktail! Some of Dubai’s hotels have bars so lavish that they make the grade for Condé Nast’s best bars in Dubai list,
  • The Mercury Lounge at The Four Seasons Jumeirah is one such bar.

I was able to purchase an adult beverage on our desert camel safari excursion, I only bought one as it was very expensive, I think $10. That was the only alcoholic drink of that entire trip to Dubai. Another option if you enjoy a beverage, is to book a dinner cruise with alcoholic drinks available.

Check the fine print, not all dinner cruises serve alcohol. You’ve no doubt heard of The Palm Dubai, but did you know it has an observation deck to enjoy stunning sunset views, with optional beverages? Dinner options where alcohol is served also exist. Try the Burj Khalifa sunset “bubbly” experience below, meals are also served here on or near the highest lounge in the world.

There are also a good number of clubs and bars in Dubai for those who really like to party. The legal drinking age in Dubai is reportedly 21 ( double check that here ) but not just anyone can buy a drink in Dubai. You will likely need to show your passport if you’d like to visit a bottle shop or offlicense.

The UAE, being an Islamic country, does have some fairly strict regulations around the consumption of alcohol, however, for tourists, you should be able to find, and enjoy, your favourite tipple with dinner or in an adult environment. Similar restrictions around the consumption of alcohol can be seen in Egypt, and Malaysia, but in these countries, as in Dubai, finding an alcoholic beverage is possible if you know how! Want to check out some of the best gyms in Dubai ? If you’d like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal! We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of travel insurance.

Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please check and double-check all the information we give you locally as times, places, dates, and services do, as we found, change often.

How much money do I need for 1 week in Dubai?

The average price of a 7-day trip to Dubai is $1,498 for a solo traveler, $2,690 for a couple, and $5,044 for a family of 4, Dubai hotels range from $35 to $107 per night with an average of $46, while most vacation rentals will cost $210 to $530 per night for the entire home.

Average worldwide flight costs to Dubai International Airport ( DXB ) are between $722 and $1,105 per person for economy flights and $2,266 to $3,467 for first class. Depending on activities, we recommend budgeting $26 to $53 per person per day for transportation and enjoying local restaurants. See below for average, budget, and luxury trip costs.

You can also look up flight costs from your airport for more tailored flight pricing.

Why are drinks so expensive in Dubai?

Why it could be happy hour for Dubai tourists after alcohol tax is scrapped Editor’s Note: This CNN Travel series is, or was, sponsored by the country it highlights. CNN retains full editorial control over subject matter, reporting and frequency of the articles and videos within the sponsorship,,

  • Dubai is a huge draw for visitors, attracting from January to November 2022.
  • They arrive from across the globe to tan on the sandy beaches, shop in the extravagant malls, eat in the world-class restaurants, and even to drink in the city’s many bars.
  • Despite Dubai’s popularity as a holiday destination, and reputation as the Gulf’s “party capital,” restrictions on alcohol have made getting your favorite cocktail in the city an expensive and hard-won indulgence.

But on January 1, Dubai announced it would, as well as the fee tourists and expats previously had to pay for a license to buy alcohol from stores to drink in private. The license is still restricted to non-Muslims over the age of 21. It’s a significant change for residents and visitors, although it is still illegal to drink in public places, such as parks, beaches, or malls.

And being drunk and disorderly or driving under the influence could result in a fine or a spot in jail. The move comes as Dubai faces growing competition from its neighbors, particularly Saudi Arabia, which is working hard to boost its own, Historically, Dubai has managed to attract more tourists than other Gulf nations, partly thanks to a more liberal approach to regulations imposed on visitors.

According to data from the World Travel and Tourism Council, in 2022, international visitors spent over $29 billion in Dubai. “Dubai became a global tourism magnet while the tax was applied, as it has so much to offer to tourists that the alcohol pricing was never an impediment,” explains Magdalena Karolak, associate professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at a university in the United Arab Emirates. According to Karolak, the new rules are in line with other social changes implemented in recent years. These include the shift to a Saturday-Sunday weekend, which was previously on Friday and Saturday, food outlets being permitted to continue service during the daytime throughout the holy month of Ramadan, with significantly reduced restrictions, and the creation of a new family law for non-Muslim expat residents.

  1. The family law comes into effect in February and allows expats to deal with personal status issues (such as divorce, inheritance, and custody disputes) without having to return to their country of origin.
  2. Altogether, these social changes make Dubai an attractive city for a long-term presence and not just a short-term holiday hotspot,” says Karolak.
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“The new ruling also removed the paperwork and fees required for residents to apply for a liquor license, which is noteworthy.” But there could be a downside to the changes. Karolak points out that the restrictions on alcohol have meant that Dubai suffers little alcohol-related crime, such as driving under the influence and disorderly behavior.

It is unclear whether the new rules will be permanent. Karolak says the changes will be in place on a trial basis until the end of 2023, “And, no doubt, its extension or not will rely upon the impacts felt in the emirate.” Samantha Wood, founder of Dubai-based restaurant review website, believes that the new initiative will be a “fantastic boost” for Dubai’s tourism sector.

“We’ve already seen alcohol distributors drop their prices by 30% for both trade and retail,” Wood tells CNN. “The consumer is, naturally, expecting restaurants to follow and reduce prices on their alcoholic beverage lists by the same amount once orders for new stock kick in.” But she suspects that not all restaurants will reflect the full tax cut in their prices.

I fear many restaurants will use this opportunity to minimize the impact of other rising costs and inflation, including the pending arrival of corporate tax,” she explains. According to Wood, the move should also entice wider interest in Dubai from international wine and spirits brands which in the past regarded the emirate as cost prohibitive.

“It’s important to note that this new initiative is currently only for one year, a clever move to allow the authorities to monitor the situation and see if restaurants play ball by dropping prices,” she says. “I hope restaurateurs will see the big picture and drop prices sufficiently and promptly.” : Why it could be happy hour for Dubai tourists after alcohol tax is scrapped

Why is alcohol so cheap in Dubai?

Alcohol in Dubai will now be 30% cheaper If is on your list of places to, you might just end up saving some money on your next trip. On 1 January 2023, Dubai cut its 30% tax on alcohol sales in the sheikhdom and made liquor licenses free to obtain, seeking to consolidate its position as a travel hotspot.

The New Year’s Day announcement was made by Dubai’s two state-linked alcohol retailers and came apparently from a government decree from its ruling Al Maktoum family. described the move as a one-year trial, citing “industry executives informed of the decision”. This act follows years of loosening regulations over liquor in Dubai, which now sells alcohol during daylight hours in Ramadan and even began providing home delivery of alcohol during the lockdowns at the start of the pandemic.

This is in contrast to Sharjah, the emirate that borders Dubai to the north that outlaws alcohol, as well as nearby nations of, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Per Dubai law, non-Muslims must be 21 or older to consume alcohol. Despite the fact that they are rarely checked, drinkers are required to carry plastic cards issued by the Dubai police that permit them to purchase, transport and consume beer, wine and liquor.

  1. Speaking to Condé Nast Traveller India,, the Corporate Executive Chef at the Michelin-starred restaurant Trésind Studio and restaurant in Dubai said the move will encourage diners to go out more and will allow restaurants to afford better quality brands on their wine and spirit menus.
  2. It’s a great initiative for sure to boost the restaurant business in the city.

We all know how expensive wines and spirits can become with taxation and fees. While the impact is not immediate—as restaurants have paid taxes on their current stock—we are likely to see an impact starting in a month’s time, where consumers pay lesser prices than before and we’re also likely to see better wine lists as a result of the tax cut.

Can a tourist buy wine in Dubai?

Tourists can now buy alcohol in Dubai – but only if they have a foreign passport. Why? Because UAE (United Arab Emirates) residents are often Muslims, and Muslims aren’t permitted to drink alcohol. If you bring your non-UAE passport to prove you aren’t a resident, you can buy alcohol in Dubai.

  • In the past, wine, beer and hard liquor was only sold to tourists in licensed restaurants, but the UAE has changed its laws.
  • My experience buying wine was unsettling, even a little scary, but I emerged from the shuttered, clandestine liquor store in rosy spirits! Below are three quick steps for tourists who want to buy bottles of wine or other types of liquor in Dubai.

The most important tip is to take your passport. Another tip is to remember that alcohol interferes with sleep. If you recently arrived in Dubai read How to Sleep When You’re Jet Lagged, My third tip is that if you’re a woman traveling solo in the UAE, you may face disapproval (read my story about buying alcohol from a disapproving Muslim man at an MMI liquor store in Dubai).

  1. And finally, be prepared to hand over your passport for to be inspected at the liquor store.
  2. Iit wasn’t just buying alcohol that was awkward and uncomfortable for me as a solo female traveler.
  3. I felt unwelcome in most shops, restaurants, and hotels in Dubai.
  4. It seems that many Muslim men aren’t at their best when interacting with Western women — especially if they’re not used to female tourists.

I didn’t need my passport to buy nuts and dates at the shop around the corner from my hotel, but I wished I had a male companion to ease the tension. Back to needing a passport to buy alcohol in Dubai: Until recently, tourists with non-UAE passports could order alcohol in restaurants but couldn’t buy bottles of wine or liquor in stores.

That has changed. When I was in the United Arab Emirates I bought a bottle of merlot (red wine) at a MMI store near the Dubai Mall. MMI stands for “Maritime & Mercantile International” — which I never would’ve guessed meant “liquor store.” Be careful NOT to consume alcohol in public! In the UAE it is a punishable offense to drink wine or any type of liquor in public.

The law enforces in the United Arab Emirates are very strict about this. If you have a glass of wine or beer in your hotel room, make sure you don’t appear to be under the influence of alcohol in public. This may seem strict if you’re from Europe, Nepal, Hong Kong or other countries that allow the public consumption of liquor.

  • But if you’re from Canada like me, you’re used to not being able to drink in public.
  • You may also want to put your detective hat on when you’re looking for a liquor or MMI store in Dubai.
  • The store I went to was called “Maritime & Mercantile International” and was completely concealed with dark windows and doors.

There was a small sign on the door, with a notice that Muslims and citizens of the United Arab Emirates were forbidden to enter. I almost didn’t enter the store when I saw the words “Maritime & Mercantile International” because I thought I was looking for an MMI liquor store.

Mercantile means “relating to trade or commerce” and I thought the building was for sailors or captains shopping for boat stuff. I took a chance, went in, and discovered a liquor store just like the ones in Canada and America. When you’re looking for a liquor store in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, don’t be fooled by outer appearances.

Go beneath the surface. Open doors, peek around corners, lift the carpets. That’s where the good stuff is – and it’s also how travel transforms you. The MMI store I found near the Dubai Mall is on the backside of a strip mall. It’s not exactly the alleybut it’s close.

  1. It’s between two banking-related Dubai Metro stops.
  2. No tourists, but lots of Western and European ex-pat bankers, administrators, techies, etc.
  3. The store clerk was about 60 years old.
  4. I assume he was a Muslim man who disapproved of alcohol but he could’ve just been disapproving of me,
  5. I was traveling in the UAE alone — a solo female tourist — and I was warmly and eagerly welcomed by almost two men.
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The store clerk had lots to disapprove of: a woman, traveling alone, buying wine, and supporting the alcohol industry. That guy was not a happy Muslim. He asked what I wanted. I said I’m a Canadian tourist who would like to buy a bottle of wine. He stared at me.

  • I added that I’m not Muslim, and I’m not a UAE citizen.
  • The clerk asked for my passport.
  • I handed it over; he inspected it for a few minutes.
  • Giving it back, he waved me toward the shelves and disappeared into the back area behind the cash register.
  • The liquor store looked exactly like any liquor store in Canada or America.

It was weird because it was so nondescript and almost secretive on the outside! Yet as soon as you walk in you hear the “beep beep beep” of the store alarm. The store clerk appears from the room behind the cash register. You see shelves of fine and table wines, hard liquors, after dinner drinks, dessert wines, beer and ciders.

There are even coolers with white wine and chilled beer. Mecca (for some). Even though the store clerk disappeared into the room behind the cash register I could feel his scowling, dark, disapproving stare as I approached the rows of red wine. I grabbed the first bottle I saw with a screw top lid (I dislike hunting for a cork screw when I’m on vacation; unlike my husband, I don’t carry one in my baggage.

He’s the tool guy). The store clerk reappeared as I approached the cash register. He asked for my passport again, and started typing my information into the computer. Three people entered the store — yay, more tourists who want to buy wine in Dubai! A wave of relief overcame me.

  • I didn’t think anything bad would happen to me in that UAE liquor store, but I didn’t feel comfortable or even safe.
  • I felt edgy and almost threatened.
  • How do we buy alcohol in the UAE?” the first woman asked me.
  • I balked, somehow knowing the liquor store clerk would not be happy if I spoke up.
  • Indeed, he lashed out at her.

“Don’t talk to her!” he said. “She does not know about buying alcohol! Talk to me!” The tourist immediately apologized. Smart girl. She said they had been told different things about buying alcohol in Dubai, and she just wanted to know how I managed to buy a bottle of wine.

  • I can’t remember what they talked about next, but they went back and forth for a bit.
  • I was in shock, and worried because he still had my passport.
  • Plus I was in the middle of a purchase! I wanted to get out of there, not be stuck in the middle of their alcohol-Muslim debate.
  • Could I finish buying my transaction, please?” They all agreed; the clerk continued to enter my passport information.

“I can’t tell you how to buy alcohol in the UAE but I can share my experience,” I said to the woman. “Tourists are allowed to talk to each other, and I can tell you what happened to me here.” I briefly told her what I knew about liquor stores, tourists with non-UAE passports, and buying alcohol.

I also said he still has my passport and is entering my information. She and her friends started browsing the shelves. The store clerk eventually gave me back my passport, wrapped my wine in newspaper, and broodily sent me on my way. I buried the bottle deep in the bottom of my backpack, hoping I didn’t get caught with it in Dubai somewhere.

When I got back to my hotel room I saw the sign posted on the inside of my door: “No liquor allowed in this hotel.” Oops. Better drink up. Good thing my wine bottle has a screw top. A few days later I smuggled the empty wine bottle out of the hotel after wiping off all my finger prints.

I deposited it in a trash can a few blocks away. I burned the store receipt, and prayed my flight on Emirates Airlines and the check-in at the Dubai airport would be uneventful. What if they don’t let me board the plane? I already had that experience in Nepal, and didn’t want to repeat it in the United Arab Emirates! It was.

I don’t know if my passport was flagged or I was tagged, but I had no problem leaving the UAE. Emirates Airlines may or may not serve alcohol on its flights — I didn’t bother to ask! They quickly and efficiently flew me to Hong Kong, which was like going homeeven though it was my first time in Asia.

What are the alcohol rules for Dubai?

New alcohol rules in Dubai: Scraps 30% tax on alcohol sales, fee for liquor licenses to boost tourism The Dubai administration made an announcement on New Year’s Day to end fees for liquor licenses and removed a 30 per cent tax on alcohol sales to boost tourism.

  • With this, the administration effectively ended a long-standing source of revenue for its ruling family in order to bolster tourism to the emirate.
  • The New Year’s Day announcement, made by Dubai’s two state-linked alcohol retailers, came apparently from a government decree from its ruling Al Maktoum family.

However, it comes after years of loosening liquor regulations in the sheikhdom, which now sells alcohol during daylight hours during Ramadan and began providing home delivery during the coronavirus pandemic’s lockdowns. Alcohol sales have been a major indicator of Dubai’s economy for a long time.

During the recent World Cup in nearby Qatar, commuting football fans frequented Dubai’s numerous bars. The announcement was made in a statement by Maritime and Mercantile International, a subsidiary of the Emirates Group.” Since we began our operations in Dubai over 100 years ago, the emirate’s approach has remained dynamic, sensitive and inclusive for all”, said Tyrone Reid of MMI.

“These recently updated regulations are instrumental to continue ensuring the safe and responsible purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages in Dubai and the UAE”. An ad was also put up by MMI urging customers to buy from its stores, saying “you no longer need to drive out to the other emirates.” Residents of Dubai have long driven to Umm al-Quwain and other emirates to buy bulk and tax-free alcohol.

  • Non-Muslims must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcohol in Dubai.
  • Drinkers must carry plastic cards issued by Dubai police that allow them to buy, transport, and consume beer, wine, and liquor.
  • In the absence of these, they risk fines and arrest, despite the fact that the sheikhdom’s vast network of bars, nightclubs, and lounges almost never ask for a permit.

Nonetheless, relatively liberal Dubai is an outlier in the region. Sharjah, an emirate bordering Dubai to the north, prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages, as do neighbouring Iran, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. You can now write for and be a part of the community. Share your stories and opinions with us, : New alcohol rules in Dubai: Scraps 30% tax on alcohol sales, fee for liquor licenses to boost tourism