In the Arab Muslim country like the UAE which staunchly follows the Sharia Law, there are strict rules and regulations followed on the issue of drinking alcohol.
In a Vibrant city like Dubai which is the hub of tourism for the UAE has a large influx of tourists and a large population of expats. One of the biggest misconceptions about Dubai is that you cannot drink. However, this is not the case, as drinking is allowed for non-Muslims in Dubai and across UAE.
Legal ways to Drink Alcohol
Tourists and resident Non- Muslims can drink alcohol only in licensed premises. The Rules say that one can drink in licensed restaurants, hotels and bars attached to licensed hotels. There are beautiful bars and hotels all around the city of Dubai with fabulous views and top DJs and incredible service.
You need an Alcohol License
To buy alcohol in UAE, both tourists and Non- Muslim Residents require liquor license. To apply for a license, you must be over 21 and with income of 3,000 AED a month (just over $800). To buy a liquor license, the legal age should be 18 in Abu Dhabi and 21 in Dubai.
You can drink alcohol in dubai at licensed hotels and clubs. However, it is a punishable offence to drink in public or to be under the influence of alcohol in UAE. There is zero tolerance for public drunkenness and drunk driving as it makes one liable for arrests.
An alcohol license permits the license holder to consume, store, transport or possess alcohol. This means with an alcohol license, you can have alcohol in your home.
However, many do not understand the importance of having an alcohol license and the consequences of not having one. When questioned for drinking and failing to produce a liquor license can lead to prosecution, huge fines and penalties.
Those caught with drunk driving and do not possess a liquor license suffer serious consequences.
How to apply Alcohol License
In order to apply for an alcohol license, a person has to be non-Muslim, over the age of 21, resident of Dubai with earnings of Dhs 3000 per month.
You can apply for a license at MMI (Maritime & Mercantile International) or with A & E (African + Eastern) stores. There are 20 MMI stores located across Dubai for you to apply for a license.
You will need copies of your passport, visa, labor contract, a passport size photo and tenancy contract in order to submit an application for a license. All of these documents are frequently used for official matters in Dubai, so it should be information that you already have to hand.
After you have filled the application and paid fee of Dhs 270 fee, it will take four weeks to receive your license.
Once you receive your license, you can then use it at any African + Eastern or MMI store in the city to make purchases.