Dubai is a well-known city for its vibrant nightlife and luxurious lifestyle, however, when it comes to alcohol regulations, they are quite strict in the UAE. And it is quite important to know the laws and regulations for alcohol consumption.
Since UAE is an Islamic country, it adheres to the Sharia Law that prohibits alcohol consumption. However, various non-muslims can consume alcohol in their respective locations provided they should have an alcohol license.
The process of getting an alcohol license in Dubai is quite simple but some steps need to be followed. It is important to ensure that you don’t drive while drinking in Dubai, as there are huge penalties for breaking alcohol consumption laws and regulations.
Eligibility For Obtaining An Alcohol Licence In Dubai
This guide would provide you with complete information on how to purchase alcohol in Dubai and information about different rules and regulations.
To get an alcohol license in UAE, and Dubai you need to follow certain eligibility criteria as listed below.
Can you drink alcohol in Dubai?
Many tourists and residents were not aware of the drinking policies in Dubai. Since Dubai is an Islamic country, many allege that it is prohibited to drink in the city. But new policies implemented in the past few years allow residents and tourists of Dubai to consume alcohol, but there are some restrictions on it.
Unlike in other countries, no residents or tourists are allowed to consume alcohol in the streets or any other public places. If caught, the offender will be strictly fined. However, it is legal to consume alcohol in licensed restaurants, food festivals hotels, and clubs. As long as these restaurant chains have permission to sell alcohol residents and tourists can consume it without any consequence.
Although, in case of purchasing alcohol from the store, you just need to have an alcohol license obtained from teh authorities. The basic requirements to obtain a license are age and other factors. For tourists, it is important to have a temporary license according to their stay in the emirate.
Alcohol should be consumed responsibly and within the limits of the law to prevent any severe legal consequences, such as fines, arrests, or jail time.
Age restrictions for obtaining an alcohol license
Age Restrictions are quite mandatory when getting an alcohol license in Dubai. As per the rules and regulations of Dubai, UAE, 21 is the legal drinking age. An individual who is below 21 cannot buy, consume, or possess alcohol in any form.
It is quite essential to note that Dubai, UAE has a zero-tolerance policy towards underage drinking, and high penalties can be charged for violating this regulation.
For example, an individual who is found to be drinking underage may face fines, imprisonment, and even deportation.
To get an alcohol license in Dubai, applicants should have valid age proof, which can be a valid passport or Emirates ID. The passport and Emirates ID must be up-to-date and valid. Also, it should show that the applicant is above 21 years of age.
Residency requirements for obtaining an alcohol license
In addition to the age regulations, there is also a residency requirement to get an alcohol license in Dubai. To meet the eligibility criteria, one needs to have a valid residency visa in Dubai. Tourists who visit Dubai for short-term travel, do not need an alcohol license.
Whereas individuals who hold work visas, residence visas, and work visas, need to apply for an alcohol license. To prove their Middle East residency, individuals need to show Ejari Certificate or the tenancy contract. It is also essential to note that people who are applying for an alcohol license should have a clean criminal record.
Required Documents for Obtaining an Alcohol License
- Valid Emirates ID or residency visaResidency requirements for obtaining an alcohol license
- Passport copy and visa page
- Passport-sized photograph
- Tenancy contract or Ejari certificate
For an individual to get an alcohol license, documents need to be submitted as a part of the application process. The documents needed to be submitted can vary depending on the type of license and issuing authority. Some commonly asked documents are listed below.
Valid Emirates ID or residency visa
Applicants should have a residency visa or the emirates ID to showcase their residency status and prove their identity. The residency visa or emirates ID needs to be up-to-date and valid. Also, the applicant’s age should be shown as 21.
Passport copy and visa page
Also, the applicants should submit the visa page or complete passport copy to prove their immigration status and nationality in the UAE.
Applicants should submit a passport-sized photograph as part of their application form. The photograph must be on a white background and colorful. Also, it should not be older than 6 months.
Tenancy contract or Ejari certificate
Further applicants should provide proof of residency like an Ejari certificate or tenancy contract. The EJari certificate or the tenancy contract should be up-to-date and valid. Also, it should show that the applicant is living in the UAE.
There are some additional documents needed such as a no-objection certificate or salary certificate from the employer.
Steps for Obtaining an Alcohol Licence in Dubai
The steps for obtaining an alcohol license in Dubai are quite simple and completed in a few easy steps. Here are the steps involved in getting an alcohol license in Dubai.
👉Applying for an alcohol license online
Applicants need to go to the official website of Dubai Police General headquarters and look for the e-services section. After this, they need to create an account and log in to fill out the application form for applying for the license online. The form needs some basic details like address, date of birth, nationality, and full name.
👉 Paying the alcohol license fee
After the complete application form is filled, applicants should proceed further and submit it. The license fee needs to be paid which can vary from AED 270 to AED 1620 depending on the type of license applied for. One can easily make payments through a debit or credit card.
👉Submitting the required documents
After paying the fee, applicants should also submit the additional documents to the Dubai Police General Headquarters. The required list of documents includes an Ejari certificate or residency visa, a valid Emirates ID, a passport-sized photograph, and proof of residency.
👉Collecting the alcohol license
After the complete application process is done, the license would be generated and a notification would be sent to the email or as an SMS, telling that the alcohol license is ready to be collected.
One can collect the alcohol license from the Dubai Police General Headquarters or any other place like a shopping mall or police station.
The processing time for the alcohol license can depend on the type of license and issuing authority. Usually, it takes nearly 2 -4 weeks to process the alcohol license.
Renewing an Alcohol Licence in Dubai
An alcohol license in Dubai has one year validity period from the issuance date. It is illegal to continue buying, consuming, and possessing alcohol in Dubai and the license should be always renewed. Here are the complete steps on how to renew an alcohol license in UAE.
- The validity period of an alcohol license
One year is the validity period for the alcohol license from the date of issue. It is illegal to consume or possess alcohol with an expired alcohol license. Therefore one should always get their license renewed to avoid any legal trouble.
- Procedure for renewing an alcohol license
The step-by-step procedure to renew an alcohol license in Dubai can be done online or in person easily. Here are the basic steps.
- Navigate to the Dubai Police General Head Quarter’s Website and look for the e-services section.
- Sign In to your account and click on the “Renew your alcohol License” option.
- Pay the renewal fee using a Debit or Credit card.
- Submit the required documents including the residency visa, visa page, and passport copy.
- Once all the documents are submitted, your application would be processed and there will be a notification sent to your email or phone to collect the alcohol license.
Required documents for renewing an alcohol license
There are some specific documents needed to renew the alcohol license in Dubai and here is the list.
- A residency Visa or Emirates ID
- Visa Page and Passport Copy.
- Passport-sized Image.
The total renewal process takes nearly two weeks. It is recommended to apply for the renewal a month or fortnight before so you don’t face any legal consequences if your license expires.
Rules and Regulations Governing Alcohol Consumption in Dubai
To consume alcohol in Dubai, one needs to follow the rules and regulations as the alcohol consumption conditions are quite strict and need to be followed by tourists and residents. Here are some important things one should know.
- The legal drinking age in Dubai
The legal drinking age for the residents and tourists of Dubai is 21. If anyone consumes alcohol below 21 age, then it would be illegal and may face some legal consequences.
- Restrictions on alcohol consumption in public places
In Public places, alcohol consumption is still prohibited. People cannot consume alcohol in public places like parks, streets, or any other public places. One can only consume alcohol in licensed bars, clubs, and private residences.
- Penalties for violating alcohol regulations in Dubai
There can be serious consequences for people who violate alcohol regulations. It can be fines, deportation of expatriates, imprisonment, and much more. Some of the penalties for alcohol consumption in illegal ways are :
- Driving and Drinking: People driving under the influence of alcohol can face penalties in form of deportation, imprisonment, and fines.
- Alcohol possession without a license: if someone consumes or possesses alcohol without a license then penalties can be imprisonment and fines.
- Public Intoxication: Another thing that can violate the law is being drunk in public places. It can result in imprisonment and/or fines.
Where to Purchase Alcohol in Dubai
There are different places where alcohol can be purchased. Few of them are duty-free shops or liquor stores. Here are some of the important things one should know.
- Licensed liquor stores in Dubai
A lot of liquor-licensed stores are there in Dubi where tourists and residents can buy alcohol. These stores are located in residential areas, shopping centers, and hotels. Some of the famous liquor stores in Dubai are the following.
- Le Clos: it is one of the luxurious liquor store chains, with different locations in Dubai such as Dubai International Airport.
- Maritime and Mercantile International (MMI): MMI is another popular liquor store chain in Dubai and has multiple stores all over Dubi.
- African + Eastern: One of the biggest and most popular liquor stores in Dubi with several stores all over the city.
- Duty-free shops at airports and ports
Another way of buying alcohol is from the Duty-Free shops at the ports or airports. Duty-free shops offer a wide range of products including alcohol at zero tax. It is essential to know that there are some restrictions on the amount of alcohol that can be bought at duty-free shops.
In Summary, Dubai has some strict rules and regulations for alcohol consumption, the legal age is 21 years in Dubai to consume the alcohol and in public places, it is strictly prohibited. The individuals cannot consume alcohol in any of the streets, parks, or public places.
Alcohol can be consumed in licensed bars, restaurants, clubs, and private residences. Violating any of the rules and regulations regarding alcohol consumption can cause serious consequences like deportation for expatriates, imprisonment, and fines.
One can purchase alcohol from duty-free ships or licensed liquor stores with valid alcohol licenses.
In conclusion, Although Dubai is one the popular city for expatriates and tourists, it is important to know the strict regulations and rules for alcohol consumption.
By following certain rules and being responsible while drinking one can enjoy the city’s entertainment options and stay within the boundaries of the law.
Frequently Asked Questions
A resident of Dubai can easily obtain an alcohol license by submitting the application form to the Dubai police headquarters.
The application requires some basic information like a passport copy, proof of residency, and passport-sized photographs.
yes, you will find some restrictions on the total amount of alcohol that can be bought in Dubai.
Individuals with alcohol licenses can buy alcohol in a limited amount per month from duty-free shops or liquor stores. The exact amount varies from store to store.
Yes, anyone can consume alcohol in Dubai, however, there is a need to hold a valid alcohol license and follow certain rules and regulations for alcohol consumption.
Some of the famous liquor stores in Dubai that offer a variety of alcohol brands are Dom Perignon, Moet And Chandon, Grey Goose, and Johnnie Walker. These stores offer a variety of wines, spirits, and beers from different places in the world.
All alcohol consumption must be done within the legal rules and regulations even on special events and occasions. However, few of the restaurants or licensed bars may have permits to serve alcohol during certain occasions and events.