Want to know how to get an alcohol licence in Dubai? MyBayut is here with all the details on what you need to apply for a Dubai liquor licence as well as all the rules and regulations around it.
Why do people in Dubai need an alcohol licence?
Dubai is a modern city that welcomes expats and tourists from all over the world. The city is known for having a vibrant nightlife and alcohol is available fairly easily in the city. However, it is highly regulated which is why having a liquor licence in Dubai is mandatory. A drinking licence in Dubai allows the holder to legally purchase, consume, transport and store liquor in their home.
For residents living in the city, having a Dubai alcohol licence is mandatory for consuming alcohol at home as well as in restaurants and pubs.
For tourists visiting Dubai, consuming alcohol in licenced restaurants and pubs doesn’t require a licence. However, if you wish to purchase alcohol and consume it in your hotel room or wherever you are staying, you will need to have a temporary liquor licence.
Rules for obtaining the alcohol licence in Dubai
The process to apply for an alcohol licence in Dubai involves the following rules:
- You must be above the age of 21 to get a Dubai alcohol licence
- The Liquor permit in Dubai holders must be Non-Muslim
- *You must hold a valid Dubai residence visa / NOC from the emirate you live in
*Applicable for UAE residents only
How to get a liquor licence in Dubai?
For all the UAE residents who wish to apply for this licence for liquor in Dubai, here is everything you will need.
Documents required for a liquor licence in Dubai
Anyone who wants to apply for a liquor permit in Dubai just needs to submit a photocopy of the following documents. These documents are mandatory to get an alcohol licence in Dubai.
- Emirates ID (Front & Back)
- Valid Passport copy (Minimum Validity of 3 months)
- Valid Visa page copy (Minimum Validity of 1 month)
- One Passport Photo
A Dubai liquor licence holds a validity of one year. The same documents are applicable if you are looking to renew your Dubai alcohol licence.
Previously, residents needed to show a salary certificate of earnings of over AED 3000 per month, a tenancy contract and even a No Objection Certificate (NOC) letter from the employer, father or husband. But, this is no longer required. The process is much easier now and anyone who meets the stipulated criteria can apply for an alcohol permit in Dubai.
Cost of an alcohol licence in Dubai
The price to get a liquor licence in Dubai is AED 270. This fee is applicable when registering for a new licence.
Steps to get a liquor licence in Dubai
Once you’ve got all your documents together, you can head to any of the MMI or African + Eastern stores in Dubai with your documents, or, visit either of their online portals and apply for the licence.
If you apply through the online portal, all you will need to do is upload your documents and once it is approved you can collect the licence from the preselected store. The application process takes about 2-3 weeks.
Dubai Liquor Licence For Tourists
For tourists looking to purchase alcohol in Dubai, visit any of the MMI or African + Eastern stores in Dubai with your original passport. Here you will be required to sign in a form confirming that you are a tourist and that you understand the rules in regards to purchasing, transporting and consumption of alcohol in Dubai, after which a temporary Dubai alcohol permit will be issued to you. You can then immediately shop right away. There is no fee involved for tourists in this application process.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ALCOHOL IN DUBAI
How old do you need to be to drink in Dubai?
The legal drinking age in Dubai is 21. This is also the minimum age requirement to be able to apply for a liquor licence in Dubai.
Is alcohol served in Dubai? / Can you drink in Dubai?
Yes, there are plenty of licenced bars and restaurants in Dubai that serve alcohol. However, if you are a resident, to be able to legally consume it, having a liquor licence is necessary.
Who can buy alcohol in Dubai?
Both residents and tourists are allowed to purchase alcohol in Dubai as long as they possess a liquor licence.
Why do I need to have an alcohol permit in Dubai?
It is mandated by law that anyone (both tourists and residents) who wishes to drink, transport or store alcohol at home should have a personal liquor licence. This extends to residents who would like to have a drink at any of the restaurants or bars in Dubai.
Where can I buy alcohol in Dubai?
The two authorised alcohol dealers in Dubai are Maritime and Mercantile International (MMI) and African + Eastern. They are also the two places that offer services to obtain the drinks licence in Dubai. Finding one of these dealers is fairly simple as the multiple stores located all across Dubai. Apart from these places, Dubai Duty Free and the Barracuda liquor shop in Umm Al Quwain are also popular places where you can buy liquor in Dubai
Who is covered by the alcohol licence in Dubai?
The personal alcohol licence Dubai only covers the holder of the licence. It doesn’t extend to any family members or friends.
While Dubai may be a modern city, it is important to note that the government has a zero-tolerance policy on anyone breaking the rules. The Dubai drinking laws for tourists and residents states that driving under the influence of alcohol, drinking in public and public intoxication is strictly prohibited. Those found breaking the law can be subject to arrest, fines of up to AED 20k and even having their visa revoked. So get that licence as soon as you can if you want to enjoy a drink.
That concludes this article on how to get a alcohol licence in Dubai. If this your first time visiting the city, have a look at out our travel guide to the tourist do’s and dont’s when visiting Dubai.
For more updates on Dubai and the other emirates, stay tuned to MyBayut – the best property blog in the UAE.
For those searching or a new home in Dubai, make sure to browse through Bayut’s latest listings for apartments for rent in Dubai. For those searching for larger family homes, we’ve got listings for the best rental villas in Dubai as well.