Just like the other emirates, drinking for Muslims is prohibited in Abu Dhabi. However, Non-Muslims can consume liquor but for that, they have to get a liquor license in Abu Dhabi. Even if they have the license, they can drink only within the designated premises.
The process to get a liquor license in Abu Dhabi
If you are a Non-Muslim living in Abu Dhabi and want to consume alcohol, you will have to follow the proper procedure in order to get a liquor license in the city. There are certain documents that you will have to submit and a number of rules that you will need to follow to get such a license.
Today, we are here to share with you a few tips to apply for an alcohol license in Abu Dhabi.
Types of a liquor license in Abu Dhabi
Before you think of applying for a liquor license, keep in mind that there are different types of licenses based on your needs. For instance, if you’re planning to serve liquor in a bar or a restaurant, you will require a corporate license. If it is for yourself only (to consume/purchase), you will need an individual license. No matter what your plans are, just make sure to have any of the following licenses issued by the Special License Office.
- Liquor Import License
- License to purchase and consume liquor
- License to distribute liquor to third parties
- License to serve liquor within a hotel, bar or restaurant
You can also apply online for a liquor license in Abu Dhabi. It will save you the hassle of physically going to the Special License Office and obtaining an official permit from there.
Rules for obtaining a liquor license in Abu Dhabi
Not everyone can avail a liquor license in Abu Dhabi. There are certain requirements for a liquor license in the city. Some of them include:
- People from the Muslim community cannot apply for the liquor license.
- You must be over 21 years old to get a liquor license in Abu Dhabi
- You must be a UAE resident and your earning must be above AED 3k
- Married women can consume alcohol in Abu Dhabi after getting a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from their husbands.
- If you own a business, you must have a trade license.
Getting a liquor license in Abu Dhabi
If you are wondering, how to apply for a liquor license in Abu Dhabi, register online on the official website of Special License’s Office. The process of registration involves the following steps:
- Create your account on the website
- Choose a primary license option as you’re applying for the first time
- Provide your passport number, monthly income, designated store and contact details
- Upload your passport (from both front and back), salary certificate and Emirate ID (back and front)
- Once you upload the documents, you can proceed with the payment.
Documents required to obtain a liquor license in Abu Dhabi
The above-mentioned documentation is required to acquire an individual license. For corporate license, you will need to submit the following set of documents:
- Applicant and third party details
- Details of the place where liquor will be sold
- Details of the storage area where liquor will be stored
- Fire precautions
- Amount of monthly liquor required
Where to buy alcohol in Abu Dhabi?
Once you got the license, you can buy liquor from Spinneys, African+Eastern and Gary Mackenzie & Partners. Spinneys have more than 8 stores in Abu Dhabi where you can purchase alcohol, while African+Eastern has 9 stores across the city. However, Gary Mackenzie & Partners has just one massive store in the city where you can buy various types of alcohol. Euro Star Cellar and MMI are other options too for those with an Abu Dhabi liquor license.
Liquor license in Abu Dhabi for tourists
If you’re a tourist looking to purchase alcohol in Abu Dhabi, you have two options: either to consume alcohol in restaurants or bars or visit any of the African+Eastern stores in the city. There are various bars in Abu Dhabi where you can buy your favourite drinks. On the contrary, at the liquor stores, you will need to fill a simple form declaring that you are a tourist and understand the rules and regulations of alcohol consumption and purchase in Abu Dhabi. You can then buy alcohol from these stores in the city right away!
Facts about getting a liquor license in Abu Dhabi
There are some facts about getting an alcohol license in Abu Dhabi that you should know before applying for a license:
- After getting a license, you can spend 20% of your salary on alcohol per month.
- You can buy alcohol only from the designated beverage store.
- You can be penalised if caught drunk in public places as per UAE law.
- Your license can be withdrawn upon any violation of the laws.
- If your application gets rejected, you will need to apply again in a respective category.
- Your license is valid for one year. After the completion of one year, you will have to renew it.
We hope that the method to obtain a liquor license in Abu Dhabi is clear with this post. It’s important to make yourself aware of the legal processes in Abu Dhabi so you have a comfortable time while living there.
In the same vein, it’s important to know about Abu Dhabi tenancy laws so you can have a smooth time dealing with your landlords or tenants.
The government of Abu Dhabi strives to accommodate the needs of the residents whether it’s in the form of tenancy law or an official liquor license procedure. You can also check out the process to get an alcohol license in Dubai which was recently revised.