UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Alcohol in Dubai for tourists – can you drink? Pricelist

Dubai alcohol
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Dubaj is attracting more and more tourists from all over the world, and among the most frequently asked questions about their stay are those related to buying and drinking alcohol. Dubai is the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, which is a Muslim country, but does this mean that there is a total ban on alcoholic beverages in Dubai?

Alcohol in Dubai – what does the law say?

In November 2020, the UAE relaxed the regulations somewhat. Travel to Dubai tempted many tourists, but they were deterred by high prices, so the emirate’s authorities decided to make big changes. Consumption of alcohol is no longer a crime, and tourists and residents do not have to purchase a liquor license. However, alcoholic beverages are still only allowed to be consumed in designated places, and one must be at least 21 years old to legally purchase alcohol.

These changes are due to the fact that Dubai is betting heavily on tourism development and wants to attract foreign visitors. Another step was the elimination of the fee on alcohol sales in 2023 – until now there was a 30 percent tax. The abolition of the tax applies to both the purchase of alcohol for private use and the consumption of drinks in drinking establishments.

Can tourists drink alcohol in Dubai?

The loosening of restrictions does not mean that alcohol has suddenly become widely available, which is worth remembering. Only those places that have acquired a license may serve alcohol. The availability of alcohol has been restricted to hotels and private clubs – you can’t buy it from an ordinary store. It is also forbidden to drink alcohol in public places, and there are heavy fines for doing so, and tourists have no hope of lenient treatment – they are bound by the same laws as UAE residents in this regard.

Where can you find establishments licensed to sell alcohol?

This won’t be difficult, as almost all hotels in Dubai serve alcohol in their bars and restaurants, but some resorts don’t serve any alcoholic beverages at all. So it’s best to check at the stage of booking accommodation to see what the rules are at a particular hotel. In addition, drinks are available in private clubs scattered throughout the city. Purchased alcohol can be consumed only on the spot or taken to your room or apartment.

What to buy in Dubai if we fancy something stronger?There are many global brands available in the Emirates and you can get all sorts of beers, whiskies, vodkas, wines, champagne.

Can expats in Dubai drink alcohol?

Many residents of the Emirates are expats who are not Muslims.What is the issue of alcohol consumption in their case? Well, they can buy it in special stores, provided they have the appropriate license – currently expats can get it for free, without paying a license fee, as was the case a few years ago. For Muslims, the ban will still apply.

How to get a liquor license in Dubai?

Any person who is at least 21 years old, has a resident visa and is not a Muslim can apply for a license.The license used to cost 270 AED, but is now free. There is a wait of about four weeks for the issuance of a document authorizing the purchase of alcohol, and it is valid for 12 months. When applying, it is no longer necessary to present an employment contract, rental agreement or certificate of earnings earned in Dubai.

Look also: from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

Tourists to buy alcohol also need a license. A passport with a tourist visa is sufficient for its issuance. The license in the case of tourists is valid for 30 days and is also only for people over 21 years of age.

Is it allowed to bring your own alcohol into Dubai?

An individual can take to the Emirates a maximum of 4 liters of alcohol or 24 cans of beer with a capacity of 355 ml, that is, when planning what to take to Dubai, you can include in your luggage a certain amount of alcohol.

How much does alcohol cost in Dubai?

After the change in regulations, prices in Dubai have not changed significantly, but alcohol has nevertheless gotten a little cheaper.A pint of beer costs an average of 50 AED, or about $12.80.The price for a glass of wine averages AED 40, or nearly $11.In more expensive establishments, alcohol costs more, but you can also expect better quality drinks. There are sizable price reductions during happy hours, organized by most bars.You can also often count on discounts for regular customers.

The prevailing currency in Dubai is the dirham (AED), but in some places you can pay in dollars or euros.

Where is it worth buying alcohol in Dubai?

Liquor establishments are concentrated mainly around Dubai Marina and in the city center.The best clubs with drinks are considered to be those located on the rooftops of Dubai skyscrapers – in such places you can count on very good service, you escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, and from the high terrace you can enjoy a beautiful view of the sea.

In addition to hotels and clubs, alcohol sales are handled by licensed stores. You can find beer and bottled drinks in supermarkets, but they are non-alcoholic. The most popular licensed liquor stores are MMI and African + Eastern, which can be found in every UAE city.

Simon Machniewski

Simon Machniewski

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Traveler and owner of a small marketing agency.

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