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  • Alcohol License Dubai: Everything You Need to Know

    All you need to know about the Liquor License in Dubai – types of License, Rules, eligibility, Fine Implications


    Although the UAE is a country with strict laws, it is possible to obtain an alcohol license Dubai to consume this type of beverage. The law regulates the consumption and sale of alcohol, with monetary penalties and other consequences. Therefore, whether to establish a business or for recreation, you must abide by the laws to avoid legal penalties.

    In this article, you will find everything you need to know when it comes to alcoholic beverages in Dubai. In addition, we will show you how to easily apply for a license for alcoholic beverages in this emirate. Let us see:

    1. Do you need a Dubai alcohol license to drink?
    2. Apply for an alcohol license Dubai
    3. Types of alcohol license Dubai
    4. Rules to obtain the Dubai alcohol license type C?
    5. What are the eligibility criteria for an alcohol license Dubai?
    6. What can happen if you do not have a Dubai alcohol license?
    7. Getting an alcohol license Dubai made easy

    1. Do you need a Dubai alcohol license to drink?

    alcohol license Dubai

    On November 7, 2020, the UAE eliminated a law that established a license to consume alcohol. However, you do need an alcohol license Dubai in case you want to buy alcoholic beverages. Previously, when you applied for a license to consume alcohol, you needed to provide a lot of documentation and it was a very long process.

    However, it is now much easier to apply for said license.

    1.1 Alcohol law in Dubai

    According to the law, to consume alcoholic beverages, you must possess an alcohol license Dubai, otherwise, you will be punished. This is because, in the country, this rule is stringent, unlike in other countries. This type of license is only for people who are not Muslims and who have a valid residence permit in the United Arab Emirates.

    Thus, in Dubai, a Muslim found intoxicated receives a much heavier punishment. Also, there are similar laws in the other emirates for the consumption of liquor. For example, in Sharjah, there is a prohibition on the consumption of alcohol, because is a “dry state”.

    Likewise, the alcohol license Dubai will only be useful if you are in this region because in each emirate there is a unique permit. That is, if you want to consume alcoholic beverages in a place other than Dubai, you will require another permit in that other region.

    2. Apply for an alcohol license Dubai

    The only requirement to apply for an alcohol license Dubai is your Emirates identification. Also, with this identification, go to an African +Eastern or MMI store, where the staff will complete the application process. You will receive your license in approximately 4 weeks.

    Such a license will cost you AED 270 and you will receive a receipt booklet to help offset the cost. Likewise, when you receive your license, you will receive a code that you must follow regarding alcoholic beverages in the region. You must meet these conditions for your permit to be valid and they are as follows:

    • People cannot drink alcoholic beverages in public places.
    • When driving you cannot drink alcohol.
    • Public intoxication with alcohol is punishable by law
    • You must conceal alcoholic beverages while in public.

    2.1 How to get a Dubai alcohol license

    You can apply for the Dubai alcohol license online or in person at the establishment African + Eastern. Also, you can request the assistance of a licensing expert to carry out the process for you. Another option is to have an application packet sent to your place of residence.

    Also, if you want to apply at a store, you will need to go to a licensed liquor distributor in Dubai. Moreover, already in the store, you must present your identification document (ID) and your No Objection Certificate (NOC) if necessary. Therefore, the current requirements for this are simpler than before.

    These applications go through a 48-hour approval period and after 4 weeks; you will receive your license. However, during the waiting period, you can get a temporary license to purchase alcohol. These requirements are valid for Dubai, because, as we said before, each emirate has its own rules in this regard.

    For example, in Abu Dhabi, residents and tourists do not need a license to carry or consume alcoholic beverages. Nevertheless, you may only consume alcohol in a private setting, a licensed establishment, and if it is for personal consumption. In Sharjah, on the other hand, the sale, transport, consumption, or storage of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.

    2.2 Can I buy alcohol in Dubai as a tourist? And what is the drinking age?

    If you are a tourist you can apply for an alcohol license, which will be granted in just 30 days. In this regard, you only have to present your passport plus the entry stamp to the region. This application will not be valid if you have a resident visa in the Dubai region.

    In addition, you should know that the drinking age in Dubai is 21 years old. Therefore, people cannot buy or drink alcohol if they do not meet this requirement.

    2.3 Can you drink alcohol in your hotel room?

    Hotel bars sell drinks to guests without the need for licenses. However, if you are not staying at that hotel, you must present your alcohol license. On the other hand, guests can only consume alcoholic beverages in private.

    Likewise, you cannot consume alcohol outside the room or in any space of the hotel facilities.

    2.4 Where can I buy alcohol in Dubai?

    In Dubai, you can find places to buy and consume alcohol. However, you must do it in a place that is licensed for this. Alternatively, in case you prefer to consume alcohol at your residence, you can buy it in authorized stores for sale but you will not find them in supermarkets.

    Stores authorized to sell alcohol are liquor stores. In this regard, you can search for African + Eastern or MMI stores:

    • African + Eastern at Marina Mall.
    • African + Eastern at Burj Views.
    • Dubai Silicon Oasis MMI.
    • Bur Dubai MMI.
    • African + Eastern at Marina Walk.
    • African + Eastern in Jumeirah.

    On the other hand, when you get your Dubai alcohol license you will be able to enjoy a legal delivery service at your doorstep. This service is and promises next-day delivery if you order before noon.

    Also, this service has a minimum value of AED 150 including 30% of municipal taxes and 5% VAT. Likewise, tourists can request this service but on the condition that they show their passport at the time, the order arrived at their home.

    3. Types of Alcohol license Dubai

    In Dubai, you can find different types of alcohol license Dubai for every need. However, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act is subject to change but below you will see the four types of license that are currently issued:

    • With Type A you can import alcoholic beverages.
    • Type B is a license to sell alcohol in a store or shop to third parties.
    • A Type C to sell alcohol in a hotel, restaurant, or club.
    • The Type D to buy alcohol.

    On the other hand, if you want to obtain a license to sell alcoholic beverages, then you must first apply for a business license before the other type of license. Also, if the business you want to start is not a hotel, restaurant, or club, then you should check if the company you want to establish is allowed in Dubai.

    Consider that, without a license, you cannot serve alcohol in common spaces in hotels, clubs, or restaurants.

    4. Rules to obtain the Dubai alcohol license type C?

    alcohol license Dubai

    In case you want to serve alcoholic beverages in the business you established, you must know the different type C permits allowed. These include the following:

    • Serving alcohol for immediate consumption in authorized establishments.
    • Transportation of alcohol directly to the authorized establishment.
    • Buy alcohol in a store with a Type B license.

    Additionally, you must take into account the rules established for the Type C license and the law on the control of alcoholic beverages. Likewise, you must be aware that alcoholic beverages are only consumed within the business. Also, you must have the beverage inventory documentation up to date and serve everything in glasses, as in the case of wine.

    In the same way, you must comply with the time of operation established by the government.

    In addition, other conditions must be met, such as the conduct standards of the type C license. For example, you must take into account that the hotel administration is the one in charge of administering the license. Also, specify where you will serve the drinks, as well as notify the local police in case there is any inconvenience.

    5. What are the eligibility criteria for an Alcohol license Dubai?

    Tourists can apply for tourist licenses that will allow them to purchase alcohol during their stay in the UAE. This tourist license is completely free and although it is valid for 30 days, you can extend it if you meet certain criteria.

    On the other hand, for those residing in Dubai, it is mandatory to meet the requirements listed below:

    • The drinking age in Dubai is 21 and over.
    • Not be Muslim.
    • Be a resident of Dubai.

    On the other hand, if you reside in another emirate, you must obtain the NOC permit from the emirate of origin. Some people have spouse visas, with which the bearer will require a NOC permit issued by the couple.

    6. What can happen if you do not have a Dubai alcohol license?

    If you do not comply with the processing of the alcohol license, you will receive considerable fines. Also, these fines can increase each time you break this law. You can also be imprisoned, deported, or have your visa canceled.

    6.1 Fine for drinking alcohol in Dubai

    In Dubai, there are strict laws where driving drunk or without a license is prohibited. When breaking this law the punishment can be a sanction, going to prison for 6 months, or both. In addition, the vehicle may be confiscated for 2 months. Finally, you will receive a suspension of your license to drive for a period established by law, as appropriate.

    Also, it is a felony to consume alcohol where you work. In this case, if you are caught in a state of alcohol intoxication, the employer may fire you if you wish without prior notice.

    If you have any legal issues related to alcohol in the Dubai region, we suggest you contact a local lawyer for legal assistance.

    7. Getting an alcohol license Dubai made easy

    Having a license for alcoholic beverages is necessary in case you want to sell or consume them in Dubai. In addition, you must follow the rules established by the authorities so as not to be affected by any type of sanctions. Although previously the rules were stricter, they have been lightened a bit and now the process is easier.

    However, having the necessary legal advice will help save you time and hassle. At Connect Legal we have extensive knowledge of this and other laws in the UAE. Therefore, if you register on our site, we can help you, not only with this but with the following practice areas:

    connect Legal

    We help you learn more about the Dubai alcohol license as well as other topics. To do this, you only have to contact us at our telephone number +971 433 16 688, where you will be pleasantly attended. Also, we have an email through which you can send us your concerns,

    Finding a job at one of the best companies in the United Arab Emirates is now easier with Just by registering, you will be able to find the best job offers in the UAE and the entire Middle East. In the same way, you can send your CV through the email

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