Dubai Alcohol Laws 2023: Rules, Regulations, Precautions, Fines…

The rules governing alcohol drinking in Dubai differ from those in other nations. To buy or consume alcohol in Dubai, according to local law, you must have a license. You risk severe penalties if you violate any of these stringent rules.

Only non-Muslims with current UAE residency permits are eligible to receive liquor licenses. Muslims who are intoxicated by alcohol face more severe penalties.

Other Emirates of the UAE have similar regulations governing the purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Can you drink alcohol in Sharjah?

Sharjah is an exception and is considered a ‘dry state’. Consuming or even carrying liquor is strictly forbidden there.

It is important to note that liquor permits are exclusive to the Emirate. This means that if you have a license in Dubai, it only allows you to purchase or consume alcohol in Dubai. For each Emirate, a separate liquor permit is required.

Can you drink alcohol in Dubai?

The regulations for alcohol consumption apply to both tourists and residents in Dubai. You can consume liquor in Dubai as a tourist, but you must be confined to the specified places. You must not be found drinking or in an inebriated condition in public. You can only drink in licensed places with the proper alcohol permits, such as resorts, restaurants, hotels, pubs, and clubs. It is also necessary to have a license for alcohol before purchasing alcohol. In addition, license holders can buy liquor only from authorized stores.

Fine for drinking alcohol in Dubai

Dubai follows stricter laws for drinking without a license and drunk driving. If you are found drinking without an alcohol license, the punishment includes a penalty, imprisonment for 6 months, or both. If you are caught driving in an intoxicated condition, you may be served with a fine and jail term as ordered by the court. Your vehicle may also be confiscated for 2 months.

Depending on the case, additional penalties may be imposed on you, and your driving license may also be suspended for a certain period.

Drinking liquor at the workplace is also considered a severe offence. If you are caught drinking or if you are under the influence of alcohol at the workplace, your employer has the right to fire you without any advance notice.

Contact a local law firm for better assistance if you encounter any alcohol-related issues in Dubai.

Is there a legal drinking age in Dubai?

You should be at least 21 years old to legally consume alcohol in Dubai.

Can you drink alcohol in your hotel room in Dubai?

Central hotel bars serve alcohol to their guests. You must own a personal liquor license if you don’t stay at the hotel and wish to consume liquor there. If you stay at the hotel, you can drink alcohol behind closed doors. Remember that you can’t walk around the hotel premises in an intoxicated state. You must confine yourself to your room or hotel area.

Cost of alcohol in Dubai

Most restaurants and hotels serving liquor are luxurious places to drink alcohol. However, some of these places have a rewards system in the form of happy hours and coupons. This is in addition to the plenty of discounts and deals they offer their customers. Besides, buying liquor from Dubai duty-free shops or licensed stores is cheaper.

Can tourists buy alcohol in Dubai?

Yes, non-Muslim tourists over 21 can buy liquor in Dubai, provided they own an alcohol license. In such cases, you can buy it only from licensed and registered shops. Only the license holder can store, possess, consume, or transport alcohol. Even if you want to keep alcohol in your home, you must have a license.

Where to buy alcohol in Dubai without a license?

It is illegal to purchase liquor in Dubai if you do not own a liquor license.

Different Emirates of the UAE have different laws. You might be able to purchase alcohol in other states, but you are not allowed to carry it or consume it in Dubai, as you will need a state-specific license.

Can you buy alcohol at Dubai airport?

Yes, you can purchase alcohol at Dubai airport from the duty-free shop. You need to ensure that the quantity is within the specified limit. It is ideal for saving the bill for future reference.

Can you drink alcohol at Dubai airport?

As per the laws in Dubai, it is illegal to consume liquor or be intoxicated in public. This may lead to penalties and imprisonment.

Can you take the alcohol in your suitcase to Dubai?

You can bring a certain amount of alcohol and other narcotics into Dubai. 

These things consist of the following:

  • One carton (24 cans) of beer or four litres of alcohol
  • 400 sticks of cigarettes or 2,000 AED worth of cigarettes gifts
  • 3,000 AED worth of cigars
  • 3,000 AED worth of perfume

Understanding what is prohibited or not allowed depending on the country, is essential.

How to get an alcohol license in Dubai?

Anyone above 21 and a non-Muslim can apply for a liquor license in Dubai. A copy of the applicant’s passport, visa, and employer’s letter of support was required in the past. But recently, the system has been made simpler.

Residents who wish to obtain a license following the streamlined requirements must present their Emirates ID. In most cases, permission is given in less than 48 hours, and you can pick up your permit card in less than four weeks.

Bottom line

If you are a tourist in any country, it is crucial to respect the local religion and culture and not to indulge in activities that might get you in trouble. In an Islamic country like the UAE, you are expected to restrict your drinking to certain places. However, it is banned in public places like malls, streets, and beaches.

If you like to party, Dubai is the city for you. Tourists can check out a variety of bars and clubs there and have some drinks. To avoid harsh penalties, it is vital for foreign nationals and foreign tourists to be aware of local alcohol consumption rules. You can consume alcohol in the hotel’s authorized bars and restaurants with a valid license. If you have a permit, you can buy alcohol from licensed retailers.

When it comes to drunk driving, Dubai has a zero-tolerance policy. To stay out of significant problems, you must adhere to the laws in the area.

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