All You Need to Know About Legally Consuming Alcohol in Dubai; Fines, Age Limits and More

All You Need to Know About Legally Consuming Alcohol in Dubai; Fines, Age Limits and More

Although drinking alcohol is no longer illegal in most of the nation, it is nevertheless important to take into consideration the UAE's predominately Islamic culture.

Do you have plans to attend a party this weekend? There are customs and guidelines that you have to abide by in Dubai if you intend to drink alcohol.

Dubai's laws governing the purchase of alcoholic beverages relaxed in 2023. Additionally, a 30% tax that had previously been placed on beverages in the emirate was eliminated by the authorities, increasing accessibility for both visitors and locals.

Here is all you need to know before you drink in Dubai:

Age limit

A minimum age limit is imposed for all those consuming alcoholic beverages in Dubai. To buy or consume alcohol in the emirate, one must be at leaast 21 years of age.

Consuming legally

Here is a list of rules to follow while consuming alcoholic beverages in Dubai:

  • In restaurants

Consumption of alcoholic beverages is only permitted in restaurants or lounges that have a valid alcohol license. It is prohibited to consume alcohol in public.

  • In private

People are allowed to consume alcoholic beverages in their homes or living spaces if they have an alcohol licence.

No drinking and driving

The UAE has a strict policy against drunk driving.

The violator is subject to a fine that will be decided by court, along with 23 black points with your vehicle being confiscated for 60 days.

In 2022, a British expat was sentenced to prison for a month and had his car confiscated for 30 days. The man was charged with driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, jumping a red light, driving in the opposite direction and damaging property.

Buying alcohol

If you're looking to buy alcohol in Dubai — you'll need to get a licence. However, it has recently become significantly easier to obtain one, as you can either apply online or head to a registered alcohol store and get their licence made for free.

There are two kinds of registered alcohol stores in the city – African Eastern and MMI.

Getting an alcohol licence

There are two ways to apply for a liquor licence in Dubai:


Residents can head to African Eastern or MMI and apply for a licence in store.

Applicants must be over 21 years of age and have a valid Emirates ID that they can present at the store.

Employees will ask the applicant for some basic details, after which their application will begin processing.

Applicants will be able to purchase beverages after applying for a licence.


Applicants can visit the official African Eastern website and click on 'Apply for licence' at the top right corner on the website.

After that, they will be led to a form, where they will be asked to fill out some personal details – including their Emirates ID number.

News Source: Khaleej Times

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