Drinks in Dubai? Check This Guide First

Dubai is a multicultural megacity, so it won’t be a surprise for visitors to discover that it has a vibrant dining and entertainment scene.

However, before you check out that glitzy club or set a date for drinks at that hip restaurant, you must first understand the laws of the land on drinking.

Non-Muslim newcomers and expats who are residing in Dubai and interested to experience the drinks scene in the region should know the following important tips.

1. Make it your priority to apply for an alcohol licence.

You need to apply for an alcohol licence if you plan to:

  • Buy alcohol from a licensed retailer
  • Transport alcoholic beverages from the shop to your home
  • Store & consume alcohol at home

You are eligible for an alcohol licence if you are of legal drinking age in the UAE (over 21 years old), a non-Muslim, and earning a monthly salary of at least AED 3,000.

When applying for a licence, you must prepare to submit photocopies of the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Employment contract
  • Tenancy contract
  • A passport-sized headshot

Once you become a licence holder, you must abide by your legal duties and follow the guidelines on licence validity, spend limitations and other regulations. Offenders of Dubai’s alcohol laws and regulations can face penalties ranging from hefty fines, imprisonment for up to six months, or even deportation.

2. Opt for the most efficient and convenient route to obtain an alcohol licence.

To make the alcohol licence application process easier, submit your application through leading Dubai liquor retailer African + Eastern.

As the largest alcoholic beverage importer and distributor in the Middle East, African + Eastern has 27 stores in the UAE, with 16 of them located in convenient locations across Dubai, and a 350+-strong team of professional staff. So when you file your application through their Licensing Department, you can expect a one-stop process and expert help every step of the way.

African + Eastern offers three application options:

  1. a) Online Application – Go to the Alcohol Licence Dubai Fill up the online application form, upload your supporting documents and pay the AED 270 municipality fee. Since you can do this anytime and in the comfort of your home or office, this is the most practical route for busy individuals and those who would like to process their application in private.
  2. b) In-store Application – Those who prefer a more personalized service may visit any one of the African + Eastern stores in the city. Pick up an application from a branch near you. Return the completed form along with your supporting documents and pay the AED 270 municipality fee.
  3. c) Delivery Service – Another convenient option is to request for an Alcohol Licence pack to be delivered to your door. Complete the delivery request form online and follow the instructions provided. The licence pack will be sent via courier to your location.

African + Eastern will coordinate with Dubai Police to facilitate your application. If everything is in order, expect a call in two to four weeks informing you that your licence is ready.

3. Benefit from the advantages of having an alcohol licence.

Applying for an alcohol licence from African + Eastern allows you to experience the following benefits:

  • Obtain your licence through a fast, fuss-free process.
  • Receive rewards worth AED 1,500 including discount vouchers that can be used for in-store purchases or at some of the best dining and drinks establishments in Dubai.
  • Access to in-store promos and exclusive deals year-round.
  • Buy, consume, transport and store alcohol in accordance with Dubai’s laws.

Take note that the alcohol licence is valid within a 12-month period from the date of issue. Licence renewal can also be processed online or in-store. Also, make sure to follow the monthly limit for purchases, which depends on your salary, as indicated in your licence. And as always, whether in Dubai or elsewhere, remember to drink responsibly.