Non-Muslim residents of Dubai need an alcohol licence to purchase alcohol from a store or have alcohol in your home.
13 February 2013| Last updated on 1 March 2020
As a Muslim country, the UAE implements Sharia law, which prohibits the purchase and consumption of alcohol.
However, the UAE authorities are aware that drinking alcohol is popular among non-Muslims, so for that reason the UAE sets rules and boundaries for purchasing and drinking alcohol.
In hotels across all of the Emirates (except Sharjah where sale, consumption or possession of alcohol is prohibited) alcohol is offered to customers and visitors to their establishments. But be mindful of the fact that consuming alcohol is not allowed in unlicenced public places, and drunkenness in public is an offence. Drinking alcohol is also not allowed when there is a public holiday, such as Isra Wal Miraj or the Prophet's Birthday.
If ever you are caught transporting a large quantity of alcohol, the drink and your vehicle will be seized and you will face punishment as per the Sharia law. Also, there is a zero tolerance policy towards drinking and driving.
It's better to be safe - and legal - and it's quite easy to get your own liquor licence, so just follow the steps below to make sure you are all legal and above board.
Requirements for an alcohol licence
- You must be a non-Muslim and over 21 years old
- You must be a resident of Dubai
Previously, applicants were required to provide an NOC letter from their employer or sponsor, provide proof of their salary, as well as a copy of their tenancy contract. But since the requirements for a Dubai alcohol licence has changed, things are much easier for expats.
How to apply for an alcohol licence in Dubai
Application forms for an alcohol licence can be picked up from MMI and African + Eastern (A+E) liquor stores, which are situated all over Dubai and are often attached to shopping malls.
To fill in an application form from African + Eastern online, simply take the following steps:
- Head to www.alcohollicencedubai.com first
- Click 'Apply Online' and sign up or login
- Read the requirements of applicants and click 'Apply Now'
- Fill in your personal details
- Fill in your government and employment details
- Upload the required documents; a copy of your passport, Emirates ID, visa and tenancy contract (optional)
- Don't forget your passport sized photograph!
- Confirm, pay and arrange delivery of your licence
If you'd prefer to apply in person, visit any one of the 17 African + Eastern stores in Dubai to submit your application.
How much does an alcohol licence cost in Dubai?
Once you have submitted the necessary documentation either online or in person, you will need to pay the fee of AED 270 for your alcohol licence. Then, when your application is confirmed, it will take up to four weeks to process.
How to renew your alcohol licence in Dubai
With African + Eastern, you can do this either online or visit any one of the MMI or A+E stores around Dubai with the following:
- A copy of your Emirates ID
- A copy of your passport with valid residency visa
- A copy of your tenancy contract - optional
! Do remember that it is an offence to buy, transport, store and consume alcohol, as a resident in the UAE, without a valid Liquor License.