Can You Buy and Consume Pork in the UAE? A Guide for Expats and Visitors
As we're guests in the UAE, it's important to understand the availability and regulations when it comes to pork and pork products
27 November 2023
In this guide, we cover what's allowed and what isn't.
Contrary to popular belief by first-time visitors and new expats, you can actually legally buy pork in the UAE, find imported products with pork in it, and even order pork dishes from some restaurants.
As the UAE is a Muslim country, Sharia law applies. Pork is haram (forbidden) for Muslims, however it is not forbidden for Non-Muslims in the UAE to consume it. Of course there are certain guidelines to follow to respect cultural sensitivities, but you need not worry about forgoing bacon and other pork dishes during your stay in the emirates.
Here is a guide on how and where you can legally buy raw pork, pork products, order pork dishes, and which restaurants are allowed to serve pork in the UAE.
Are you allowed to buy pork in the UAE?
Pork is not allowed to be sold and displayed in the main sections of supermarkets and grocery stores. However, there are dedicated sections in select supermarkets legally selling pork and pork byproducts.
What's important is that you know where to look, as the UAE allows regulated sales of pork.
Residents and visitors can purchase pork and imported products containing pork in the UAE from select supermarkets such as Spinney's, Waitrose, The Philippine Supermarket, Choithrams, Al Maya Supermarket, and others.
These are found in a sectioned-off part of the supermarket with a sign that typically says Muslims are not allowed to enter.
Are pork served in UAE restaurants?
Pork dishes can be served at restaurants and bars that are in or around hotels. These dining establishments require a license from the relevant governing body, so rest assured if you're craving a classic Sunday pork roast or crispy bacon for breakfast, there'll be a place for it.
Regular dining establishments in the UAE are not allowed to sell or serve pork on the menu.
Can you BBQ pork in the UAE?
If you live in an apartment in Dubai, barbequing in the balcony or terrace in general is prohibited as per rules and regulations, regardless of the type of meat or vegetables you want to grill.
BBQ grilling is illegal in Dubai apartments as it is a fire hazard.
Residents who live in a villa may be allowed to grill, but are urged to check if they have permission to BBQ in their area as this varies by community. Residents must also check if they have enough safe outdoor space to set up the grill.
You can grill pork at your residence for private meals or occasions.