You may, or may not, have a Dubai alcohol licence. You may, or may not, have heard of an alcohol licence. And you may, or may not, know why you need an alcohol licence.
Dubai is always welcoming new residents and expats through its doors, and it’s understandable that you may not have ever heard about the need for a licence. But, for clarity, we’ll keep it short and sweet…
If you want to consume, store or transport alcohol in this city, you need to have an alcohol licence. It’s the law
Why you need a licence
It doesn’t matter where you are – whether you’re in a bar or restaurant, in your home or someone else’s – you need one.
If you’re at a friend’s house, and they have an alcohol licence, you are not covered by it.
An alcohol licence permits the licence holder, and that person only, to consume, store, transport or possess alcohol.
That means that, to even have alcohol in your home, you need a licence.
Many residents fail to understand the necessity for a licence, and what the potential consequences could be. Failing to produce a licence if asked for one can lead to prosecution, with penalties including heavy fines and even the loss of your visa.
Public drunken behaviour is an offence and the consequences for offenders who do not possess a licence can be far more severe.
Who can get one?
In order to obtain an alcohol licence, you have to be non-Muslim, over the age of 21 and living in Dubai.
Following changes in April 2019, you no longer need an NOC or tenancy contract in order to apply. As of August 9, 2020, the process has become simpler still and you just need to take your Emirates ID into a store to start the process.
Tourists in Dubai can buy alcohol at any MMI or A+E or on legalhomedelivery.com with their original passport.
How much does it cost to get one?
It will cost you just Dhs270 to buy an alcohol licence – and you can apply for a licence at MMI and A+E stores across the city.
What do I need in order to apply for a licence?
You will need your Emirates ID in order to submit an application for a licence. Just take it into any MMI or A+E store to get it scanned to begin the process.
How long does it take to receive a licence?
Once you’ve submitted the paperwork and paid the Dhs270 fee, the approval process takes a couple of days and you can purchase from then. The new card should be ready about two to three weeks.
Where can I then use my licence?
Once you receive your licence, you can then use it at any African + Eastern or MMI store in the city to make purchases. You can also use it to purchase alcohol legally online. For more information click here.