How to get an alcohol licence in Dubai

Guide to getting your Dubai alcohol licence

How to get an alcohol licence in Dubai

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.

How much does it cost to get one?
You can apply online for a licence through both African + Eastern and MMI via their online portals. It will cost you just Dhs270 to buy an alcohol licence – which the retailer will give back to you in the form of vouchers to use at their outlets. You can also apply for a licence at 20 MMI stores across the city – all outlets are listed below.

What do I need in order to apply for a licence?
You will need copies of your passport, visa, a passport photograph and Emirates ID in order to submit an application for a licence.

How long does it take to receive a licence?
Once you’ve submitted the paperwork and paid the Dhs270 fee, it will take between two and four weeks to receive your licence.

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. Visit and to see a full list of locations.

Be the first to get all the latest Dubai news, reviews and deals into your inbox by signing up to our free newsletter, click here to sign up.

More from Things to do

The '90s TV star and DJ is coming to McGettigan's JLT

Showcasing an overall superyacht value of Dhs2.6 billion

Prepare to be splashed with an array of colours for one of the biggest Hindu festivals


Follow us