You need to have a licence in order to purchase bottles of alcohol, and only non-Muslim residents aged 21 or older and earn more than Dhs3,000 a month qualify.
1 Pick up an application form from Maritime & Mercantile International (MMI) or African + Eastern liquor stores. There are 13 MMI stores and 12 African & Eastern stores in the city, call MMI (04 424 5000; www.mmidubai.com) and African + Eastern (04 434 4500; www.africaneastern.com) for store locations.
2 Complete the form and head back to the store with other required documents: a copy of your passport and residence visa, copy of tenancy contract and your labour contract, and a passport-size photograph, along with the application fee of Dhs160.
3 The store will then process the application with Dubai Police, which usually takes two weeks.
4 Licenses are only valid for a year and can be easily renewed.
Time Out tip: Prepare for alcohol to be more expensive than you are used to as it is whacked with a hefty VAT.