Dubai Alcohol Licence

Dubai residents and tourists need an alcohol licence to purchase alcohol from a shop. Following recent changes, getting an alcohol license in Dubai is now simple and free.

Requirements and Procedures for Tourists and Visitors

Until summer 2019, tourists and visitors could not apply for an alcohol licence. They could not legally purchase alcohol from liquor shops in Dubai.

The situation has changed, and tourists can apply for an alcohol license. The measure was introduced to help visitors stay on the right side of the law. The licence is temporary and valid for 30 days. Applicants need to be at least 21.

The application can be made at any MMI (Maritime and Mercantile International) or African + Eastern shop. To apply, a tourist only needs to bring their passport.

Licences are issued immediately.

Tourists in Dubai do not need a permit to drink alcohol in licensed bars and restaurants. A licence is only required to buy alcohol in shops. 

No liquor licence is required when purchasing alcoholic beverages at Dubai International Airport. Dubai Duty Free have shops in both the arrival and departure areas of the airport.

Requirements and Procedures for Dubai Residents

Dubai residents need an alcohol licence to buy alcohol from shops and transport. The licence also allows them to consume alcohol at home and store it.

Alcohol licence requirements for persons living in Dubai were relaxed in 2019. Before this, residents needed to satisfy minimum monthly salary criteria and provide documents such as tenancy contracts, salary certificates etc.

Further changes to the application procedure were introduced in January 2023. The process for getting an alcohol licence in Dubai is completely free. To apply for an alcohol licence, the only document required is Emirates ID. Before 2023, a licence fee of 270 AED was charged.

Applicants must be aged 21 years of age.

Licences are valid for one year and then need to be renewed.

The alcohol licence application can be completed at any MMI or African + Eastern store. These are the only stores in Dubai licensed to sell beer, wine, and spirits. Application forms can also be filled in online.

MMI stores are located throughout the city. Locations include Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai Hills Mall, City Walk, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Business Bay, Mall of the Emirates, and Ibn Battuta Mall.

African + Eastern stores in Dubai can be found at Arabian Ranches, Barsha Heights, Downtown Dubai, Deira, International City, Dubai Marina Mall, the Dubai Mall, and many other locations.