Dubai Alcohol Licence

Dubai residents and tourists need an alcohol licence to purchase alcohol from a shop, transport it, or drink at home/hotel room, or store it at home.

Technically, an alcohol licence is needed to consume alcoholic drinks in a bar or restaurant in Dubai. In practice this rule is seldom enforced. It is almost unheard of for bar staff or waiters to ask to see an alcohol licence before serving a customer.

Requirements and Procedures for Dubai Residents

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

The new application procedures require only:

  • Passport copy
  • Emirates ID copy
  • Dubai Residents Visa copy
  • Passport photo
  • Licence fee of 270 AED

Applicants must be aged 21 years of age and non-Muslim.

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

It takes 2 to 3 weeks for a liquor licence application to be processed. They are sent to the Dubai Police for approval.

The Dubai Police may reject certain applications. Common reasons include:

  • Non-Muslim status not verified
  • Applicant has a criminal record
  • Ongoing court cases involving applicant

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

Both MMI and African + Eastern offer rewards (discount vouchers etc.) to entice residents to complete the application at their stores.

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 now changed and tourists can apply for an temporary alcohol permit. Applicants need to be non-Muslim and at least 21. The measure was introduced to help visitors stay on the right side of the law.

The permit is free and is valid for 30 days. The application can be made at any MMI or African + Eastern shop. Tourists need to bring their passport (not a copy) and complete a simple form and a declaration that they understand the rules in Dubai regarding alcohol purchase and consumption.

Tourists are issued with an alcohol guide/code of conduct. It states:

  • No drinking and driving
  • Alcohol must be concealed in public places (carry in a non-transparent bag)
  • No consumption in public places
  • No intoxication in public places
  • Carry the alcohol permit at all times

The licence is issued straight away. Tourists can shop immediately.

The liquor licence can be extended after 30 days.

Abu Dhabi and the other emirates of the UAE have similar rules. The exception is Sharjah, where buying, selling and drinking alcohol is illegal.

Comments and Additional Information

  1. With out tenancy contract, I can get license? Or what more papers they need from me to get license?

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  2. Do I require Emirates ID for applying license or only resident visa will do .

    Rental agreement do we need to have is essential as I stay in hotel .

    Reply
  3. what are the reasons dubai police reject licence ?

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  4. Hi

    How can Applied Alcohol online licence in Dubai

    Reply
  5. I am having resident visa of Ras Al Khimah and after application and payment an email came to me for the clearance from RAK Municipality. Here in RAK they don’t have anything like this. I require this License for Dubai since my many clients meeting we keep in Dubai. Please suggest.

    Reply
  6. my salary is 4000 aed.but dont have any tenancy agreement,so cant i apply for licence?

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  7. What is the amount for the application fee please?

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    • My tenancy contract is ending this month. Am I eligible for licence?

      Reply
  8. Where can I get an application form?

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  9. How much application fee for alcohol license?

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  10. Can I use my Abu Dhabi licence in Dubai?

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  11. I am a non-Muslim from a Muslim country (Turkey). How do they check if you are Muslim or not?

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    • If you own property but dont have an residence visa. Do you have a have an alcohol license if you only get it at the duty free for your home.

      Reply
  12. My monthly salary is 2000 aed. Can I apply for this? I am staying in labour accomodation. Please reply to me.

    Reply
    • No. Minimum salary required is 3000 AED.

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      • Tenancy contract must if i have noc

        Reply
    • No

      Reply
    • No, you don’t make enough money.

      Reply
  13. In July I am going to spend couple weeks in Dubai. Am I allowed to enter Dubai with alcohol purchased in duty free shop in UK?

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    • Hi Tom. As per the 2014 Passenger customs guide, visitors are allowed to bring up to 4 litres of alcohol or 48 cans of beer. You do not need a liquor license to purchase at duty-free while entering the country.

      Reply
    • No. Please be careful as visitors are not allowed to have any alcohol in the bloodstream nor are they permitted to carry any alcohol. Kindly check the news of a UK mom who was imprisoned because she had a drink on Emirates flight.

      Reply
      • With regard to the case of the “UK mom” – it had nothing to do with having a glass of wine. Most have drinks on Emirates all the time, just like any other airline. She travelled on an expired visa, and when this was pointed out to her she became abusive to the emigration authorities.

        Reply
    • Yes you may, but there are restrictions as to how much you may bring.

      Reply
  14. does the tenancy need to be under my name to get a license please?

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    • Can I get a license without a tenancy contract?

      Reply
  15. Hi,

    How can I check my applied Alcohol permit online?

    I already submitted my requirements and not sure if what’s next step.

    Reply
  16. I have a valid alcohol license issued in Abu Dhabi and now live in Dubai. I find it strange that I have to apply for a Dubai alcohol license! They won’t sell me alcohol at the shops here in Dubai.

    Reply
    • I would strongly suggest that you leave Dubai and move to United States.

      Reply
    • Very True. I had a same problem as well. Very Strange.

      Reply

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