Dubai eases off liquor license law requirements

Published:  29 Apr at 6 PM
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Dubai expats are welcoming far easier liquor licence requirements.

Expat residents in Dubai will now be able to get the mandatory licence to buy, drink and store alcoholic beverages in the home without having to satisfy the former tough requirements. Previously, expats who wished to avail themselves of the official liquor license had to produce a letter from their employer or, if not employed and female, from their husband or father as well as a tenancy contract and a certificate showing earnings in excess of Dhs3,000 monthly. Under the new rules, all that will be necessary are copies of your Emirates ID card, your passport, your visa and a second passport photo.

Another welcome advance for expats living in Dubai is that liquor licenses can now be bought online at a cost of Dhs270 by those who are non-Muslim and over 21 years of age. Once the application is approved, collection of the license is via a visit to the local African and Eastern or MMI store, with discount vouchers provided as an incitement. The vouchers give up to Dhs 1,500 on food or beverage purchases at Media 1, Costa and Apres and, for those looking to treat themselves to a well-earned break, discounted holidays can be had from Dnata Travel. In addition, for every friend or neighbour you refer, Dhs100 vouchers are your reward.

Relaxing the law as regards the purchase, storage and consumption of alcohol in Dubai seems like a sensible change for an emirate which is focusing on its branding as the tourism and expat hub of the Gulf States. Previous reports of arrivals being arrested and thrown into jail due to their having alcohol in their bloodstreams as a result of drinking on the flight weren’t exactly encouraging new expat arrivals or visitors who enjoy a glass of wine with their meals. However, it may be that tourists are unlikely to get licenses due to not having Emirates ID cards. In addition, and UAE law also requires residents to get liquor licenses if they wish to buy and consume the demon drink.
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