New arrivals and first time visitors will have heard that the Law relating to alcohol in the UAE is very strict. As an expat resident, you should have a thorough knowledge of what these laws mean to you, even if just to be on the safe side. In this piece, we summarize alcohol licensing in Dubai and give an aide memoir regarding the licensing laws which, if broken can result in a jail sentence or even deportation:
1- According to the law, it is strictly forbidden for Muslims to drink alcohol as per their religion
2- As a non-Muslim, you will only be allowed to drink alcohol where you hold a valid alcohol license. The license is issued by the police authority which you should have with you when consuming alcohol.
3- You will be granted an allowance relating to the amount of alcohol you can purchase from a store for use at home which is relative to your income.
4- Holding an alcohol license permits you to consume alcohol at your home or in licensed premises. The law does not permit the consumption of alcohol in public places such as the beach or the park.
5- Each emirate has their own license and the license you hold determines where you can purchase alcohol. A Dubai license does not allow you to purchase alcohol from a store in Ajman for example.
6- Driving under the influence of alcohol is not permitted here as it is not permitted in most places the world over. Remember, in the UAE there is a zero-tolerance policy on this point and you should be cautious when driving the morning after. Small traces of alcohol in your system that would be acceptable in your home country are likely to land you in legal hot water here.