A Guide to Obtaining an Alcohol Licence in Dubai

‘Tis the season of joy and camaraderie, a time when residents in Dubai come together for small gatherings and quality moments with loved ones. As the festive spirit envelops the emirate, there’s good news for expats who wish to partake in the merriment with a sip of their favorite beverages. Recent developments have removed the 30 percent tax that once burdened alcoholic drinks in Dubai, making the celebration even more spirited.

The Shift in Dubai’s Alcohol Laws

To enhance the social atmosphere and cater to the diverse expat community, authorities in Dubai have eased regulations surrounding the purchase of alcoholic beverages. The 30 percent tax elimination has been a welcome change for residents and tourists.

The Gateway to Libation: The Alcohol Licence

However, the ability to buy alcohol in Dubai is contingent upon holding a valid liquor license. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to secure one:

Application Process

Offline Application

For those who prefer a hands-on approach, obtaining a liquor license in Dubai can be done by visiting authorized stores such as African Eastern or MMI. Aspiring licensees must be at least 21 years old and possess a valid Emirates ID, which they must present at the store. After providing basic details, the application process kicks off, granting applicants the ability to purchase alcoholic beverages during the processing period.

Online Application

Alternatively, tech-savvy individuals can visit the official African Eastern website. By clicking on ‘Apply for license’ at the top right corner, applicants are directed to a form where personal details, including the Emirates ID number, are required. The online route offers a convenient way to initiate the application process.

Processing Time

Once the application is submitted, the processing time varies between two to five weeks before the license is issued. This time frame allows authorities to verify the information provided and ensure compliance with the eligibility criteria.


In a significant policy shift, the Government of Dubai has waived all fees for obtaining a liquor license. As of this year, acquiring the permit comes at no financial cost, easing the process for residents and aligning with the emirate’s commitment to hospitality.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must be at least 21 years old and hold a valid Emirates ID to be eligible for a liquor license. This criterion ensures responsible and legal consumption of alcoholic beverages within the emirate.

Tourists Welcome

Dubai extends the opportunity for tourists to apply for a personal liquor license. Tourists aged 21 and above can present a valid passport with at least two months’ validity when applying for the permit.

Abiding by the Rules

While the freedom to enjoy alcoholic beverages in Dubai is granted, it comes with specific rules to maintain a harmonious social environment:

  1. Legal Drinking Age: The minimum age for consuming alcohol in Dubai is 21 years old.
  2. No Public Consumption: Public consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited and may result in legal consequences.
  3. Zero Tolerance for Drinking and Driving: Dubai maintains a zero-tolerance policy against drinking and driving, emphasizing the safety of all residents and visitors.
  4. Licensed Venues Only: Alcohol can only be consumed at licensed establishments, including restaurants, lounges, and bars throughout the city.


As Dubai ushers in a more relaxed approach towards alcohol consumption, obtaining a liquor license has become more accessible and cost-free. Whether residents or tourists, anyone above 21 can partake in the festivities responsibly, adhering to the emirate’s rules and regulations. So, as you raise your glass in celebration, remember to do so within the bounds of the law and enjoy the season responsibly.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Jishnu KT
Jishnu KThttps://newsgulf.ae/
I am a Digital Marketing Expert and Content Writer with over 5 years of experience in the Middle East news portal. In my role at NewsGulf, I create engaging and informative news content that useful to readers and establishes strong connections with the audience.

Subscribe to our Job Letter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Related Articles

UAE President Calls for Increased Aid to Gaza Residents During Ramadan

Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE, has called for ramping up assistance to the residents of the...

Ramadan Transport Services in Dubai: Changes in Operation Hours: Metro, Bus and Parking

Dubai's Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced the operational schedule for public transport services during Ramadan in Dubai. This update applies to services...