Since November 7, 2020, the UAE has no longer required a licence to drink alcohol in Dubai. Drinking alcohol without a licence is no longer a criminal offence in the UAE. However, following the recent directives of the Government of Dubai, from 1 January 2023, you still need a licence to buy and possess alcohol in Dubai.

To buy or drink alcohol in Dubai, you must be over 21 and non-Muslim. While you don’t need a licence to drink, you do need one to sell or run an alcohol business in Dubai. Getting this licence used to be a lengthy process earlier and required many documents, but it is now much simpler.

If you want an alcohol licence in Dubai online, read this article. We will provide an in-depth guide to getting the licence and other important information.

Whether you need an alcohol licence in Dubai, this guide will help you obtain it efficiently.

Why Do You Need an Alcohol Licence in Dubai?

Alcohol Licence in Dubai Sample

The Alcohol licence Issued By The MMI

Dubai is a popular destination for expats and tourists worldwide, known for its vibrant nightlife where alcohol is readily available. However, to buy and consume alcohol legally, you need an alcohol licence in Dubai. Here’s why it’s important:

  • An alcohol licence allows residents to purchase, transport, and store alcohol at home legally.
  • Residents must have an alcohol licence to buy alcohol.
  • Tourists can drink alcohol in licenced restaurants and pubs without a licence but need a temporary licence to buy it.
  • Previously, drinking without a licence was illegal, but new laws in 2020 changed.

Eligibility Criteria To Get An Alcohol Licence in Dubai

Before you apply for an alcohol licence, make sure you meet these requirements:

  • Residents of the UAE should hold a valid Emirates ID.
  • Tourists should have their passports with Dubai entry stamps.
  • You must be at least 21 years old.
  • You must be a non-Muslim resident of Dubai.
  • You need a minimum salary of AED 3,000 per month. (If working within UAE)

Types of Alcohol Licences in Dubai:

There are four main types of alcohol licences in Dubai:

  • Type A: licence to import liquor.
  • Type B: licence to sell liquor from a shop or warehouse to third parties.
  • Type C: licence to serve liquor within a hotel, club, or restaurant.
  • Type D: licence to purchase liquor.

How to Apply for an Alcohol Licence in Dubai?

Alcohol Licence For Residents in Dubai:

  • Residents can visit African + Eastern or MMI stores to apply for a personal licence.
  • Applicants must be over 21 years old and have a valid Emirates ID to present at the store.
  • Employees will ask the applicant for basic information, and their application will begin processing.
  • After the resident completes the application, they can submit it.
  • The application is free of cost.
  • The resident can wait for approval.

Important Note: Once the licence is approved, you will get a notification via email or text. You can then collect it from the store you selected earlier.

Validity: The validity of an alcohol licence for residents in Dubai remains for 1 year.

Documents Required For Residents:

  • Passport copy
  • UAE residence visa copy
  • Emirates ID copy
  • Passport-sized photo
  • Tenancy contract or proof of residence
  • Salary certificate or employment contract

Alcohol Licence For Tourists in Dubai:

  • Tourists can apply for a temporary alcohol licence at MMI or African + Eastern stores. They need their original passport with a Dubai entry stamp. 
  • Sign a form to confirm that you are a tourist and understand the rules for buying, carrying, and drinking alcohol in Dubai.
  • The application is free of cost.
  • The temporary licence is usually issued immediately.

Validity: Tourists receive a temporary Dubai alcohol permit, which is valid for 30 days.

Documents Required For Tourists:

  • Passport copy
  • Visit visa copy
  • Passport-sized photo

What Is The Price Of An Alcohol Licence in Dubai?

Alcohol licences are free to obtain in Dubai starting January 1, 2023. All you need is your Emirates ID to get an alcohol licence.

Where Can Alcohol Licences Be Used?

Once you receive your alcohol licence in Dubai, you can use it to purchase at any African + Eastern or MMI store in the city. You can also use the licence to buy alcohol online.

Additionally, this licence allows you to start an alcohol business in Dubai.

You can visit and to see a complete list of locations.

Alcohol Licence Rules, Regulations, and Fines in Dubai

Rule/RegulationDescriptionFine (AED)
Age RequirementThe minimum age for purchasing and consuming alcohol is 21 years.Up to 20,000
Alcohol LicenceResidents must have a personal alcohol licence to purchase, transport, or consume alcohol at home.Up to 20,000
Purchasing AlcoholAlcohol must be purchased from licensed retailers.Up to 5,000
Transporting AlcoholAlcohol should be transported directly from the place of purchase to the home or licensed venue.Up to 5,000
Public ConsumptionDrinking alcohol in public places (e.g., streets, parks) is prohibited.Up to 5,000
Intoxication in PublicBeing drunk in public is an offence.Up to 5,000
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)Driving after consuming alcohol is illegal and can lead to severe penalties.Up to 20,000 + imprisonment
Licence RenewalAlcohol licences must be renewed annually.Up to 500 per month overdue
Possession LimitLicence holders have a limit on the quantity of alcohol they can possess.Up to 2,000
Serving Alcohol to MinorsServing alcohol to individuals under 21 is strictly prohibited.Up to 10,000 + imprisonment
Alcohol in WorkplaceBringing or consuming alcohol in the workplace is prohibited.Up to 10,000
Advertising AlcoholAdvertising alcoholic products without proper authorisation is forbidden.Up to 20,000
Sale of Alcohol to Unlicensed IndividualsSelling alcohol to individuals without a personal alcohol license is illegal.Up to 20,000

Comparison of Personal and Temporary Alcohol Licence in Dubai

FeaturePersonal licence (Type D)Temporary licence (Type D)
Validity1 year30 days
Application Time2-3 weeksImmediate
Required DocumentsPassport, UAE visa, Emirates ID, Salary certificatePassport, visit visa
Purchase PointsMMI, African + EasternMMI, African + Eastern

Final Takeaway:

That concludes our guide to getting an alcohol licence in Dubai. If you are visiting the city for the first time, you should familiarise yourself with the rules for tourists.

Although Dubai is a modern city, the government has a zero-tolerance policy for breaking the rules. Dubai’s drinking laws for tourists and residents strictly prohibit driving under the influence of alcohol.

For more updates on Dubai and other emirates, stay tuned to

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. How to Buy Alcohol in Dubai?

You can easily buy alcohol at many licenced restaurants and bars in Dubai.

Q. How to Get a Free Alcohol Licence in Dubai

To get a free alcohol licence in Dubai, you must be over 21 years old and live in Dubai. Take your Emirates ID to an MMI or African + Eastern store to initiate the process. Tourists can buy alcohol at any MMI or African + Eastern store by showing their original passport.

Q. Can Muslims Get a Liquor Licence in Dubai?

No, Muslims cannot get a liquor licence in Dubai. Only non-Muslims can apply for an alcohol licence because the rules about alcohol in Dubai follow the Islamic law apparently, which does not allow Muslims to have a liquor licence.

Q. Has the Dubai Municipality Suspended Any Tax on Alcohol?

Yes, the Dubai Municipality suspended the 30% tax on liquor starting from January 1, 2023.

Q. Do I need to Pay VAT on purchasing Alcohol in Dubai?

Yes, you must pay 5% VAT on all orders, which complies with UAE regulations. Check how to get VAT refund in Dubai.

Q. How Much Is a Personal Liquor Licence in Dubai?

As of January 1, 2023, a personal liquor licence in Dubai is free. Previously, the fee was AED 270 per year. This change was made to boost tourism and make the city more attractive to expats.

Q. As a resident, Do I still Need a personal alcohol licence to purchase alcohol in Dubai??

Following recent directives from the Government of Dubai, the licence is now free of charge; customers just need to register through their Emirates ID at the nearest MMI stores in Dubai.

About Author

Pragya Banerjee

About Author

Pragya is a content writer with over 2 years of experience who thrives on the power of storytelling. She crafts clear, engaging content that resonates with audiences and transforms ideas into fresh, compelling pieces. When she's not writing, Pragya might be found curled up with a good book, exploring a new coffee shop, or seeking inspiration in nature. This constant curiosity fuels her creativity, allowing her to bring fresh perspectives to every project.