Generally, the legal age for drinking alcohol is 18 in Abu Dhabi, but a Ministry of Tourism by-law prevents hotels from serving alcohol to those under the age of 21. In Dubai and all other emirates besides Sharjah, the drinking age is 21. Drinking alcohol in Sharjah is illegal.
What are the rules about alcohol in Dubai?
Alcohol can only be consumed privately or in licensed public places. A person must be at least 21 to drink legally in the UAE. Anyone caught selling alcohol to someone deemed underage will be punished, according to the amendments to Federal Law No 3 of 1987 of the Penal Code.
Can females drink in Dubai?
You will be absolutely fine. The only time people get into trouble is if they have too much to drink and then behave inappropriately and/or cause offence and come to the attention of the authorities/police.
Can you drink openly in Dubai?
Drinking Is A-OK, in the Right Places Tourists are permitted to drink in licensed restaurants, hotels and bars attached to licensed hotels. It is unacceptable and punishable to drink in public places—even beaches. Dubai is incredibly strict about public drunkenness and has zero tolerance for drinking and driving.
Can you drink at 18 in Dubai?
Generally, the legal age for drinking alcohol is 18 in Abu Dhabi, but a Ministry of Tourism by-law prevents hotels from serving alcohol to those under the age of 21. In Dubai and all other emirates besides Sharjah, the drinking age is 21.
Are tattoos illegal in Dubai?
While getting a tattoo is not legally penalised in the UAE, it is forbidden in Islam by virtue of a Fatwa issued by the Official Fatwa Centre at the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, and considered a form of self-injury.
Can you cuss in Dubai?
Swearing in public is completely prohibited in the UAE, with the use of the F-word being a crime, as it “disgraces the honor or the modesty” of a person, according to Article 373 of the UAE Penal Code. Swearing is punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine as high as 10,000 dirhams.
Can u smoke in Dubai?
Normal cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vape, heating tobacco, and other tobacco products are all legal in Dubai. Only if you use it in a location where smoking is prohibited, such as an outdoor smoking cabin. Smokers caught using an e-cigarette in a banned place face a fine of up to Dh 2.000.
Can you wear shorts in Dubai?
What should tourists wear in Dubai? When visiting Dubai as a tourist, you will be glad to know that the dress code in tourist places and hotels isn’t very strict. Men can wear shorts, pants, shirts, or t-shirts. Women can wear dresses, skirts, shorts, and t-shirts, blouses, tops…
Can I drink alcohol in my hotel room in Dubai?
Can you drink alcohol in your hotel room in Dubai? Alcohol is served in most major hotel bars, but, that is mostly for guests of the hotel. However, if you are staying in the hotel as a guest, you can consume alcohol behind closed doors, but remember, you cannot walk around ‘looking drunk’.
Can you kiss in Dubai?
Well, among public displays of affection, kissing might be the worst of the lot. It does not matter if one party kisses the other on the lips, on the cheek, or in a private place that would get them locked upon any part of the world; kissing is forbidden in public places in Dubai.
What is forbidden in Dubai?
Dubai severely punishes acts that many Western travelers would never even imagine are illegal, including drinking alcohol without a permit, holding hands, sharing a room with someone of the opposite sex other than your spouse, taking pictures of other people, offensive language or gestures, and unsanctioned social
Is there slavery in Dubai?
In the past two decades, the city of Dubai has experienced exponential growth, made possible by vigorous foreign investment and its robust tourism industry. However, beneath the glossy visage of the city lies a foundation of pervasive human rights violations; primarily slavery.
Can you eat pork in Dubai?
Pork is considered haram (forbidden) in Muslim culture but there are places in Dubai that have a license to sell them. Pork counters are marked with “Pork Section: For Non-Muslims”. You can buy pork sausages, bellies, loins, ribs, chops, bacon, etc.
Are drugs legal in Dubai?
UAE strictly prohibits the sale and trafficking of drugs, with drug use punishable by four years in jail. Other changes include reducing minimum sentences from two years to three months for first-time drug offenders and offering convicts rehabilitation at a detention facility separate from other felons.
Dubai Alcohol Laws, Rules And Regulations – Legal Drinking Age
The licensing requirements in Dubai demand that places offering alcoholic beverages be affiliated to hotels or private clubs. It is against the law to consume alcoholic beverages on the street or in a public area, or to be under the influence of alcohol while in a public place. The legal drinking age in the United States is 21 years old. Minors who want something more potent than orange juice should bring artificial beards with them. It is illegal to purchase alcoholic beverages from an off-license without first obtaining a valid alcohol license.
If you want to buy alcoholic beverages in a bar, restaurant, or hotel, you’ll need an alcohol license, according to the stringent interpretation of Dubai’s alcohol regulations.
Many visitors drink alcoholic beverages without a valid license, and practically all of them are not subjected to any penalties.
In the majority of cases, they have done so by committing a connected criminal offense that has brought attention to themselves (including disorderly or offensive behaviour).
Other important considerations are as follows:
- Drivers should be aware that Dubai has a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of alcohol
- Not all hotels provide alcoholic beverages. There are several ‘dry hotels,’ which cater to Muslim travelers. During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, certain regulations are in force. The cost of alcoholic beverages in Dubai is quite expensive.
The regulations governing the purchase and use of alcoholic beverages are identical in Abu Dhabi and the other emirates of the United Arab Emirates. The only exception is Sharjah, which prohibits the use of alcoholic beverages entirely.
Everything You Need to Know About Drinking in Dubai
Is it legal to drink in Dubai? It’s a possibility. “You have been extended an invitation to the Dubai Food and Wine Festival!” Wait. What? Is there a wine festival taking place in Dubai? Is it legal to drink in Dubai? The short answer is yes, but only as a tourist. One of the most common misunderstandings about Dubai is that it is a dry city where you cannot drink alcohol. And if you do, there are severe ramifications to bear in mind. However, this isn’t the case, and it isn’t a 24-hour booze-fueled celebration, either.
Non-Muslims are permitted to consume alcoholic beverages in Dubai as a result of this, as well as the vast number of expats that live in the city.
As a result, while Dubai tolerates the drinking of alcoholic beverages by non-Muslims, it nonetheless has rigorous regulations in place.
Drinking Is A-OK, in the Right Places
Tourists are authorized to consume alcoholic beverages at licensed restaurants, hotels, and bars that are attached to licensed hotels in the United States.
It is prohibited and criminal to consume alcoholic beverages in public locations, including beaches. Dubai is quite severe when it comes to public intoxication, and it has zero tolerance for driving while under the influence of alcohol.
You Need a License to Buy Booze (But There’s a Way Around It)
Both locals and visitors are required to get a license in order to purchase alcoholic beverages from a retailer. However, there is a workaround: travelers may purchase alcoholic beverages at Duty Free in the airport and transport them back to their hotel to avoid needing to get a license. In order to be eligible for a license, you must be over the age of 21 and earn in excess of 3,000 AED (about $800) every month.
The Police Are Always Watching
The absence of police personnel in public locations in Dubai may lead you to believe it is safe to open a drink while you are visiting the country. Please be aware that the police will be there, disguising themselves as citizens. It is possible to receive a six-month jail term and severe penalties for being intoxicated in public, so hold off on the beer.
The Drinks Are Worth It
Aside from the strict fines, Dubai recognizes that its visitors and non-Muslim citizens enjoy a decent cocktail every now and then. In addition to cutting-edge mixology, jaw-dropping wine lists, and skillfully selected liquor options, hotels and restaurants have outstanding wine, beer, and cocktail programs to offer their guests. The four- and five-star hotels (and, of course, the extra-exclusive seven-star hotels) take great delight in bringing in some of the world’s greatest Champagne, bartenders, and sommeliers to serve their guests in their restaurants.
When It Comes to Social Media, the Vaguer, the Better
When there is alcohol involved, those who are active on social media should be mindful of what they post. It is preferable to use the term “alcohol” in its broadest sense. When posting about alcohol-related activities, try to be as ambiguous as possible. For example, “I’m having a drink at the hotel,” rather than “This vodka cranberry cocktail is going down like water,” would be appropriate.
The United Arab Emirates relaxes laws on alcohol – Drinks International – The global choice for drinks buyers
People over the age of 21 who consume, sell, or possess alcoholic beverages will no longer face criminal penalties under new legislation introduced on Saturday in the United Arab Emirates. The relaxation of alcohol prohibitions is part of a broader revamp of the country’s Islamic personal rules, which also includes letting unmarried couples to live together and repealing legislation that upheld so-called “honour” killings, among other things. It was claimed by WAM, the UAE’s state-run news agency, that the loosening of personal laws is intended to “consolidate the UAE’s ideals of tolerance.” Individuals were forced to get a government-issued license in order to purchase, transport, or possess alcohol in their homes, despite the fact that alcohol has been lawfully accessible at bars and clubs in the UAE for years.
Previously, charges for alcohol use were uncommon and were most typically associated with an arrest for another crime.
The move is intended to better reflect the country’s evolving reputation as a global hub for international tourism and business.
A year after being postponed owing to the coronavirus epidemic, the World Expo is scheduled to take place in Dubai in October 2021. The event is expected to attract approximately 25 million tourists to the Gulf state, according to projections.
UAE legal reforms: new alcohol laws explained
On Saturday, the United Arab Emirates unveiled the most significant change of its legal system in years, touching everything from divorce and inheritance to the drinking of alcoholic beverages. All of the legislation, which are effective immediately, are progressive in nature and are intended to encourage more foreign direct investment and visitors to the nation while also simplifying requirements for UAE citizens living abroad. A variety of formerly prohibited behaviors, such as the use of alcoholic beverages without a permit, were decriminalized.
The National provides an explanation.
What has changed?
In the United Arab Emirates, the use of alcoholic beverages is no longer a criminal offense. Individuals who consume alcohol, are in possession of alcohol, or sell alcoholic beverages in authorized places without holding an alcohol license will not be prosecuted under this provision. Previously, if someone was arrested for another crime and then charged with consuming alcohol without a license, the charge of consuming alcohol without a license may be added on. That occurred on a rare occasion, but it will no longer be enforced at all under the new legislation.
What rules still exist regarding the consumption of alcohol in the UAE?
Alcohol can only be drunk in private or in venues that have been permitted for consumption. In order to legally drink in the UAE, a person must be at least 21 years old. According to the modifications to Federal Law No 3 of 1987 of the Penal Code, anybody who is discovered selling alcoholic beverages to someone who is under the legal drinking age shall be prosecuted. Penalties are only levied against individuals who offer or sell alcoholic drinks to anybody under the age of 21 or who purchase alcoholic beverages with the goal of giving them to an underage individual, according to the legislation.
Unlike the other emirates, Sharjah is fully “dry,” whereas the other emirates have taken a variety of approaches to legislation surrounding the selling of alcohol.
What are the laws in Abu Dhabi?
Regulations on alcoholic beverages in Abu Dhabi have been gradually changed after a notice was delivered to restaurants and bars, as well as merchants, in May 2018 announcing the end of “dry days” in the emirate. According to the letter, alcohol would be authorized in licensed locations for “all religious occasions, throughout the year, and in the following years.” Before that, the sale of alcoholic beverages on the day before a number of Islamic festivals, including Waqfat Arafa, Al Isra’a, and M’raj, the birth of Prophet Mohammed, and Islamic New Year was prohibited.
It was stated in a letter addressed to distribution businesses and merchants that they were not obligated to ask customers to show them a card proving they were permitted to purchase alcoholic beverages.
In recent years, businesses, pubs, and restaurants have seldom requested customers to display their license, despite the fact that they are theoretically obligated to do so by law in several states.
More information can be found at
What about Dubai?
The new legislation are federal in nature and apply to all of the emirates. The system in Dubai has not undergone any modifications since the summer, when it was mandated that people holding alcohol licenses must apply for a new card starting in September. No additional changes have been announced since then. According to many managers at alcohol retailers who spoke to The National, the card system will be maintained until the new legislation was formally implemented. Previously, before selling alcoholic beverages in Dubai, retailers were required to get a license from the municipality or a temporary license from the government.
The amendments were intended to make it easier for people to get one as well as to guarantee that the legislation was understandable.
Alcohol rules again loosen as Dubai seeks economic recovery
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — As the sheikhdom attempts to claw its way out of an economic crisis exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak, Dubai has once again relaxed its restrictions controlling alcohol sales and possession of alcoholic beverages. When the virus spread, it worsened an already-growing economic storm that was already battering Dubai. Mass layoffs have whittled down the ranks of the country’s foreign labor, leaving many residents without a place to live even as the economy shows some signs of improvement.
- A statement from Mike Glen, managing director for the United Arab Emirates and Oman for alcoholic beverage distributor Maritime and Mercantile International, was sent to The Associated Press via email.
- Tourists are enticed to the hotel beaches by ice-cold bottles of beer, while well-to-do expatriate residents are drawn to the lavish breakfasts that are bathed in Champagne.
- In general, alcohol sales in Dubai reflect the level of confidence that customers have in their personal financial situation and, consequently, in the economy.
- Another notable setback was the postponement of Dubai’s Expo 2020, or world’s fair, to the following year.
- Sales in 2019 are down roughly 9 percent compared to the previous year, when 141.51 million liters (37.3 million gallons) were sold.
- As a result, the city-state has altered the basic mechanism that allows inhabitants to purchase alcoholic beverages on a legal basis.
- In the alternative, they risk fines and incarceration, despite the fact that the sheikhdom’s huge network of pubs, nightclubs, and lounges never requests proof of identification.
- An application no longer needs the approval of a potential employer.
- This happened to some expatriates working for Emirati firms whose owners had religious concerns to the use of alcoholic beverages.
- Residents used to be able to get past these limitations by going to five of the other seven sheikhdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The introduction of the new card system coincides with the introduction of a new law in Dubai that allows tourists and visitors to purchase alcohol from distributors simply by showing their passports, closing a loophole that previously made visitors who drank without a permit subject to arrest for possessing alcohol.
- There have been over 65,000 confirmed cases and 367 fatalities since the virus first struck.
- There have been hints of a hesitant and tiny recovery beginning to take root in recent weeks and months.
- However, according to the survey, this looked to be driven by significant reductions in price discounts, notably in the travel and tourism industries.
- That does not include all of the other companies, large and small, around the city that have been affected by the virus in a similar manner — notably in the city’s bubble-or-bust real estate market.
- Hussain Sajwani, the company’s chairman, blamed the pandemic for the company’s dismal performance.
- According to a survey released this week by the Dubai-based Property Monitor, real estate prices are projected to reach new record lows by the end of the third quarter of this year, if not sooner.
- According to REIDIN, an additional 120,000 units are likely to enter the market in the following two years, thereby down costs even more.
- A rise in the rate of price decline for both apartments and villas, particularly in the second quarter, was attributed to the “current pandemic, combined with oversupply in the market and reduced occupancy levels,” according to Ozan Demir, director of operations and research at REIDIN.
For more information, visit www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP. Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter.
The laws on drinking in Dubai and the UAE what happens if you’re caught
DUBAI is a popular tourist and expat destination for British visitors and expats looking for sun, shopping, and the occasional good time. Over 1.5 million British citizens go to the United Arab Emirates each year, according to official figures. Here’s all you need to know about the legislation around alcoholic beverages. 4 Drinking alcohol led to Jamie Harron’s imprisonment in Dubai for one month, according to the court records. Photograph courtesy of SWNS:South West News Service
Is alcohol illegal in Dubai?
Dubai is one of the emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, which is located in the Gulf. All of the emirates, including Dubai, have tight rules around drinking, sex, and drugs, and Dubai is no exception. Expats and visitors over the age of 21 are permitted to consume alcoholic beverages, but only at establishments that cater to Westerners, such as hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs. Non-Muslim citizens who wish to purchase alcoholic beverages from stores and consume them at home must get a license.
- Visitors who do not reside in the country are unable to obtain a liquor license, however one way around this is to purchase duty-free liquor at the airport and transport it to your hotel.
- It is, nevertheless, prohibited to be intoxicated in public.
- Dubai has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drunk driving.
- The police are supposed to be on the watch for Westerners who are breaching the law in tourist hot locations, and they are wearing plain clothing.
- Also, avoid overindulging in alcoholic beverages on aircraft bound towards the United Arab Emirates.
- 4 Non-Muslim citizens can get a liquor license to consume alcoholic beverages at home and at licensed establishments.
What happens if you are caught?
Located in the Gulf, Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In all of the emirates, including Dubai, there are rigorous restrictions against drinking, sexual relations, and narcotics. The use of alcoholic beverages is permitted for expatriates and visitors over the age of 21, but only in certain establishments that cater to Westerners, such as hotel rooms, restaurants, and nightclubs. If you live in a non-Muslim neighborhood and want to buy alcohol to drink at home, you must get a license.
- The only way around this is to purchase duty-free liquor at the airport and transport it to your hotel.
- Drinking in licensed establishments is required for residents as well, however tourists are permitted to purchase alcoholic beverages in hotels and bars without issue.
- In many cases, visitors are in violation of this legislation because they have been arrested for something else, such as noisy behavior or a vehicle accident, or because they have been the victim of a crime.
- Also prohibited is the use of alcoholic beverages in a public location, which includes beaches.
- The sanctions for intoxication are more harsh for Muslim guests, even those from Western nations.
- Also, avoid excessive alcohol consumption on flights to the United Arab Emirates.
Even if you don’t leave the airport during a layover in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, you might be detained for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 4 A liquor license allows non-Muslim residents to consume alcoholic beverages at home or at licensed establishments.
What else is illegal in Dubai?
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises that several customs procedures in the United Arab Emirates are different from those in the United Kingdom. The act of having sexual relations outside of marriage is prohibited, and it is also unlawful to share a hotel room with someone of the opposite sex if you are not married. Homosexuality is prohibited, and same-sex marriages are not recognized in the country. The use of illegal drugs is strictly prohibited. Dealers are subject to the death penalty, and even a modest amount of marijuana is likely to result in a prison sentence.
- Furthermore, because of the high levels of surveillance and technology in place at the airport, the odds of being apprehended are great.
- E-cigarettes are prohibited in the United Arab Emirates and will almost certainly be confiscated at the border.
- Using obscene hand gestures or cursing is against the law and can result in imprisonment or expulsion.
- In 2015, three British aircraft spotters were arrested and detained for two months for photographing planes at UAE airports.
- Eight different methods to get arrested in Dubai are listed below, including posting a charitable message on Facebook and kissing at a restaurant.
- Do you have a story you’d like to share with the Sun Online news team?
- You may reach us through WhatsApp on 07810 791 502.
- To submit yours, please go here.
Local laws and customs – United Arab Emirates travel advice
The laws and customs of the United Arab Emirates are vastly different from those of the United Kingdom. Remember to be mindful of your conduct to ensure that you do not insult anybody, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you want to visit religious sites. It is possible that you will face harsh consequences for doing something that is not unlawful in the United Kingdom. It is extremely recommended that you become acquainted with, and observe, local laws and customs. The holy month of Ramadan is scheduled to begin on 3 April and end on 2 May in 2022, according to projections.
More information on living in the United Arab Emirates may be found here.
The UAE prohibits the importation of pig products as well as pornographic material.
Videos, books, and periodicals may all be subjected to review and censorship in some cases.
Offenses involving illegal narcotics are treated with zero tolerance. Trafficking, smuggling, and possession of narcotics (even in trace amounts) are all punishable by harsh penalties. For drug trafficking, sentences can include life imprisonment as well as death, and possession of even a small amount of illegal narcotics can result in a mandatory minimum 4-year prison term. The presence of narcotics in a person’s blood stream is considered possession by the Emirati authorities. Some herbal highs, such as Spice, are prohibited in the United Arab Emirates.
Because UAE airports are equipped with cutting-edge technology and security, travellers traveling through the country who are found to be in possession of even trace quantities of narcotics may be detained.
Those discovered in possession of such items will have them seized, and you may be subject to criminal prosecution.
Non-Muslim citizens can get a liquor license, which allows them to consume alcoholic beverages at home and at licensed establishments. These licenses are only valid in the Emirate that granted the license in the first place. Residents must also get a permit in order to be permitted to consume alcoholic beverages at licensed establishments. Residents of Abu Dhabi no longer need to get a liquor license in order to purchase alcoholic beverages for personal use. A temporary liquor license for the period of one month can be obtained from one of the two authorised liquor distributors in Dubai if you are visiting the city for the first time.
Unless otherwise specified, this license is only valid for usage inside the Emirate in which it is granted.
However, you should be aware that drinking or being under the influence of alcohol in public is a severe infraction under UAE law and may result in criminal prosecution.
This is the first time the law has been used against them.
The drinking age in Dubai, as well as in all other emirates save Sharjah, is 21 years old. In Sharjah, it is against the law to consume alcoholic beverages. Passengers traveling through the United Arab Emirates while under the influence of alcohol may also be detained.
When women are in public places such as shopping malls, they should dress modestly. Arms and legs should be covered with clothing, and underwear should not be seen on the arms and legs. Clothing appropriate for swimming should be worn solely on beaches or in swimming pools. Cross-dressing is against the law.
It is standard practice for hotels to request a photocopy of your passport or Emirates ID card when you check in. If you are under the age of 18 and not accompanied by an adult, you are not permitted to stay in a hotel.
Swearing and making disrespectful gestures (including those made online) are deemed obscene actions, and those who do them may face imprisonment or deportation. When interacting with the police and other government personnel, exercise extreme caution. Public shows of affection are frowned upon, and there have been a number of arrests for kissing in public in recent history.
Relationships outside marriage
All sex outside of marriage is prohibited in the United Kingdom, regardless of the nature of your connection with your partner. It is possible that you will face prosecution, incarceration, and/or a fine as well as deportation if the UAE authorities learn that you are engaging in a sexual relationship outside of marriage (as defined by them). The act of living together or sharing a hotel room with someone of the opposite sex with whom you are not married or closely related is illegal in the United States of America.
During ante-natal visits, doctors may request proof of marriage from the expectant mother.
It is required that you submit the authorities with a copy of your marriage certificate in order to obtain a birth certificate from them, and it is possible that they will compare the marriage certificate’s date of issue with the estimated date of conception.
All gay intercourse is prohibited, and same-sex marriages are not recognized in the United States. The United Arab Emirates is, in many ways, a tolerant society in which private life is respected, though there have been reports of individuals being punished for homosexual activity and/or sexual activity outside of marriage, particularly where there is a public element or where the behavior has caused offence, in some cases. This applies to both expatriate residents and visitors to the country.
Certain government buildings and military locations are off-limits for photography for security reasons. Do not photograph anyone unless they have given you permission. Men have been detained for photographing women on beaches, according to reports. It’s possible that hobbies such as bird watching and plane spotting will go unnoticed, especially in areas near military bases, government buildings, and airports. It is possible that material (including videos and photographs) posted online that is critical of the UAE government, companies, or individuals, or that is related to incidents in the UAE, or that appears to abuse/ridicule/criticise the country or its authorities, or that is culturally insensitive, will be considered a crime and prosecuted under UAE legal provisions.
Obtaining the relevant approval from the Emirati authorities in advance will be required if you desire to engage in media activity including the creation, transmission, and/or distribution of printed, digital, audio, video, and/or visual material is something you wish to do.
Failure to do so might result in incarceration as well as a significant financial penalty. By enrolling on the National Media Council website, you will be able to receive further information regarding media activities and how to secure the appropriate licences.
If you’re thinking of doing or promoting fundraising or other charitable actions in the UAE (or while traveling through), be in mind that these activities, especially those undertaken online and through social media, are tightly monitored. You should be completely informed of the legal requirements and, if required, seek competent counsel. Criminal consequences, such as substantial fines and/or imprisonment, can be imposed for failure to comply with the law.
If you wish to buy property in the United Arab Emirates, you should get suitable professional advice, just as you would in the United Kingdom, before you do so. On the website of the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, you may find a list of attorneys who practice in those cities.
The commission of financial crimes such as fraud, the bouncing of checks (including post-dated and “security checks”), and the failure to pay bills (including hotel bills) can all result in jail and/or a fine, depending on the circumstances. Bank accounts and other assets might also be frozen at the discretion of the court. Non-residents of the United Arab Emirates who are arrested for financial offences are often denied the right to bail. In most cases, those who have been convicted will not be freed from jail until the debt has been paid in full or waived, and they may even be required to remain in jail after a debt has been paid if there is an outstanding sentence to be served.
Weapons and related equipment
Weapons, ammunition, body protection, and associated equipment (such as cleaning kits, gun belts, and so on), no matter how small the number or what the purpose, all require approval before being brought into or transiting through the UAE or transiting through it.
Satellite phones, listening or recording equipment, radio transmitters, powerful cameras, and binoculars, among other items, may require a permit to be used in the United Arab Emirates. Consult with the UAE Embassy in London for guidance.
Alcohol in the UAE: Laws You Need to Know About
Image courtesy of iStock/franckreporter The legal system of the United Arab Emirates is substantially controlled by Sharia law, and alcohol is prohibited under Sharia law. So, can you obtain a drink when in the United Arab Emirates or Dubai?
- License to Drink in the United Arab Emirates
- What is Considered Illegal
- Incidents Associated with Alcohol
License to drink in UAE
The laws in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been a little more lenient in recent years, with alcohol now being supplied in select hotels and nightclubs. In September 2020, Abu Dhabi will abolish its system that formerly required citizens who consumed or had alcohol to get a Ministry of Interior liquor permit, failing which they would risk arrest, fines, and maybe jail time if they did not. Residents of Abu Dhabi must be at least 21 years old and purchase alcohol for personal use rather than resale in order to purchase alcohol.
The alcohol provided in most big hotel bars is no longer reserved exclusively for hotel guests.
However, what happens in Dubai may not necessarily be relevant in other states of the United Arab Emirates.
What is considered illegal?
Every public activity that you can conceive of that involves the use of alcoholic beverages is prohibited. Drinking or being drunk in public is against the law in the UAE, and believe it or not, the police are actually quite good at spotting a drunk tourist. The defense of “But I’ve only had a few!” is not considered a valid legal defense in the UAE, and you may be arrested and imprisoned immediately for the simple act of being drunk or drinking in public. Driving with any level of alcohol in your system is unlawful, and the penalty for doing so can be quite severe, thus it is strongly advised that you avoid doing so.
Travelers who are arrested for any type of alcohol-related event are often detained in jail for several days while they await a court hearing, which can take several weeks. The consequences for any type of alcohol-related infraction are often high, and the severity of the punishment increases when driving or injuring someone is involved. Long-term incarceration (think years, not months), fines, and, in the case of Muslim tourists, even those who are not from the UAE, lashings are possible punishments.
Each Emirate must have its own liquor license, which must be obtained separately.
Purchases may be made at home or while traveling, and claims can be made online from any location in the globe.
UAE relaxes Islamic laws, criminalizes ‘honor’ killings
DUBAI — The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). In a dramatic revamp of the country’s Islamic personal rules, the United Arab Emirates said on Saturday that it will permit cohabitation between unmarried couples and relax alcohol prohibitions while criminalizing what are known as “honor murders.” The expansion of personal freedoms reflects the changing profile of a country that has attempted to position itself as a skyscraper-studded destination for Western tourists and businesses, despite the fact that its legal system is based on a strict interpretation of Islamic law, according to the United Nations.
State-run WAM news agency said that the measures aim to improve the country’s economic and social position while also “consolidating the UAE’s fundamental values of tolerance.” The modifications also reflect the attempts of the leadership of the United Arab Emirates to keep up with the fast changing society in which they live.
- A historic agreement to reestablish relations between the UAE and Israel was reached via the efforts of the United States and is anticipated to bring an inflow of Israeli visitors and investment to the country.
- The elimination of fines for alcohol drinking, sales, and possession for people above the age of 21 are among the changes.
- According to reports, the new law would allow Muslims, who have hitherto been forbidden from getting liquor licenses, to consume alcoholic drinks without restriction.
- Download the NBC News app to stay up to date on breaking news and politics.
- Even though authorities, particularly in the more liberal financial center of Dubai, tend to look the other way when it comes to foreigners, the prospect of punishment for such behavior nevertheless looms large in the minds of many.
- Honor crimes refer to an increasingly controversial practice in which a male relative may avoid prosecution for assaulting a woman who is considered to be dishonoring her family.
- Traditional Islamic principles, on the other hand, are still strongly held throughout the federation of seven desert sheikhdoms.
- The improvements come as the United Arab Emirates prepares to host the World Expo in 2020.
After being postponed by a year owing to the coronavirus outbreak, the high-stakes event is expected to generate a frenzy of economic activity and attract around 25 million people to the tiny Arab Gulf country in question.
Laws on drinking alcohol in Dubai that Brits need to know before they visit
Is it legal to consume alcoholic beverages in Dubai? We take a look at what Brits should know before visiting the glitzy metropolis (Image: EyeEm) Dubai is regarded for being a city awash in glitz and glamour, from its massive retail center and spectacular vistas to its picture-perfect beaches and coastline. Then there’s the fantastic bar and restaurant scene, which is a given. However, visitors planning to partake in the UAE’s nightlife should be aware that the country’s alcohol rules are much different from those in the United Kingdom.
Tourists are allowed to drink in Dubai, but they must do so only in authorized places; they are not permitted to be inebriated or to consume alcohol in public.
Dubai boasts a great nightlife, but use caution while consuming alcoholic beverages.
What is the drinking age in Dubai?
In order to consume alcoholic beverages in Dubai, you must be at least 21 years old.
Where can tourists drink in Dubai?
You can only consume alcoholic beverages at places that have been approved and have obtained the appropriate alcohol licenses, such as hotels, resorts, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. Take aware, however, that it is unlawful to consume alcohol or be under the influence of alcohol in public places. That includes each time you’re out and about, whether you’re strolling down the street or lazing on the sand at a beach resort. “British people have been detained and charged under this statute, typically in circumstances where they have come to the notice of the police for a related infraction or problem, such as disruptive or insulting behavior,” the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) cautions.
(Photo courtesy of iStockphoto)
Can you buy alcohol in shops?
No, it is against the law for visitors to purchase alcoholic beverages from an off-licence. The sole exemption is if you have an alcohol license given by the UAE, which permits you to purchase alcoholic beverages to consume at home. However, this is only available to UAE citizens. The limitations are likely to change, however, as officials want to implement new regulations that would allow tourists to purchase alcoholic beverages from businesses that are registered with and licensed by the Mercantile and Marketing International organization (MMI).
Think about what you post on social media
Yes, your drink may be very stunning, but if at all possible, refrain from posting anything linked to alcohol.
If you do post, keep in mind that the descriptions and hashtags you use should not contain any references to alcohol or drinking. Instead, focus on sharing the breathtaking vistas and sights with others!
FCO advice on alcohol in Dubai
“Non-Muslim inhabitants can get a liquor license, which allows them to consume alcoholic beverages at home and at licensed establishments. These licenses are only valid in the Emirate that granted the license in the first place. Residents must also get a permit in order to be permitted to consume alcoholic beverages in licensed establishments.” Non-residents are unable to get liquor licenses, however it is possible for tourists and visitors to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages at licensed establishments such as hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs.” However, you should be aware that drinking or being under the influence of alcohol in public is a severe infraction under UAE law and may result in criminal prosecution.
It has been reported that British people have been detained and charged under this rule, frequently in circumstances when they have come to the notice of the police for a connected violation or problem, such as unruly or offensive conduct.” In general, the legal drinking age in Abu Dhabi is 18 years old, however a Ministry of Tourism by-law prohibits hotels from offering alcoholic beverages to anybody under the age of twenty-one years.
The drinking age in Dubai, as well as in all other emirates save Sharjah, is 21 years old.
Everything You Need to Know About Drinking Alcohol in Dubai
Pexels | Stocksnap | Drinking | Stocksnap Dubai is a fantastic destination for individuals who enjoy a good night out, with a wide selection of clubs and pubs to choose from and have a drink in. Indeed, there is no shortage of places to drink in the city; nevertheless, it is critical that tourists are aware of the best locations to have a drink in the city before they arrive. The city of Dubai is tolerant of alcohol use, but there are several crucial guidelines that residents and tourists must follow to ensure that a great night out does not degenerate into anything more serious.
- Drunk driving is a serious felony in Dubai, and those who violate this regulation may face jail time or even deportation if they are caught.
- Despite the fact that the legal drinking age in Dubai is 21 years old, not everyone of that age may just go into a supermarket and buy a fine bottle of whiskey, as is the case in most countries.
- People must present their passports and complete a form in order to purchase alcoholic beverages from these establishments.
- Pexel/Pixabay courtesy of Wine|
- As a result, in an Islamic nation such as the United Arab Emirates, it is legitimate to expect citizens to limit their drinking to designated areas.
- As long as people consume alcoholic beverages only in places where it is permitted, there is no cause for concern.
- This is also the case in Dubai, with a few exceptions.
The importance of being courteous and observant of the city’s culture and rules when enjoying a drink can never be underestimated; as a result, tourists should be cautious not to overindulge on their nights out—this will also help avoid nasty hangovers!
Changes to laws related to alcohol consumption in the UAE
Published on May 7, 2021 | about 2 minutes of reading time The United Arab Emirates will implement substantial legislative adjustments to its alcohol consumption restrictions by the end of 2020, according to official estimates. With the passage of time, the country is moving away from its Islamic personal rules and toward a more progressive attitude to such matters. The UAE’s reforms have been designed to benefit the vast majority of the population, which has resulted in a more appealing destination for tourists and foreign investors.
- Previously, those who were over the legal drinking age were required to have a license in order to consume, buy, sell, or transport alcoholic beverages.
- Aside from that, charges for alcohol use were extremely unusual, and were most typically associated with an arrest for another crime.
- Alcohol, on the other hand, will only be permitted to be drunk in private or in regulated public venues.
- It should be noted that only individuals over the age of 21 are legally able to consume alcoholic beverages, and that selling to those under the age of 21 remains illegal.
- Additionally, alcohol costs in the UAE are higher than the national average, which continues to be a deterrent for individuals wishing to purchase.
- This was amended in the 2020 legislation.
- Customer must have an alcohol license, according to the websites of the country’s two main liquor retailers, Maritime and Mercantile International and AfricanEastern, which both detail the procedure for obtaining one.
Alcohol laws relaxed in Dubai as state seeks to ease economic slump
As the sheikhdom attempts to claw its way out of an economic downturn exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak, it has once again relaxed the restrictions controlling alcohol sales and possession of alcoholic beverages. When the virus spread, it worsened an already-growing economic storm that was already battering Dubai. Mass layoffs have whittled down the ranks of the country’s foreign labor, leaving many residents without a place to live even as the economy shows some signs of improvement. Even now, analysts warn that the sheikhdom’s vital real-estate market is on course to reach historic lows similar to those experienced during the Great Recession of 2009.
- Tourists are enticed to the hotel beaches by ice-cold bottles of beer, while well-to-do expatriate residents are drawn to the lavish breakfasts that are bathed in Champagne.
- In general, alcohol sales in Dubai reflect the level of confidence that customers have in their personal financial situation and, consequently, in the economy.
- Another notable setback was the postponement of Dubai’s Expo 2020, or world’s fair, to the following year.
- The previous year’s sales totaled 133.42 million litres (35.2 million gallons).
- The first legal home deliveries of alcohol in Dubai were made during the lockdown by two large alcohol distributors in the intention of boosting sales during the period of closure.
- Non-Muslim inhabitants of Dubai are required to carry red plastic cards given by the Dubai police, which allow them to purchase, transport, and consume alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and liquor.
- Those red cards have since been replaced with a black card, and the application procedure has been streamlined to merely need an Emirati national ID card as a requirement.
- Previously, employers could prevent non-Muslim employees from acquiring a card, even if the person met the requirements — as happened in the case of certain expatriates working for Emirati enterprises whose owners had religious objections to alcohol use.
- Residents used to be able to get past those limitations by traveling to five of the other seven sheikhdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The new card system will be implemented as follows: In addition, tourists and visitors to Dubai may now purchase alcohol from wholesalers merely by showing their passports, eliminating a gap that previously required people who drank alcohol to get a permit or risk being arrested for carrying alcohol.
However, Dubai has been actively presenting itself as a tourist destination that has been reopened, and it now seems to be prepared to host the Indian Premier League cricket tournament, which will begin in September.
According to a monthly poll conducted by IHS Markit and Emirates NBD bank, the non-oil sector in Dubai had its first improvement in five months in July.
As Khatija Haque, the head of research and chief economist at Emirates NBD, put it, “the rebound in activity has not been sufficient to prevent enterprises from continuing to lay off people as they attempt to decrease costs.” Those layoffs were particularly severe at Emirates, the flagship company of Dubai’s state investment corporation, which lost thousands of people as a result.
DAMAC, Dubai’s largest private real estate business, which manages Donald Trump’s namesake golf club in the United Arab Emirates, has now recorded a net loss of $105 million (£79.3 million) for the first six months of this year.
According to Sajwani, “the resulting travel restrictions have had a negative influence on the economy and the real estate sector, and we will witness a challenging market for the next 18 to 24 months.” As a result of the mass layoffs, there has been an increase in the number of for-rent and for-sale signs in front of houses and flats around the city.
According to REIDIN Data and Analytics, which follows the market, rental listings in Dubai have increased by 11% as more than 45,000 new residential units have joined the already lackluster market.
Prices for both purchases and rental properties have fallen by nearly a third since the announcement that Dubai will be hosting the Expo in 2014 marked the peak of the market.
According to Ozan Demir, director of operations and research at REIDIN, “the current pandemic, along with overstock in the market and lower occupancy levels, caused a rise in the pace of drop of prices for both apartment and villas, particularly in the second quarter.” AP
Your guide to drinking laws in the Arab world
As the sheikhdom attempts to claw its way out of an economic downturn exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak, it has once again relaxed the restrictions controlling alcohol sales and possession of booze. The virus’s spread aggravated the already-brewing economic storm that has engulfed the emirate, which has seen widespread layoffs shrink the ranks of its foreign labor and vacant houses even as the economy shows signs of improvement in recent months. Although it is still early, analysts warn that the sheikhdom’s key real-estate market is on course to reach historic lows similar to those experienced during the Great Recession of 2009.
- Tourists are enticed to the hotel beaches by ice-cold bottles of beer, while well-to-do expatriate residents go to lavish breakfasts awash in Champagne.
- Buyers’ confidence in their personal money, and hence in the economy, is reflected in the overall volume of alcohol purchases in Dubai.
- Another notable setback was the postponement of Dubai’s Expo 2020, also known as the World’s Fair, until the following year.
- The previous year’s sales totaled 133.42 million litres (35.2 million gallons).
- The first permitted home deliveries of alcohol in Dubai were made during the lockdown by two big alcohol distributors in the goal of increasing sales.
- Non-Muslim inhabitants of Dubai are required to carry red plastic cards given by the Dubai police, which allow them to purchase, transport, and consume alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and spirits.
- Red cards have been phased out in favor of a black card, with an application procedure that is streamlined to simply require an Emirati national identification card.
Non-Muslims were previously denied access to a card even when they met all of the requirements.
It has also been made easier to purchase items based on your salary.
As do the neighboring countries of Iran, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates’ seventh emirate that borders Dubai to the north, forbids alcohol.
There have been around 64,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UAE, with 360 deaths.
While pitching itself as a reopened tourist destination has been aggressive, Dubai now looks to be in line to host the Indian Premier League cricket tournament, which is due to begin this September.
An IHS Markit and Emirates NBD bank monthly poll found that Dubai’s non-oil industry had its first improvement in five months in July.
As Khatija Haque, the head of research and chief economist at Emirates NBD, put it, “the rebound in activity has not been sufficient to prevent enterprises from continuing to lay off people in order to decrease costs.” The layoffs were particularly severe at Emirates, the flagship company of Dubai’s state investment corporation, which lost thousands of employees as a result of the restructuring.
According to the most recent financial results released by Dubai’s largest private real estate business, DAMAC, which manages the Donald Trump golf club in the United Arab Emirates, it made a net loss of $105 million (£79.3 million) in the first six months of 2019.
According to Sajwani, “the resulting travel restrictions have had a negative influence on the economy and the real estate sector, and we will witness a challenging market for the next 18 to 24 months.” Between now and the start of the mass layoffs, there has been a notable increase in the number of rental and sales signs posted in front of homes and flats around the city.
According to REIDIN Data and Analytics, which monitors the market, rental listings in Dubai have increased by 11% as more than 45,000 new residential units have joined the already sluggish market.
Since the announcement that Dubai will be hosting the Expo in 2014, both sales and rental prices have fallen by nearly a third from their peak levels.
- Drinking is never permitted in public places. Although Dubai is as bright as Las Vegas, there’s a good reason why there aren’t any to-go cups available. In any of the countries covered here, you will be arrested for just cracking open a drink on the street
- You will not be permitted to become intoxicated — unless perhaps at home. Despite the fact that you have been over-served in the Middle East, the bartender will nevertheless call for a taxi. It will just have large flashing lights on the top and will not be transporting you
- Please be kind. You’re in a nation where drinking is considered a vice on a literal level. Don’t get in anyone’s face about it, and don’t drink and drive. Although it should go without saying, Muslim nations have a strict zero-tolerance attitude when it comes to driving under the influence of alcohol. Even if you’ve just taken three drinks, you’ll be deported at the at least, and at the very worst, you’ll be placed in a jail that makes your local county jail look like the Burj Al-Arab.
Qatar, out of all the Arab countries, is in the most difficult position since it will be hosting the FIFA World Cup in three years. If you’ve never gone to a soccer World Cup before, you should know that some of the supporters like a drink or two. However, while the government has stated that it will “ease” some of the restrictions in preparation for the event, they haven’t provided many details. However, for the time being, things are still a little precarious. The majority of the drinking that will be done in Qatar will take place in and around Doha.
- The majority of them are located in more upscale hotels and restaurants, while there are a few independent pubs dispersed across the city.
- Purchasing alcoholic beverages from the country’s lone liquor shop, on the other hand, is a different story.
- To acquire, you must first get a license, which is a privilege that may only be enjoyed by permanent, non-Qatari born residents who have obtained a letter from their employer stating that the license has been approved.
- This affects the amount of Malort you are permitted to purchase, since Qatar wishes to ensure that you do not spend all of your children’s college funds on Malort.
- Muslims, regardless of their nationality, are not permitted to apply for this position.
- Also, the government has just put a 100 percent tax on alcoholic beverages, so be prepared to fork over some cash.
Egypt, like other more Westernized Arab nations, has relatively lax alcohol regulations, to the point that you might not notice a difference at first. Despite the fact that the majority of bars, clubs, and liquor stores are concentrated in more upscale districts of cities, it is not difficult to obtain a beer in Egypt, particularly in tourist regions and in high-end accommodations. Although the selling of alcoholic beverages in public areas and businesses is officially prohibited in the country, there are still liquor outlets located across the country.
In spite of a 1973 rule that outlawed the sale of alcoholic beverages to Egyptians of any religious affiliation during Ramadan, tourists will have little difficulty purchasing them.
Just keep in mind that the legal drinking age is still 18 and that you must maintain control over your drinking in order to prevent getting into trouble.
Jordan’s comparatively lax booze regulations contribute to the country’s growing popularity among tourists. It is totally allowed to drink in this country if you are over the age of eighteen and are not attempting to purchase on a Muslim holiday. You must not drink in public or be overserved. Many businesses refuse to provide adult beverages because of Muslim regulations governing who is allowed to consume alcoholic beverages; however, this is more of a personal preference than a legal requirement these days.
To top it all off, Jordan has a small but stunning wine area up near Mafraq, some 90 minutes north of the capital.
George Cabernet, which you can sip while relaxing by the winery’s swimming pool.
Non-Omanis, primarily visitors and expat residents, are the only ones who are permitted to purchase alcoholic beverages in the country. Visitors can purchase alcoholic beverages in hotel and restaurant bars, as well as a small number of independent bars located mostly in and around Muscat. These establishments are supervised by licenses that are strictly controlled and that define the hours during which they can operate. The more hours they’re serving, the more expensive the license, so be prepared to only be able to drink at certain times of the day.
- For licenses, only expat residents are entitled to apply, providing that they have a statement from their employer saying that they are permitted to do so.
- No one is allowed to spend more than 15 percent of their wage on alcoholic beverages, which may or may not be a terrible thing in and of itself.
- Each customer must be at least 21 years old and can only purchase a total of two bottles of wine or hard liquor, or 24 cans of beer.
- The apparent exception is when it is transported from the location where it was purchased to your residence or hotel.
- Your “get out of jail free” card is, quite literally, your ticket out of trouble.
Non-Omanis, primarily visitors and expats, are the only ones who may purchase alcoholic beverages in the country. Drinks can be purchased at the bars of hotels and restaurants, as well as in the small number of independent bars that can be found largely in and around the city of Muscat. Licensed establishments such as this are strictly regulated in terms of the hours they can be open for business. The more hours they’re serving, the more expensive the license, so be prepared to only be able to drink at certain times of the day or evening.
- For licenses, only expat residents are entitled to apply, as long as they have a letter from their employer confirming that they are permitted to do so.
- The purchase of alcoholic beverages is limited to no more than 15 percent of one’s gross wage, which isn’t always a negative thing.
- The minimum age to purchase alcohol is 21 years old, and the maximum purchase is two bottles of wine or hard liquor, or 24 cans of beer per individual.
- Except for the obvious exception of transportation from the place of purchase to your residence or hotel.
Keep your receipt safe in case there is a problem with your purchase and you need to prove when and where you made it. Your “get out of jail free” card is, very literally, a pass to avoid prosecution.
For example, perhaps your thoughts about drinking in Morocco include sauntering around a piano in Casablanco with a glass of Scotch in hand, asking the man behind the keys to “play it again.” Due to the clandestine nature of Moroccan drinking (to put it mildly), it’s about as plausible as Humphrey Bogart himself showing up at your local distillery. That’s not to imply it’s against the law. While just a few supermarkets and poorly concealed liquor stores will sell you bottles, practically everywhere inMoroccohas restaurants, pubs, and clubs that provide alcoholic beverages to anyone above the age of 18, with the legal drinking age often fudged for foreigners.
With the exception of the horse racing and around 19 packs of Reds.
If such is the case, perhaps a cultural excursion will suffice.
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is similar to the United States in that laws differ from one emirate to the next. However, because Dubai and Abu Dhabi are primarily reliant on tourism, obtaining a drink is not a difficult task for travelers. Alcohol is permitted at licensed hotels and restaurants, as well as in bars located within hotels, in each of those emirates. Officially, only individuals who are staying at certain hotels are permitted to consume alcoholic beverages there; however, if you don’t make a scene, no one will likely disturb you.
Despite the fact that public drinking is against the law worldwide, Dubai employs undercover police officers who patrol the streets seeking for evidence of it.
In order to obtain bottles to carry back to their hotels, tourists will be required to purchase them at duty-free and then go directly to their lodgings, without even passing through Go, much alone stopping for a meal.
Non-Muslim citizens can obtain a license to purchase alcoholic beverages from a liquor store if they have a letter from their employer stating that it is OK and a monthly income of more than $800.
In Abu Dhabi, the drinking age is 18 while in Dubai, it is 21.
For example, alcohol is strictly prohibited in Sharjah, which is a wholly dry state.
The country of Turkey, which serves as an unofficial link between Europe and the Middle East, has a drinking age of 18 and a similar access to alcoholic beverages to those in the western world. Knowing that prohibiting alcoholic beverages would be detrimental to tourism, the more conservative Erdogan government has instead chosen to tax them into oblivion. If you’ve ever tried raki, you’ll understand why it’s so costly now. Beer, for example, is now six times as expensive as it was when he assumed power, and the national spirit, raki, is almost seven times as expensive as it was under the previous regime.
Tourists, on the other hand, will be required to pay the surcharge, thus the tax serves the twin function of flattering tourists while also soaking them at the same.