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Everything You Need to Know About Drinking in Dubai

Everything You Need to Know About Drinking in Dubai

If you are travelling to Dubai, you should not drink openly!

If you are thinking of drinking in Dubai, then you need to know how to do it properly. This guide will give you all the information you need about drinking in Dubai, including how much you should be drinking, when you should be drinking and why you should be drinking. Read on to learn everything there is to know about this exciting city.

What is the legal age for drinking in Dubai?

Drinking alcohol is legal for those over 21 years of age. Even though it’s legal, there are some restrictions on where and how much you can drink. For example, you cannot drink in public areas or near schools. The police enforce these restrictions, and if you break them, then it is likely that your hotel will be fined as well.

What Kinds of Drinks Are Available?

The best place to start is by looking at the different types of drinks available. This would include alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic drinks are the most popular, but there are also coffeehouses, juice shops, and tea houses for people who prefer non-alcoholic options. Alcohol can be found in bars, pubs, nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, and even grocery stores. However, alcohol is not available everywhere; only certain brands may be sold at specific locations.

Drinking Etiquette

Drinking laws are very strict. It is illegal for locals to drink at bars or nightclubs and for tourists to drink outside the hotel they’re staying at. You will be asked if you want it here or to go when you order a drink. If you order a drink to go, the bartender will ask for your passport and fill out an exit form with your name on it before handing over the bottle. Alcohol cannot be brought into the country, so make sure you don’t pack any bottles into your suitcase!

Drinking Etiquette

Where Can I Drink?

Dubai’s nightlife scene is pretty impressive, with plenty of bars, clubs and lounges for you to explore. Just be aware that some more popular spots are a bit pricey. If you’re looking for a place where alcohol is cheaper, try heading down to Al Safa or Al Ghurair Centre, where you’ll find plenty of bars and pubs. In terms of nightclubs, we recommend going to Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), which has some great venues like Hakkasan and The Act.

Where Should I Not Drink?

If you’re travelling to Dubai, don’t drink alcohol on the streets or in public spaces. Alcohol is prohibited in government-owned facilities, such as malls and airports. But that doesn’t mean you can’t drink at these places. In fact, many malls will have a bar or restaurant where alcohol is served. For example, City Centre Deira offers one of the best outdoor bars with live music and a wide selection of drinks. Just be sure to bring your passport with you if you plan on drinking there!

Liquor license holders can only purchase alcohol bottles

A liquor license holder can only purchase alcohol bottles from a retailer with a liquor license. The retailer will require the liquor license holder’s government-issued identification card and the address where the alcohol will be delivered. Liquor licenses are issued for one year only and can be renewed for a fee after that period expires.

Avoid driving after drinking

Avoid driving after drinking

Don’t drink and drive. Drinking and driving is never a good idea because the consequences can be devastating. Even if you don’t get pulled over, it’s not worth the risk. It’s better to have a designated driver or take public transportation so that you don’t put yourself or others at risk for injury or death due to impaired driving.

Police are always on the lookout

The UAE has a zero-tolerance policy for drinking alcohol, which means you can be arrested for consuming alcohol or possessing it, even if you are over the age of 21. In fact, just bringing a bottle of wine with you from overseas can get you into trouble, as customs agents might confiscate it and then report the incident. It’s illegal to even carry liquor around with you in your hotel room unless given explicit permission by the hotel management. And don’t try smuggling alcohol anywhere – authorities will know about it if they decide to search your bags at any point, whether at the airport or elsewhere.

You Won’t Regret Drinking in Dubai

Dubai is a city of contradictions. Alcohol can’t be served openly. It’s easy enough to find a drink if you know where to look. 

The first thing most people are surprised about when they come here is that alcohol is available—just not on display. Bars and clubs will have an extensive list of drinks but won’t have anything advertised or out front. If you’re looking for something specific, it pays to call ahead before heading out. There are even dedicated bars for those looking for imported beer or wine without having to break the law. 

The other option is just finding a restaurant with a liquor license and ordering your drinks from there; restaurants with liquor licenses will usually have a lounge area with tables where you can enjoy your drinks more comfortably. 

If you’re interested in what locals do for drinking around town, head to the nearest supermarket and pick up some wine or champagne (often sold at grocery stores). Some supermarkets will also sell beer at certain locations, so keep an eye out!

Dubai duty-free limits upon arrival

Dubai duty-free limits upon arrival

If you are a passenger over the age of 18, you may bring one litre of alcohol and four litres of alcoholic beverage duty-free into the country for personal consumption. If your stay is over three months, you can import an additional one litre of alcohol (or two litres if it is wine or champagne) free of duty. All alcoholic beverages must be carried with you or in your baggage; any containers should be unopened. Non-alcoholic beverages and food items are exempt from these limits.

Drinking laws in Dubai

Dubai is one of the few cities in the world where you can drink alcohol at a cafe or restaurant. However, you will need a license if you want to drink at home or on the street. To obtain this license, you must be over 18 and have lived in Dubai for more than six months. 

The law states that every citizen who wishes to buy alcohol must also buy an Alcohol Trade License from the Department of Economic Development’s Alcohol Licensing Department. This license costs AED 700. 

The government prohibits alcoholic drinks from being sold between midnight and 06:00 (12 pm-6 am). 

Is drinking at the workplace allowed?

You’re putting yourself and your employer at risk when you’re drinking at work. For example, if an employee had too much alcohol and became intoxicated or violent, he or she could face criminal charges. And if the employer knew the person was under the influence, he or she could also be held liable.

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