Dubai is well known for impressive architecture, cutting-edge technology, and, unfortunately, restrictions on alcohol. Visitors to Dubai are often concerned about accidentally breaking the country’s alcohol laws as they can be a bit difficult for Westerners accustomed to simply waltzing into any liquor store they want. Those laws are about to change, however, with the passage of a new measure designed to make visitors’ Dubai stays a little more convenient. For all non-Muslim visitors over 21 years old, a free one-month license will now be available, meaning you can purchase and consume your own alcohol for a period of one month.
The license can be acquired at one of 17 African + Eastern stores or 17 Mercantile and Marketing International (MMI) liquor stores. When you visit the store, simply present your passport, fill out a short form, and sign an official document stating that you are not a UAE resident and agree to the alcohol rules and regulations. The store will copy your passport and entry stamp, you will be given a leaflet with information on responsible drinking, and a license valid for 30 days with the possibility of renewal.
This new tourist law comes on the heels of a relaxation of the regulation for residents earlier this year. Now, residents must only provide a copy of their Emirates ID, passport, visa, and passport photo. Previously, the process of obtaining a license — for both visitors and residents — was much more lengthy and required several steps that frequently resulted in unintentional lawbreaking.