Though UAE follows the rule of Sharia law that prohibits drinking, it tolerates alcohol consumption by non-Muslims, expats and tourists through strict rules. Alcohol consumption in UAE is permitted in licensed restaurants, hotels and bars. Tourists and residents can consume alcohol in these designated places without holding an alcohol license.
However, it is strictly unacceptable and punishable to drink in public places and beaches in the UAE. It is highly recommended to have an alcohol license in order to drink in the UAE. Alcohol license allows you to buy alcohol in UAE but does not allow you to consume in public places.UAE Penal Code has zero tolerance to those caught drinking in public and while driving.
How to buy alcohol in UAE
To drink legally in Dubai, you need an alcohol license. You cannot get alcohol in supermarkets but you can buy them at Duty Free shops and also from limited number of specialist outlets in Dubai and UAE. These outlets are MMI or Maritime and Mercantile International stores and African + Eastern stores. They are the two companies in Dubai where you can apply for an alcohol license.
- A&E and MMI shops are found in Dubai and in other Emirates including Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah and Al Ain.
- Barracuda Umm Al Quwain – It is a well known liquor shop where you get good range of wines and spirits and a fine selection of single malt whisky from Scotland.
- Ajman -`A hole in the wall` is an alcohol shop closer to Dubai which is a forty minute drive -with a wide range of wines and spirits. Many without a liquor license drive here and stock as much as they can.
- Abu Dhabi Spinneys have several wine shops where you need to produce a liquor license to buy alcohol from them.
Alcohol stores in UAE
Dubai has 15 MMI alcohol stores with over 2000 products. You have a MMI shop at Ras Al Khaimah called Al Hamra Cellar. It has the widest choice of beers, spirits and wines and it is tax free.
Le Clos is MMI liquor outlet in Dubai International Airport where you get the finest selection of wines and spirits in the world.
Centaurus International is another liquor shop in Ras Al Khaimah and you need to have a liquor license to transport your alcohol between Emirates.
You can also order online from MMI shops across UAE and in other Emirates with Liquor outlets that give you this facility and deliver them to your convenience.
Buy liquor online in Dubai
You can buy alcohol online Dubai for wine, spirits, beer without liquor license from Al Hamra Cellar.
If you are arriving at the Dubai Airport, you have the unique concierge delivery services from Le Clos which enables its customers to order by phone, e mail or through its website. They will be hand delivered by the shop on your arrival at the terminals of 1 and 3 at the Dubai Airport. If you have time to be around, then you can visit their flagship store at the Airport in Concourse B and get to taste their selected wines and beers in house.