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UAE alcohol laws: What you need to know

If you are planning to drink and unwind on the weekend, here’s a summary of what you need to know about the alcohol laws in the UAE:

Throughout the years, UAE has been slowly changing its customs to adapt to the rest of the world.

Before the amendments, the government requires licenses to legally consume, buy, sell, and transport alcohol, even for legal-aged customers.

In November 2021, the UAE officially announced a more relaxed law involving the consumption of alcohol. The federal law removed the requirement for a license to purchase or consume alcohol.

Legal-aged residents and tourists will no longer need a license to buy or drink alcohol. However, drinking is permitted only in private areas and regulated public areas.

Any non-Muslim residents above 21 years old can apply or renew their alcohol license by simply taking their Emirates ID to any Maritime and Mercantile International (MMI) or African+Eastern outlet. Meanwhile, tourists can use their passports to purchase alcohol from MMI or A+E outlets.

Although the alcohol laws have eased up, UAE still has a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol limit of 0.00.

Driving with any amount of alcohol intake is considered a violation. Hence, the consequences can be severe.

The alcohol law amendments aim to ease restrictions for Emiratis. Moreover, it is also a scheme to attract more direct foreign investment and visitors. BKM/ Expat Media

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