By Debajit Dhar
Raise Your Glass: How to Enjoy Worry-free Drinking in Dubai
Most will agree that celebrations of birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, promotions at work, a new house, a different business venture — practically all special occasions are made extra enjoyable when you have your favorite drink in your hand.
That’s especially true for those living in Dubai. When you reside in the City of Gold, with all of its spectacular sights, impressive structures, and luxurious experiences, you’ll always be inspired to toast to your happiness and success — and to the bright future ahead.
As such, you’ll want to make sure that everything is in order before you bring out the six-packs or order cocktails and a round of shots for everybody. In Dubai, there are specific regulations in place concerning alcoholic beverages. Once you comply with these, you will then be able to legally enjoy your liquor and the celebrations at hand.
Here are the important things you must take care of in order to enjoy worry-free drinking in Dubai.
Know your liquor laws
To be able to buy, consume or keep alcohol at home in Dubai, you first have to obtain your valid alcohol licence. All residents of the UAE and Oman are required to have this licence — specifically, individuals who are non-Muslim, over the age of 21 (the legal drinking age in the UAE and Oman), and earning a minimum salary of AED 3,000.
There are two ways to apply for the alcohol licence. You have the option to obtain an application form and submit your documents at any African + Eastern store. It is the largest alcohol retailer in the Middle East so finding a nearby store or accessing its website is highly convenient.
Alternatively, you can apply online — fill out the Alcohol Licence Application eForm and upload your documents through the Alcohol Licence Dubai website.
To get your Dubai alcohol licence, you need to gather the pertinent documents for your application. You will need:
- An accomplished application form
- Passport copy
- Visa copy
- Labour contract copy
- A passport photograph
- Tenancy contract copy
When you submit your application, you must pay a fee of AED 270. The amount covers the Dubai Police and Municipality administration fees.
Once you have completed these tasks, you can simply wait for a call indicating that your new liquor licence is ready for pickup within four weeks.
A potential obstacle
Take note, however, that as simple and convenient as the application process for a liquor licence may seem, there are still instances wherein a person’s application may be rejected by the Dubai Police.
For example, religion may be a factor. Also, being involved in police or court cases, or instances of cheque fraud, can cause the Dubai Police’s Criminal Investigation Department to reject your application.
You will need to take some additional steps in this scenario. Provide a clearance letter to the Dubai Police stipulating that the case in question is already closed. After completing this step, you will then need to personally visit the Dubai Criminal Investigation Department and get your liquor licence application approved.
Keep your licence handy
After you have received your liquor licence, you can now use it to purchase alcohol from authorised retailers, consume and store alcohol at home.
The licence is valid for use for one year. You may, however, receive an email urging you to renew your licence even if there is still a month remaining before it expires.
This would simply be a reminder for you to prepare the necessary documents for renewing your licence well ahead of time. This time, you will need to fill out an alcohol licence renewal form (which can also be obtained online or at the African + Eastern stores).
You may submit your current licence and your renewal application and documents ahead of time if you choose, and these will be forwarded only when your licence expires. Meanwhile, you will be issued a temporary licence so that you can continue purchasing your drinks until your renewed one arrives.
In case you lose your current licence, you can write a letter to the CID informing them of your loss. At the same time, you must apply for a replacement liquor licence. Once the letter and application have been submitted, the card you lost will be effectively blocked and processing of your replacement licence will begin.
Drink and celebrate responsibly
By taking care to keep Dubai’s key liquor laws in mind, you can have complete peace of mind that you are legally consuming alcohol at the parties, dinners and events that you organise or attend — regardless of whether you just moved to Dubai or have been residing in the City of Gold for years now.
With this all-important licence, you can always enjoy your signature cocktail with colleagues at the end of a long work week, swap stories with your spouse or close friend over a cold beer, or just savor a glass of red wine during your quiet “me” time. Just remember to drink in moderation!
Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/users/
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