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What are the
Alcohol Laws in Dubai for UK Tourists?

Alcohol Laws in Dubai

Is Alcohol Allowed?

From Alcohol Laws in Dubai for UK Tourists to pristine beaches to towering skyscrapers, Dubai has long been a dream destination for UK tourists seeking an unforgettable vacation. 

But before you pack your bags and set off on this Arabian adventure, it’s crucial to understand the unique alcohol laws governing this vibrant city. Join us as we decode the dos and don’ts of drinking in Dubai, ensuring that every sip you take is not just tantalizing but also within legal boundaries. 

So let’s raise our glasses (responsibly!) and dive into a comprehensive guide on navigating Dubai’s alcohol landscape for UK travelers.


dos and don'ts of drinking in Dubai


Alcohol Policy in Dubai for UK Tourists

It is no secret that alcohol consumption in Dubai is strictly regulated by the government. However, this does not mean that UK tourists are not allowed to drink while on vacation in Dubai. 

There are a few things that you need to know about the Alcohol Laws in Dubai for UK Tourists policy in Dubai before indulging in a drink or two while on holiday.


Firstly, it is important to note that only licensed establishments are legally allowed to sell alcohol in Dubai. This means that you will not be able to purchase alcohol from any old shop or bar; instead, you will need to find a licensed retailer or restaurant. 

Secondly, although there are many places where you can buy alcohol in Dubai, you should be aware that public intoxication is frowned upon and punishable by law.


If you do choose to drink alcohol while on vacation in Dubai, it is important to do so responsibly. 

Remember that you are in a Muslim country and should therefore respect local customs and traditions. Drinking excessively or causing trouble while under the influence of alcohol could lead to severe penalties, including imprisonment.


So there you have it – a brief introduction to the alcohol policy in Dubai for UK tourists. If you plan on enjoying a drink or two while on vacation here, just remember to do so sensibly and respectfully!


Where can You Consume Alcohol?

The legal drinking age in Dubai is 21, and alcohol can only be consumed in licensed venues. These include hotels, restaurants, bars, and clubs. It is not possible to buy alcohol from supermarkets or other stores.

There are a few Muslim countries where the sale and consumption of alcohol are banned entirely, but this is not the case in Dubai. 

While Islam prohibits the consumption of alcohol, the Emirate of Dubai has a more relaxed attitude towards it than other Muslim countries. 

This is due to its large expat population and its status as a tourist destination.

It should be noted that public intoxication is against the law in Dubai, and you could be fined or arrested if you are caught drunk in public.


Buying, Transporting, and Consuming Alcohol

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to buying, transporting, and consuming alcohol in Dubai. First, only residents of the United Arab Emirates who are 21 years of age or older are allowed to purchase alcohol. 

Second, alcohol can only be purchased from licensed outlets, which include hotels, restaurants, and clubs. Third, it is illegal to transport alcohol outside of licensed premises. Public intoxication is not tolerated in Dubai and can lead to arrest.


Drinking Alcohol in Public

It is illegal to drink alcohol in public places in Dubai. If you are caught drinking alcohol in a public place, you may be arrested and fined. 

There are some public places where alcohol is allowed, such as bars, clubs, and restaurants. However, you must be over the age of 21 to consume alcohol in these places.


Driving & Drinking?

If you are caught driving after drinking alcohol in Dubai, you will be subject to several penalties. The exact penalties will depend on the circumstances of your case, but they can be very severe.

If you are convicted of DUI in Dubai, you will have your driving license suspended for at least one year. You will also be required to complete a mandatory rehabilitation program.

In some cases, you may be able to avoid a prison sentence if you agree to undergo alcoholism treatment. However, this is not always an option and the decision will be up to the court.

If you are found guilty of DUI in Dubai, you will likely face a prison sentence. The length of this will depend on the severity of your offense, but it could be anything from a few months to several years. You may also be fined and/or banned from driving in Dubai for life.


Licensed Bars & Restaurants for the Tourists

The alcohol laws in Dubai are very different from those in the UK, so it’s important to be aware of them before you travel. In Dubai, alcohol can only be consumed in licensed bars and restaurants. 

There are a number of these establishments catering to tourists, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding somewhere to drink. 

However, it is worth noting that you will need to dress conservatively when visiting a bar or restaurant, as Dubai is a Muslim city and alcohol is not widely accepted.


The consequences of breaking the law

The UAE has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to alcohol, which means that it is illegal for anyone to consume alcohol in public. This includes UK tourists who might be used to drinking in public places at home.

It is also illegal to buy alcohol from supermarkets or convenience stores unless you have a liquor license. 

Liquor licenses can only be obtained by non-Muslim residents who are over the age of 21 and have a valid reason for buying alcohol, such as being employed in the hospitality industry.

If you want to drink alcohol in Dubai, you will need to do so in a licensed bar, restaurant, or club. These establishments must have a liquor license and are subject to strict regulations. 

For example, they must close by 3 am and can only serve alcohol to patrons who are over the age of 21.


Alternatives to Drinking Alcohol in Dubai


If you’re looking to have a good time in Dubai without drinking alcohol, there are plenty of options available. 

From world-class shopping and dining to exciting nightlife and outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Some top alternatives to drinking alcohol in Dubai include:


  • – Going for a swim or sunbathing at one of the city’s many beautiful beaches
  • – Exploring the historic souks (markets) of the Old Quarter
  • – Taking a desert safari tour into the dunes outside the city
  • – Enjoying views of the skyline from atop the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building
  • – Visiting one of Dubai’s many theme parks, such as Legoland or Motiongate

Final Thoughts


To conclude, UK travelers should be aware of the alcohol laws in Dubai before planning their trip as these can have an important impact on any holiday experience. It is only legal to consume alcoholic beverages in a licensed establishment such as a bar or nightclub, although possession and consumption are both punishable by Law.

 Furthermore, remember that public drunkenness and unbecoming behavior will not be tolerated under any circumstances – so keep calm and enjoy your time responsibly by learning the Alcohol Laws in Dubai for UK Tourists!. 

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