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Dubai's alcohol license restrictions have been changed

Dubai's alcohol license restrictions have been changed

The United Arab Emirates has implemented a slew of new legislation and measures that will greatly impact locals and visitors. The UAE has also relaxed the alcohol intake and purchase rules as part of the reform.  As per the latest government announcement, purchasing and drinking alcohol without even a liquor license will no longer be deemed a criminal in Dubai. The ruling covers the entire country and is comparable to legislation passed in Abu Dhabi that made it easier for tourists and residents to purchase and consume alcohol.

In the United Arab Emirates, drinking alcohol is no longer illegal. It signifies that whoever consumes alcohol, has alcohol, or sells alcoholic beverages in a licensed place will not be prosecuted. In 2020, Federal Decree-Law No 15 of 2020 completely changed Article 313 of Federal Law No 3 of 1987 on the Issuance of the Penal Law of the UAE, and some leniency was added in terms of alcoholic beverage consumption, possession, and dealing. The following are the provisions of stated Article 313 (as modified): 

There will be no penalties for consuming, possessing, or trading alcoholic beverages in situations and locations that are permissible under applicable laws.

Each Emirate shall regulate the consumption, possession, dealing with, and trafficking of alcoholic beverages, subject to (1) of this Article.

Anyone who distributes or sells alcoholic drinks to anyone under the age of 21 or purchases them with the intent of providing them to such a person faces detention and a penalty not less than Dh100,000 and no more than Dh500,000, or any combination of the two penalties. "Whoever commits any of the aforementioned acts after ascertaining that the individual to whom alcoholic beverages are delivered or sold is at least 21 years old as evidenced by his passport or other official identity is not guilty of his offense."

It should be remembered that only people over the age of 21 are legally allowed to drink, and sale to minors is still illegal. The UAE, like most countries, has a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence; the blood alcohol level is 0.00. Additionally, alcohol costs in the UAE are higher than the national average, creating a barrier for individuals wishing to buy. Further changes were enacted to Federal Law No. 3 of 1987, which made it illegal for Muslims to drink alcohol. The law of 2020 made a change to this.


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