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Criminal Law: Alcohol Licenses Are Mandatory in the UAE

06th February 2017
By Hassan Elhais in Legal
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Every country has an alcohol regulatory & licensing body that looks after the wholesale, distribution, supply and sale of Alcohol. Consumption of liquor is quite a common sight in certain countries; however, United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one such country in Asia where alcohol intake and selling is entirely prohibited without license. According to Criminal lawyers in Dubai, alcohol licenses are mandatory in the UAE and it is considered a serious crime in the country if you do not possess one. It is illegal to consume alcohol and this rule stand equally true for both Muslims and Non-Muslims. The Muslim country follows the Sharia Law and there are stringent rules related to its consumption.

It would come as a surprise for some, but the fact is criminal law related to alcohol in Dubai is not that harsh as opposed to other Gulf countries. In fact, there are a few five-star hotels which serve alcohol and even liquor shops which certainly ask for licenses while purchasing. African + Eastern (A&E) and the Mercantile Maritime International (MMI) are the only licensed liquor chains in the city, where UAE residents or tourists can acquire a permit.

Basic eligibility to acquire Alcohol / Liquor License:

A person should not be Muslim

A person should be more than 21 years old to get license

A person is eligible if the minimum monthly salary is at least 3000 dirham (AED)

Drivers are not issued liquor license

Non-Muslims (UAE residents or tourists) - only these segment of people are allowed to buy and drink alcohol, but only when they have a license. This will not only keep you out of trouble, as well as save you from the risk of getting imprisoned as Criminal Law in Dubai follow zero-tolerance policy. Liquor licenses are issued only to non-Muslims. It is entirely illegal to consume alcohol at home or hotel without a permit, the license is a must.

According to the Rules of Criminal law in Dubai, every license gives a monthly allowance for consumption of alcohol, which is based on a person's monthly income, job title, and family.

Muslims are not issued alcohol licenses as it is entirely against Islamic law. Even sale of drinks or any kind of drugs is prohibited in Dubai.

If a non-Muslim is found drinking in public, the criminal law imposes strict punishment for the person. Imprisonment for alcohol consumption is one to three years. Not just this, the person is penalized and even driving licenses are scrapped. It is not advisable to drink in hotels or any other public places unless and until they have a license.

Liquor licenses of Dubai aren't valid in Abu Dhabi. It means expatriates should purchase alcohol only from the issuing Emirate.

A person is also considered guilty for illegally storing alcohol at home without a permit.

One should also remember that licenses misused do not provide protection against any alcohol related criminal offense and it is only given for the sole purpose of purchase.

The validity of permit is usually of one year and it can be manually renewed.
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