Local laws for purchasing liquor vary across the emirates and for residents and tourists. There’s zero tolerance for people found with alcohol in their blood.
Liquor license mandatory for residents
British expatriates with a residence visa can legally purchase liquor only with a liquor license and it must be carried at all times. More importantly, the license is only valid in the emirate that issued it. Whereas, tourists won’t require a permit but can drink in bars, pubs and licensed venues. The minimum age for drinking is 21.
Drinking in Sharjah is illegal
Liquor is served at licensed venues across six emirates besides UAE’s cultural capital-Sharjah, where residents and tourists are warned not to drink at homes either as there’s zero tolerance towards alcohol. The embassy also clarified passengers transitting across airports in UAE under the influence of alcohol might get arrested.
No change in laws
British Embassy’s advisory on UAE’s drinking rules and laws were re-shared after the case of Ellie Holdman, a Swedish National based in the UK’s case at DXB (Dubai International Airport) wherein she was deported for profanity and documenting a government official at the immigration, but her case was wrongly reported by British media, claiming she was deported because of consuming alcohol on a flight.
Dry night this Monday
Meanwhile, Dubai Tourism announced a dry night as of Monday, 10th September from 6 pm until Tuesday, 11th September to mark the Hijri Islamic new year (1440). Although it will be on a working day, both the public and private sectors will enjoy a long weekend starting this Thursday, 10th September as a public holiday is announced by the UAE Cabinet and Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE).