Is it allowed to drink alcohol in the United Arab Emirates?
This is a question that preoccupies many and is asked a lot. That is why we are dealing with the question in this article. In general the question can be answered as follows: Non-Muslims are allowed to drink alcohol in the emirates, although the individual emirates handle this differently. Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras al Khaima, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah allow non-Muslims to drink alcohol.
Alcohol is strictly forbidden in Sharjah.
Alcohol in the public
However, it is not allowed to drink alcohol in public (streets, public buildings, squares, parks, beaches) or to stumble through the city drunk. Licensed hotels and restaurants serve alcohol within their facility. This can of course also be the hotel garden or the hotel beach. These spaces are not considered public spaces. However, you must not go outside with the drink, i.e. you must not take a half-empty bottle of wine with you to drink it somewhere else.
Please read here our Article about Beach Hotels in Abu Dhabi.
Alcohol license for residents and tourists has been abolished
As a non-Muslim, you can now buy alcohol without a permit (in the past, residents and tourists also needed a license to buy alcohol).
Where can I buy alcohol in the Emirates?
However, alcohol is not readily available in the supermarket. There are separate shops for this. For example, the chain of shops “ Spinneys ” sells alcohol, other shops that sell alcohol are located in the streets of the city. In the Al Raha Beach Hotel, if you go from the hotel lobby to the shopping mall, there is also a shop that sells alcohol (but there are no shop windows or signs, a sliding door opens on the right side)
And please don’t forget that the zero alcohol rule applies when driving a vehicle in the UAE! See more about road traffic and fines in the UAE HERE.
Import regulations on the topic of alcohol in the Emirates
Tourists are allowed to bring 4 liters of alcohol into the United Arab Emirates (except Sharjah). This is definitely cheaper because alcohol is very expensive in the UAE.