As an Islamic state, the UAE has certain regulations on the consumption and sale of alcoholic beverages. However, as tourism is one of the main supporters of its economy, the Emirate of Dubai is more permissive when it comes to the sale of alcohol, which is why one can drink or sell liquor once they have obtained a license. The main legislation governing the import, export, manufacturing, purchase, sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks in Dubai is the Liquor Control Law enabled in 1972 which was last amended in 2013. The liquor license must be applied for with the Dubai Police Headquarters.
If you need information about the legislation on liquor control, you may refer to our Dubai agents.
Applying for a liquor license in Dubai
Under the amended legislation, both foreign and Dubai citizens are allowed to buy and consume alcoholic beverages without applying for a license in bars and hotels. In all other cases, a liquor license will be required. In order to obtain this type of special license, one must submit the following documents to the Police:
- an application form,
- two photos,
- copy after the passport,
- a copy after the residence visa,
- a copy after the tenancy agreement, where applicable,
- a No-Objection letter from the employer, where applicable,
- an application fee.
The applicant must also fulfill certain requirements, as the liquor license is issued based on a minimum income (2,500 AED) and on the family status.
Costs and taxes related to alcohol in Dubai
While it allows the consumption and commercialization of alcoholic drinks, Dubai also imposes a 30% tax on the sale of liquor. Also, there are other costs related to applying for a liquor license in Dubai. Among these are:
- a fee for importing liquor which must be paid on an annual basis,
- a fee for selling liquor in hotels, clubs or restaurants,
- a fee for selling liquor in stores or warehouses,
- a fee for purchasing liquor,
- fee for exporting liquor.
Apart from the liquor export license fee which must be paid once, all other licenses are renewable on a yearly basis.
If you want to apply for any type of liquor license and need assistance, do not hesitate to contact our company formation agents in Dubai.