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Dubai alcohol rules: Strict booze laws could be relaxed for tourists


When it comes to the purchasing of alcohol, Dubai is renowned for its strict rules, with the country requiring venues serving alcohol be attached to hotels or private clubs. It is illegal to drink in the street or a public place and the legal drinking age is 21, and alcohol can only be bought from an off-licence by non-muslim residents who own an alcohol license. Up until now that is, as the law is said to be changing.m According to Gulf News, tourists could soon be able to purchase alcohol from registered liquor stores.

Under the new regulations, visitors will still need a licence to buy booze while out there, however, it will be free of charge and visitors can apply for one at any participating store upon arrival in the country.

The shops where alcohol is being purchased from will also need to be from a specific list of registered licensed establishments.

Visitors wanting to buy alcohol will need to fill out the mandatory forms and can only purchase booze from outlets of the Mercantile and Marketing International (MMI), the sales and marketing subsidiary of Emirates Group. There are about 17 of these outlets.

Those looking to buy alcohol will need to bring along their passport for identification when filling out the forms, and it’s likely information leaflets will be handed out explaining the new rules around alcohol in Dubai.

When is it happening?

It’s not yet clear when the new rule will come into force if it goes ahead.

However, tourists should be mindful when purchasing alcohol in Dubai due to the strict laws in Dubai.

While they may be able to eventually obtain a license, currently it is only the case for non-muslim residents.

Breaking the law could result in tough penalties including jail time and fines.

Visitors caught drinking or being drunk may find they are locked up without bail while their case is investigated.

They could even have their passport confiscated for months, meaning they cannot go home.

Emirates airline – which frequently flies to Dubai – recently claimed they have one of the most “generous bagging policies.”

The airline hinted such requirements depend on one simple thing. This is the class of travel passengers pay for, whether this be economy or First Class.

The advice stated: “Generally, the amount of cabin baggage you may bring depends on which service class you are flying.”

It added: “First Class and Business Class customers are permitted two pieces of carry-on baggage: one briefcase plus either one handbag or one garment bag.”

“The briefcase may not exceed 18 by 14 by eight inches (45 by 35 by 20 cm); the handbag may not exceed 22 by 15 by eight inches (55 by 38 by 20 cm) and the garment bag can be no more than eight inches (20 cm) thick when folded.

“The weight of each piece must not exceed seven kg.”

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