According to retailers: Dubai appears to be relaxing alcohol regulations

Status: 01/02/2023 1:59 p.m

Until now, a 30 percent tax on alcohol had to be paid in Dubai. A necessary license was also subject to a fee for consumers. According to retailers, the emirate has now removed these regulations.

Dubai has apparently suspended the 30 percent tax on alcohol and abolished the license fee that was previously due. This was announced by two major retailers on social media. As reported by local media, the changes came into effect on Sunday and are initially valid for one year. The government has not yet confirmed the easing.

“With the elimination of the 30 percent tax and a free alcohol license, buying your favorite drinks is now easier and cheaper than ever,” one of Dubai’s two major alcohol suppliers, Maritime and Mercantile International (MMI), advertised on its Instagram account. The retailer “African+Eastern” also confirmed that the special tax no longer applies, but that prices would still be subject to a sales tax of five percent.

Dubai probably wants to boost tourism

The reason for the easing is apparently an attempt to strengthen tourism in Dubai. There had already been easing before. In Dubai, alcohol can now be sold during the day during the Islamic month of fasting, Ramadan. Home deliveries of alcohol have started during the Corona lockdowns. Dubai is relatively liberal compared to other parts of the region. Alcohol is banned in the neighboring Emirate of Sharjah, as well as in the countries of Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

In Dubai, under the law, non-Muslims must be at least 21 years old to consume alcohol. Anyone who wants to drink, sell or transport alcohol must have a license card issued by the police. Otherwise there is a risk of fines or arrests.

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