Alcohol trading license in UAE

Guide on Alcohol Trading License in the UAE

by Zaara 06, Jul 2020

The United Arab Emirates is considered a global city today and is also a popular tourist destination. The nation is composed of nearly 10% expatriates and about 15.8 million tourists visited the Gulf country in the year 2017. That is why the country has made changes to some of its law that affect tourism in general. One of the rules that were revised is on the import, export, and consumption of alcohol within Dubai and the UAE with a few conditions imposed.

Being an Islamic nation, the Emirates supposedly prohibits alcohol in the region, but respect the culture and needs of immigrants and visitors; alcohol has been permitted but under strict conditions.

Here are a few that you must know.

  • The legal age for consuming alcohol is over 21 years old.
  • Alcohol can only be consumed in licensed places.
  • Non-residents can purchase and drink alcohol in designated and restricted areas.
  • Consumption of alcohol is prohibited within a Muslim community even though the drinkers do not follow the religion.
  • Liquor can only be bought from government identified stores.
  • When you start an alcohol business, you need a trade license.
  • For an individual to be able to consume alcohol, he/she has to be a UAE resident and earn more than AED 3,000.
  • A married woman has to secure a NOC from her husband to acquire the license.
  • It is prohibited to advertise and promote any alcoholic beverage or the act of drinking alcohol itself.
  • An employee who works in a UAE free zone has to obtain a salary certificate.
  • If a person lived in a land owned by another individual, he/she is required to obtain a NOC from the property owner. Tenancy contract is also needed from the individual.
  • Every member of the family who is above 21 years old who is living in the UAE should opt for a license for consuming alcohol.


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How to Acquire an Alcohol Trading License in the UAE?

First things first, it is essential to understand the different types of alcohol license available in UAE. There are four main types. They are –

  1. Type A – License to import liquor.
  2. Type B – License to sell liquor to third parties from a shop or warehouse.
  3. Type C – License to serve alcohol within a hotel, restaurant, or club.
  4. Type D – License to purchase liquor.

When it comes to location, Fujairah and RAK are the two most comfortable places to obtain an alcohol trading license in the UAE. While it is possible to get a trade license, import and export in other Emirates, the procedure can be far more complex and is frequently not worth the additional headache.

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Documents Required to Obtain Alcohol Trade License in the UAE

A person applying for a Type C license must submit a written request to the DPGH, which would include –

  • Details of the applicant, including the name of the physical person who shall be named in the license.
  • Details of the premises where liquor is expected to be sold.
  • Details of the security storage arrangement in respect of the liquor stock.
  • Details of the fire precautions; and.
  • Cost amount of monthly liquor required.

An alcohol license is issued for a period of one year. If desired, its validity can also be applied to a spouse. You can apply for the permit at any shop that trades alcohol. If you work as an employed person in the Emirates, then you will be required to provide an employers’ consent in addition to the residence visa. If you are a non-Muslim, there will be no problem with getting this permission. The employers hardly express their objections on this issue.

A few words about how to find shops selling alcohol beverages in the Emirates. Liquor is never sold in supermarkets, but there are usually alcohol shops close to them. However, it is rather challenging to find them as there are no bright signboards and the entrance is somewhere in an inconspicuous corner.

Need to know more about this license?

Well, what are you waiting for? 

Get in touch with our consultants at Commitbiz today, and they will help you right from registration to finding you a space for a shop.

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