Here is everything you need to know about the Dubai drinking age, as well as the laws regarding alcohol consumption in this city. Located in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is known for its mega skyscrapers, massive shopping malls, and extreme wealth among its residents. And with all that money, of course, it’s a given that some of the people who reside in Dubai would be spending it mostly on alcohol as well. So here is a list of the rules that everyone has to follow once they step foot into the city.
Dubai is an interesting case because despite all of the luxury and excess, it is technically located in an Islamic country – And according to the Quran, the holy book of Islam, alcohol consumption is considered haram or forbidden. So, in the case of this discussion, most of the questions will pertain to the hundreds of ex-pats and foreigners who reside in Dubai and not the natives who follow Islamic law. That being said, let’s head off to the first one.
What is the Legal Drinking Age in Dubai?
In Dubai, the official legal drinking age is 21 years old and above, which is pretty high. It means that any resident in the city cannot consume or buy alcohol if they are 20 years old and below, and at the same time, adults cannot sell alcohol to individuals of the same age range. This is a rule that is strictly enforced throughout the entire city and should be followed by all of its residents.
What is the Legal Drinking Age in Dubai for Tourists and Foreigners?
If you are a tourist, then the laws in Dubai might confuse you for a bit, especially because of the UAE’s main religion. However, you might be delighted to know that if you are a foreigner, then yes, you can actually consume alcohol in Dubai. But there are two conditions: You must not be a practicing Muslim, and you must be at least 21 and above to buy. Keep in mind that the areas where you can purchase alcohol is very limited, not to mention they’re very expensive as well.
Do You Need an ID to Drink in Dubai?
Yes. In fact, Dubai is very strict when it comes to asking for ID to legally purchase or consume alcohol. And not only that – You’ll need an official alcohol license as well to do so. To be able to obtain this license, you must be able to present an Emirates ID and follow the proper steps according to the area where you apply into. Take note that tourists and temporary visitors in Dubai will not need this license and can purchase alcohol using an ID, passport, or driver’s license.
Legal Drinking Age in Dubai with Parents
The legal drinking age in Dubai is 21 years old. But because of Dubai’s strict policies regarding alcohol, parents are not allowed to provide alcohol to anyone below this age. If you want to buy or consume alcohol (as a tourist) at a bar in the city, you must be able to show documents that prove you’re of legal age. Any adult who gets caught selling alcohol or alcoholic beverages to minors will be fined and receive punishment.
Legal Drinking Age in Dubai by Region
Dubai is already a city, so this question should apply to the UAE in general. In its capital of Abu Dhabi, where the legal drinking age is 18, drinking alcohol is forbidden if you are a practicing Muslim. For foreigners, the same rule applies if you are below 21 years old.
Hotels in Abu Dhabi are also not allowed to serve alcohol because of religious purposes – Whether the person requesting the drink is only a tourist or not. Meanwhile, in Dubai and the rest of the cities in UAE, the legal drinking age is 21 years old. Only Sharjah, another city located in the UAE, completely prohibits alcohol selling and consumption.
Can Minors Drink in Dubai with Their Parents?
Absolutely not. As mentioned, alcohol in Dubai is hard to find, and with good reason. Since the purchase and consumption are already so strict in this city, what more if minors are caught consuming alcohol, even with their parent’s permission?
Consequences of Breaking the Drinking Age Law in Dubai
Luckily, unlike other Islamic countries, Dubai is pretty lenient when it comes to punishing people who break the law. At most, you’ll only get your license suspended for up to two years and pay a fine of 25,000 Dirhams. Other crimes, such as giving alcohol to a minor, will result in a fine of 100,000 Dirhams and a year in jail.
A Summary of the Dubai Drinking Age
Despite its reputation as a flashy city, Dubai is still firm when it comes to implementing alcohol-related laws on its residents. If you do end up visiting this city, then be sure to follow the Dubai drinking age and its rules and take everything in moderation.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.