Many people think that alcohol is completely banned in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates and that there are high penalties on the import, purchase and /or drinking of alcohol. There are rules but in Dubai you can drink alcohol. The rest of the Emirates are more stringent in the area of alcohol than Dubai and have different rules regarding the sale and consumption of alcohol, please note if you are planning to visit the neighboring Emirates next to Dubai. For example, the sale and drinking of alcohol in the Emirate of Sharjah is prohibited.
Importing alcohol into Dubai is not prohibited, per person (adults) 4 liters of alcoholic beverages can be imported into Dubai. It does not matter whether it is beer, wine or spirits. You can buy the alcohol at the airport of your own country but it is also possible to buy alcohol on arrival at the airport in Dubai in Duty Free shops which are located next to the baggage belts in the arrival hall. These purchases can be taken through the country without any problems, You can drink it for example in your hotel room. If you are planning to consume alcohol in Dubai, buy your alcoholic beverages at the airport.
As mentioned before in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates alcohol is not for sale in supermarkets and shops. The only “beer” that is available is the alcohol-free variants of Bavaria or other brands. There are also many non-alcoholic beers with taste, such as peach, orange, lemon and apple.
Alcohol in restaurants and cafes in Dubai
Alcohol can be served in various restaurants, hotels, clubs and bars if the location has a permit. Often it is the Western hotels and the big known hotel chains that have such a license. The prices of alcohol are a lot higher in Dubai than we are used to, a normal glass of Heineken (0.33 cl) costs around 6 to 8 dollar and a glass of wine is between 10 and 12 dollar. Cocktails start at 12 dollar and can go up to 35 dollar.
With many excursions, it is also no problem to get alcohol. For example, with many dhown cruises and dune safaris you can get beer, wine and spirits. Exception is Friday, for religious reasons alcohol is often not given on this day.
Keep in mind that drinking alcohol is forbidden in public and driving under the influence is seen as a serious offense with high prison sentences. Public drunkenness is also seen as a criminal offense and is punished with high prison sentences. Be warned and pay attention! During the annual Ramadan no alcohol is served in many places, also in hotels, restaurants and clubs that have a permit and where normally alcoholic drinks are served.