After a big licensing update on November 7, many residents were left wondering…

Following the news yesterday that consuming and purchasing alcohol without a liquor license is no longer a crime, residents were left confused about the rules regarding alcohol licenses.

The official word from the UAE government was that drinking alcohol will also no longer be an offence. Residents will no longer need an alcohol license to consume alcohol in a private or authorised space. Individuals must still be over the age of 21 to purchase or consume alcohol.

The question left unanswered was if residents will need their license to shop at Dubai liquor stores, as has been the case for many years. What’s On posed the question to a representative at both African + Eastern and MMI, the latter of which confirmed that right now, the same rules still apply.

MMI has not received any official rule changes from the UAE government in terms of allowing customers to purchase alcohol without a liquor license. Therefore if you were to enter a liquor store today, you would still need an valid license in order to make a purchase.

African + Eastern (A+E) confirmed that they are also awaiting further instruction from CID and do still require customers to produce a license when making a purchase.

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It's now much easier to obtain a liquor license in Dubai

The announcement comes after the liquor license system was updated to make the application process smoother, and available to more people. The system now only requires a valid Emirates ID, which Non-Muslims can take into any A+E or MMI branch.

You application will be processed within 48 hours, and your license will be ready within four weeks. Tourists can still get a free 30-day license to purchase alcohol while they’re on holiday in Dubai, they simply need to take their passport with valid visit visa into the store to receive the license.