Dubai on Sunday made a surprise announcement that they would suspend the 30% alcohol tax for a year.
The alcohol licenses that locals, foreigners, and tourists must carry, albeit rarely enforced, to be legally allowed to consume and buy adult beverages are now free.
Excerpt from Khaleej Times:
Dubai has suspended the 30 per cent municipality tax on all alcoholic beverages as well as the personal liquor licence fee.
From January 1, 2023 personal liquor licences will be free-to-obtain for those eligible to legally purchase alcoholic beverages in Dubai. A valid Emirates ID, or Passport for tourists, will still be required to apply.
A person must be at least 21 to drink legally in the UAE, and alcohol can only be consumed privately or in licensed public places.
It usually comes as a surprise for those visiting Dubai that you THEORETICALLY need a liquor license to consume adult beverages, even inside licensed venues such as hotel club lounges, bars, and nightclubs.
This is because it is not an issue until it is. If you run into trouble in Dubai and have consumed alcohol without having a license, good luck. You may end up spending an extended period in Dubai, albeit in not so comfy prison cell.