Buying alcohol in Dubai

This item appears on page 4 of the September 2019 issue.

As of July 20, visitors to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, can legally purchase alcohol for personal consumption at any Maritime & Mercantile International, or MMI (, outlet in the emirate. MMI is a subsidiary of Emirates Group. Prior to this allowance, some hotels and restaurants that catered to tourists had licenses to sell alcohol, but it had to be consumed on the premises.

To purchase alcohol, a visitor must present his passport and sign a form acknowledging he understands the regulations on transporting and consuming alcohol in Dubai. (It is illegal to drink alcohol in public, even that purchased at an MMI location. A container of alcohol, even unopened, should be carried in a bag. Public intoxication is also illegal; if a blood-alcohol test is administered, the presence of any amount of alcohol is considered intoxication.)