Abu Dhabi ends alcohol licence requirement for residents
Abu Dhabi - DCT Abu Dhabi announced the new rules in a circular to distributors and liquor stores.
Abu Dhabi has ended its licensing system for alcohol purchases for residents.
The emirate's Department of Culture and Tourism announced the new regulation in a circular dated last week to distributors and liquor stores.
Customers must be at least 21 and the purchase should be for personal use, not resale.
Alcohol should also be consumed in private homes or licensed areas only.
"We would like to announce the cancellation of alcohol licenses for individuals," the circular said. "Residents and tourists will be permitted to buy and possess alcohol from licensed retail shops, and are allowed to drink within tourism and hotel establishments, clubs and independent outlets, in accordance with the following requirements:
- "The consumer must be 21 years old.
- "The purchase is for personal consumption only and not for resale to others or storage.
- "The alcoholic beverages are consumed in private homes or inside licensed areas."
In neighbouring Dubai, residents must still provide a licence to buy alcohol in shops - while tourists need a temporary licence.
There is no need to show a licence in restaurants and bars.
However, Dubai has changed aspects of the alcohol licence system, including excluding the need for a no-objection certificate from a resident's employer.
Residents now need only provide a copy of their Emirates ID, fill out a form and pay Dh270.
Tourists in Dubai can now gain a temporary licence by displaying their passport and visa stamp to shop owners.
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi's Department of Culture and Tourism have also provided details of fines for those who flout the new alcohol regulations in the emirate.
Selling liquor and alcoholic beverages to anyone under 21 is subject to a fine of Dh40,000 for the first offence, Dh60,000 for the second offence, Dh80,000 for the third offence, and Dh80,000 for the fourth offence onwards.
Selling or re-selling liquor and alcoholic beverages without a licence is subject to a fine for Dh100,000 for the first offence, and Dh200,000 for the second offence. At the third violation, the establishment will be closed.
Advertising alcoholic beverages for sale is subject to a warning at the first offence. A fine of Dh10,000 will apply at the second offence, increasing to Dh30,000 on the third offence, and to Dh40,000 on the fourth offence.
Smuggling alcoholic beverages or liquor, or transporting it from outside the UAE without the required licences, will see the culprit referred directly to the courts.
Making or producing alcoholic beverages at home is also a violation that will see the offender referred directly to the courts for legal proceedings.