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A Warning for Foreign Tourists in Dubai Who Plan to Drink Alcohol

News It is not a secret that Dubai is one of the most popular leisure destinations in the world. Every year, millions of tourists book hotels in Dubai in order to enjoy fantastic shopping, exclusive entertainment, and fine food. Home to some of the modern architectural miracles and amusement parks, Dubai is, nevertheless, a part of the United Arab Emirates, which is a Muslim country. Muslim people are not allowed to drink alcohol, but non-Muslim tourists can do this during their vacation in Dubai. However, alcohol consumption can lead to serious problems.

Thrilling stories about foreigners drinking alcohol in Dubai and ending up in jail appear in the news from time to time. Some stories look particularly confusing, such as the news about a woman who was arrested for drinking a glass of the complimentary champagne provided by the national airlines during her flight to Dubai. After years of problems, Dubai finally decided to make its alcohol consumption rules more comprehensive, but tourists still need to stay alert.

According to the new law, foreigners who enter Dubai on tourist visas can obtain a special license that will allow them to drink alcohol. Previously, only foreigners with the residential permit could get this license. That being said, no barman or shop assistant will ask foreigners whether they have the license or tell that this document is mandatory. They are likely to sell alcohol freely, but tourists need to show the document to the police that can check it at any time.

The sale of alcohol licenses is one more way to earn for Dubai, but this doesn’t mean that the new law grants safety to foreign guests. The vast majority of alcohol-related arrests were not about purchasing alcohol but for having it in the bloodstream. Local laws do not specify the blood alcohol level that is considered “alcohol intoxication”. This means that potentially any presence of alcohol in the blood can result in big problems. The new licenses may give foreign guests a feeling that they now can buy and drink alcohol safely, but this is not true.

The alcohol licenses allow tourists to buy and drink alcohol legally, but having alcohol in the bloodstream is still illegal in Dubai. To avoid potential problems, tourists should refrain from drinking in public. Moreover, alcohol purchased in stores can only be drunk “within a hotel room or apartment”. Foreign guests need to take these facts into consideration when they choose a hotel in Dubai and plan their vacation carefully.


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