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A Guide to Acquiring an Alcohol or Liquor Licence for Food & Beverage Operators in Dubai in 2023

January 24, 2023

The Dubai Municipality announced that it will be suspending the collection of the 30% tax on alcohol sales for the remainder of the year until December 31st, 2023, making it an opportune time to incorporate alcohol in your food and beverage business.

Acquiring an alcohol or liquor licence for a restaurant in Dubai can be a challenging and time-consuming process for entrepreneurs. There are several steps involved, and strict regulations must be followed in order to obtain the necessary licence.

Liquor licences in Dubai are issued by the Dubai Police General Headquarter (‘DPGH’).

There are 4 types of liquor licences:

  • Type A: Licence to import liquor.
  • Type B: Licence to sell liquor to third parties from a shop or warehouse.
  • Type C: Licence to serve liquor within a hotel, club, or restaurant.
  • Type D: Licence to purchase liquor.

For Type C, the documents required are:

  • Venue Licence Copy
  • Shareholder Documents
  • Licence MOA
  • Letter assigning responsible manager for alcohol
  • NOC from landlord to serve alcohol
  • Letter for amount of finance needed for alcohol per month
  • Ejari
  • Pictures of the venue
  • Google Maps location

How To Obtain An Alcohol Licence

It is important to follow all the regulations and guidelines set out by the authorities and to ensure that the restaurant meets all the requirements for a liquor licence. By taking these steps, business owners can ensure that their business is compliant with local laws and regulations.

  • The first step in acquiring an alcohol licence for a restaurant in Dubai is to ensure that the location is approved for the sale and consumption of alcohol. Not all areas in Dubai are approved for the sale of alcohol, so it is important to confirm that the location of the restaurant is in a designated alcohol consumption zone.
  • Once the location has been approved, the next step is to apply for the alcohol licence. This can be done through the Dubai Police. The application process involves filling out a number of forms, submitting required documents and paying the appropriate fees.
  • One of the required documents is an Emirates ID card, which is necessary for the licencee and all employees who will be involved in the sale and service of alcohol. Additionally, the restaurant must have a valid commercial licence, and the applicant must have a valid liquor licence.
  • Once the application has been submitted, which can be done online, a Dubai Police representative will conduct an inspection of the restaurant to ensure that it meets all the requirements for a liquor licence. This includes checking that the restaurant has appropriate facilities for the storage and service of alcohol and that all employees are trained in alcohol management.
  • Once the inspection is complete, the Dubai Police will issue the liquor licence. It is important to note that the licence is issued for a specific period of time, usually one year, and it must be renewed annually. Additionally, the licence is non-transferable, meaning that it cannot be sold or transferred to another person or business.
  • The possession, sale, and consumption of alcohol in Dubai is governed by the Dubai Executive Council Resolution No. 2 of 2015 and the Dubai Municipality circular No. 4 of 2016. These rules and regulations set out the procedures to be followed by the licencee and the business in order to prevent any legal consequences and to be able to continue to serve the customers with alcohol.

Note: It’s important to note that all the requirements and procedures are subject to change and it is advisable to check the Dubai Police website for the most up-to-date information and to consult with a trusted corporate service provider for guidance. It is illegal to advertise the sale of alcohol beverages in Dubai.

How CBD Can Assist

CBD have a team of licencing experts who can aid operators within the hospitality industry in procuring an alcohol licence by securing the necessary licences and permits, all while prioritising compliance and adherence to regulations. For more information, email: enquiries@cbdcorporateservices.com or call +971 4551 0677 or whatsapp +971 56 218 4695

Authored by Puja Tiwari, Marketing Manager at CBD Corporate Services

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