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Alcohol Trading License in Dubai: Updates and Amendments in the Regulations 2023

Alcohol Trading License in Dubai: Updates and Amendments in the Regulations 2023

Dubai is a multicultural city that attracts a large expat population and is a popular tourist destination. Despite being a Muslim country, the consumption of alcohol is permitted in Dubai under certain conditions. In Dubai, the regulations surrounding the sale and distribution of alcohol have undergone several updates and amendments in 2023. Effective January 1, 2023, Dubai has lifted the 30% municipality tax on all alcoholic beverages and abolished the personal liquor license fee. These changes impact businesses that hold an Alcohol Trading License and consumers who purchase alcohol in the emirate. The updates in alcohol trading license Dubai include new requirements for license holders, stricter penalties for violations, and changes to the application process for obtaining a license. These changes aim to improve overall safety and compliance within the alcohol industry in Dubai. It is essential for license holders and those seeking a license to be aware of these changes to stay compliant and avoid potential penalties.

Alcohol Trading in Dubai

Dubai is a vibrant city that offers many activities and entertainment options for locals and visitors. The nightlife scene in Dubai is particularly popular among the expat community and tourists, making it a great place to set up a business that serves alcohol. Leading alcoholic beverage distribution organizations in Dubai have reported an increase in their sales on New Year’s Day following the suspension of the 30% municipality tax on all alcoholic beverages and the abolition of the personal liquor license fee effective January 1, 2023. The regulation change in alcohol trading license Dubai is expected to attract more customers and boost sales for these organizations. Despite the changes, customers will still be required to present a valid Emirates ID or passport to apply for a license.

Selling alcoholic beverages in a hotel, dining establishment, or club

Launching a business in Dubai has never been more favourable, with a thriving economy and business-friendly policies. The city boasts some of the best infrastructure in the world, and foreign investment remains high, making it an ideal place to start a business. The recent updates and amendments to the regulations surrounding the sale and distribution of alcohol in Dubai make it an exciting time to open a hotel, restaurant, or club that serves alcohol. However, it is important to understand and comply with the regulations when applying for an alcohol license. The process may require planning, understanding the rules, and providing the necessary documentation. Still, it is worth the investment as it allows you to serve alcohol at your business. To make the process easier, it may be helpful to use a business support service from Chose UAE that can guide you through the legal requirements to get an alcohol trading license Dubai and help you establish your dream business.


Get an Alcohol Trading License in Dubai

To truly appreciate the scope and scale of what the UAE’s Free Zones have in store, one must comprehend the varying business setups on offer. Different packages cater to diverse needs, and the associated costs differ based on several factors.

Office Dynamics:

Small Office (20 sq.m):

  • Visa Quota: 2
  • License Fees (Annually): 50,000
  • Rentals (Annually): 20,000
  • Total: 130,380/-

Big Office (30 sq.m):

  • Visa Quota: 4
  • License Fees (Annually): 50,000
  • Rentals (Annually): 30,000
  • Total: 140,380/-

Common Charges for Both:

  • Incorporation: 5,300
  • Utilities (One-time): 2,970
  • Electricity & Water (Annually): 2,100
  • Refundable Deposit: 50,000
  • Economic Register Fee: 10
Warehouse Potentialities:
  • License (Annually): 50,000
  • Rentals: 230/sq.m annually
  • Incorporation: 5,300
  • Utilities (One-time): 4,020
  • Refundable Deposit: 50,000
  • Economic Register Fee: 10

Please note that the prices mentioned are subject to change.

This license isn’t just about selling alcohol. The encompassed permission grants businesses the capability to engage in import/export and establish trade relations within the local market, albeit exclusively with licensed distributors. Retail operations and direct sales aren’t covered, thereby preserving the integrity of the local market dynamics.

Vital Considerations:
  • Licenses and establishment cards are valid for a year, ensuring businesses remain compliant and updated.
  • Visa provisions are linked with specific setups like Flexi Desks and Offices.
  • The two-year Visa fee, a comprehensive package at AED 3,399, includes medical check-ups and the Emirates ID.
  • There’s an Echannel fee that businesses should budget for, pegged at AED 2,205.
  • Each business is entitled to a unique P.O. Box, and telecommunication services are allocated based on availability.
  • A striking advantage is the expedited registration, wrapping up in a single day.
Required Documentation – A Closer Look

For individual proprietors, the following documents are paramount:

  1. Passport Copy
  2. High-Resolution Photo (White Background)
  3. NOC (if currently holding a UAE residency Visa)
  4. Comprehensive Application Form
  5. Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) Form

For larger setups such as Branch/Subsidiary entities, the paperwork becomes more intricate. All presented documents need authentication, ensuring they are notarized and stamped by the UAE Embassy for validation.


Dubai has taken steps to boost its status as a leading business and tourism hub by eliminating a 30% tax on alcohol sales and offering free liquor licenses at the start of the new year. This move is in response to the increasing competition from other Persian Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The government has recently implemented several reforms to make the city more appealing for foreigners to live and work. Tourism is a crucial part of the city’s economy but primarily focuses on the luxury market. With this latest move in alcohol trading license Dubai, it will be better able to cater to a wider range of the market and attract more tourists.

How Can Choose UAE Help

Choose UAE is a company that specializes in providing impartial and current advice on forming a company, as well as business support services to entrepreneurs and businesses that are looking to establish themselves in the UAE. We at Choose UAE have an official partnership with UAE government authorities and offer the most competitive prices for business setups and alcohol trading license Dubai, with dedicated account manager. Contact us for more details.

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