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Alcohol and duty-free in Dubai

Alcohol in Dubai

Alcohol and duty-free, how does it work? This is one of the most common questions asked by travellers to Dubai. Is it possible to buy wine, beer and spirits on the spot? How much alcohol can I bring in? Do restaurants serve wine with my food?

Here's the deal: the rules on alcohol are strict, Dubai is, after all, part of the United Arab Emirates, which is a Muslim country. That said, it should also be noted that Dubai is more liberal in its approach to alcohol consumption than neighbouring emirates and countries.

Prohibited to drink alcohol in public

You must not drink alcohol in public. But in the hotels - and their restaurants - and nightclubs that have permits, beer, wine and spirits are sold just like in any other country in the world.

Buying alcohol in supermarkets is not possible, but there are a number of licensed liquor stores where you need to have applied for a licence to buy alcohol. This only applies to those who live in Dubai (and are not Muslim). If you are travelling to Dubai for a period of time to work or own a property there, you may need to obtain a licence - but never as a tourist.

How much alcohol you can take in

So the advice for those who want to have a drink or a glass of wine on the hotel balcony is to buy alcohol from the plane or from duty-free shops at the airport. The following quantities of alcohol and tobacco are permitted into Dubai:

  • 4 litres of spirits or wine


  • 2 cases of beer, 24 cans each, with a maximum capacity of 355 ml


  • 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 500 grams of tobacco

Please note that information on entry regulations to Dubai has varied over the years, even from official sources. To make sure you are up to date with the latest before you travel, also check this page from the Dubai government.

Taxfree in Dubai

The duty-free shopping at Dubai Airport is very good and the shops are open 24 hours a day, so you don't need to pack alcohol from home. Shop when you land instead. Read more about duty free on the page about Dubai airports.

If you want to keep track of the best bars and clubs, we recommend Time Out Dubai.

Tips! Book attractions and excursions in Dubai

Heading to Dubai? Don't forget to book tickets for sights and excursions. You do it safely, conveniently and with the lowest price guarantee through our partner GetYourGuide. Below are some suggestions and here you will find everything you can book in Dubai.

(Page updated 2017-12-05)


  1. Monika

    Time to update the info on alcohol imports to Dubai.
    The current/valid 1 June 2015 from Kastrup is 4 litres of alcohol per person.

    • All about Dubai

      Thank you for the comment Monika,

      The information has been ambiguous for some time, but now we see that the Dubai authorities have updated it with the very information you mention. We have changed the text on this page as well.

  2. Karin

    Hi! Is it allowed to bring snus to Dubai? If so, should I have it in my suitcase or hand luggage?
    MVH Karin

  3. Anders

    If you are caught with too much alcohol in your luggage, what is the penalty?
    A fine, deportation or perhaps arrest?

  4. Leif Sundgren

    You can buy which meat and other food items at many regular stores
    they have an extra section for us non-Muslims.

  5. Lena

    What about food? Is it only pork that you can't bring into the country?

  6. Leif Sundgren

    I don't understand all these questions I have now been to dubai & abu dabi
    for two weeks and tobacco you buy in a regular shop and liquor
    do you buy in any liquor store there are all kinds of liquor and beer
    it is also cheaper than in sweden.

  7. Maria

    Swedish travellers flying from Dubai to Oslo, how much are they allowed to bring home? Is it the same as when you get there?
    Thanks for a quick answer.

  8. Madeleine

    Also want to know if it's okay to bring snus?// Madeleine

  9. Johan

    I brought 4 L of wine in my hand luggage works great! Z

  10. Marre

    Can I take snus with me? Thanks for the answer.

  11. Patrik

    Is it allowed to bring tobacco to Dubai, we land at DWC? And if so, how much?

  12. Per Nilsson

    Can you bring snus to Dubai?

  13. Dan

    I arrive in Dubai at night at 2am, is the duty free shop open then? Or should I shop at Kastrup and have the bottles as hand luggage? Or should I buy the liquor in Sweden and pack it in my suitcase?

  14. Anders

    What about medication when entering Dubai? Seems to be very stiff.

  15. Monika

    After reading the emirates airline website I am not getting any wiser! What's the deal? Is the embassy wrong with their 2 L and what applies to drinks containing LESS than 24% alcohol? This is what it says : Alcohol beverages,when in retail packagings, containing more than 24% but not more than 70% alcohol by volume,in receptales not exceeding 5L,with a total net quantity per person of 5L.
    Customs doesn't know, the embassy answers 2 litres total quantity of alcohol,and I interpret that as emirates airline accepts 5 L!?

  16. Monika

    The Dubai Embassy in Stockholm told me that only 2 litres of alcohol per person can be imported. ANYTHING that contains a hint of alcohol counts towards the 2 litres per person. This includes beer =(

  17. admin

    Jonas, unless you are obviously drunk, there is little danger. Several visitors, and foreigners working in Dubai, have gone to town after a few drinks 🙂 On the other hand, taxis are cheap, so it's a good choice if you want to make a club run.


  18. Jonas

    If you go out to a nightclub and then on the way home you're drunk, then you just jump in a taxi and go back to the hotel?
    Not so that you walk around a city centre street and go to another nightclub or the like drunk? (calm and collected of course!)

  19. admin

    Hi S! Most restaurants in town do not serve alcohol, although there are exceptions. If you want to make sure you can have a glass of wine with your meal, you should eat in a hotel. The good news is that hotels have really good, and often several restaurants with different specialties within the same hotel 😉


  20. S

    Hi, I'm 19 years old and I was thinking of going to Dubai with a friend. Is it true that we can't have a glass of wine with our meal at all when we are eating? We know we can't go out clubbing but is it as strict in restaurants and hotels?

  21. J


    Been to Dubai 3 times. I usually shop in the Tax Freen after picking up my luggage at the belt, but before going through customs at the airport.

    Tax free is available in both Terminal 1 and 2.

  22. Mikael Rock

    Hi all..I go to dubai 1-2 times a year. and I have with me 1-2 plates of beer to consume in the hotel room. Packed in the suitcase. has never been a problem 🙂

  23. Per Svensson

    Is it two litres? Is it possible to carry it in hand luggage if you are shopping on the plane down?

  24. Mahmoud

    Hello! I saw that you could bring two litres of booze to Dubai. Is it okay to have it in your suitcase?

  25. Joacim larsson

    Hi! What applies to snus?

  26. anders sahlin

    How much beer can you take with you

  27. Pete Veerm

    Hello! I saw that you could bring two litres of booze to Dubai. Is it okay to have it in your suitcase?

  28. Cecilia Robertsson

    The age limit for drinking alcohol in restaurants and bars is 21. Also applies to duty-free shops at the airport. The rules for buying and consuming alcohol are changing. In the future, a licence may be required for tourists as well.

  29. Monica Lilja

    Import rules for alcohol:
    What is the age limit?

    With kind regards
    Monica Lilja


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