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November 21, 2017|
According to the criminal law in Dubai it is illegal to consume alcohol without a validly issued permit. As per Law on Alcoholic Beverage Control issued in 1972, it is illegal to import, export, manufacture, acquire, drink, supply, sell or offer alcoholic drinks to persons not holding a valid alcohol license issued by the Licensing authority.
Any person found selling, buying or acquiring alcoholic drinks without a valid alcohol license shall be punished under Law on Alcoholic Beverage Control issued in 1972. UAE criminal law provides for punishment by imprisonment for 6 months, fine of five thousand dirhams or both and the court in all cases has the right to keep the possession of such materials with the court.
This applies to all any person without a valid alcohol license including Muslims and non-Muslims and minors irrespective of whether or not they are Expats or Emiratis.
While consumption of alcohol is completely prohibited for Muslims, the laws of Dubai do allow non-Muslims to consume alcohol after obtaining a license from the authorities. Liquor licenses are issued only to non-Muslim persons, Muslims are not issued alcohol licenses. Consumption of alcohol by Muslims is strictly prohibited and punishable as per law.
According to most of the famous criminal lawyers in UAE, there are many cases where residents and tourists have been caught misusing or possessing drugs or other narcotic substances. The most commonly used drug is marijuana. Other drugs like cocaine, Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), hashish and MDMA (Ecstasy) are also prevalent.
Most of the cases handled by the criminal advocates in Dubai are on alcohol and drug consumption. Road rage, domestic violence, brawls, accidents etc. are a few of the issues which Dubai criminal lawyers encounter on a very frequent basis. It is highly recommended that any person charged with issues related to alcohol or drug consumption they avail the services of a criminal lawyer as early as possible, as involvement of any criminal lawyer helps the client to deal with the criminal justice process, knowing what will happen in advance and why. Less surprises in criminal cases means less stress on the client and his family. Knowing the special nature of the criminal cases, which has an impact on the client and his family and sometimes other relatives, big part of the lawyer's task would be to guide the client and to give the trust to his family and other relatives that the legal process will be served by submitting all proper and legal arguments, which would help the investigator and prosecution to understand the case in simplest manner possible.
Before the changes affected by Federal Decree-Law No. 15/2020 and subsequently by Federal Decree-Law No. 31/2021 on the Issuance of the Crimes and Penalties Law (the UAE Penal Code), it was illegal to consume alcohol without a valid permit.
According to Article 363, no punishment may be imposed for drinking, possessing, or trading in alcohol in the cases and locations permitted according to applicable legislation. Each Emirate shall have the right to regulate the use, circulation, trading in, and possession of alcoholic beverages.
For the emirate of Dubai, the following rules apply:
Abu Dhabi's Culture and Tourism Department has announced it has revoked its licensing system for buying alcohol.
It is also critical to understand that the new changes in the right context, especially, that each emirate has its own rules, and if there is a local law of a given emirate that prohibits the consumption of alcohol then, the said local laws would apply instead of the Federal laws in such instances. For instance, the emirate of Sharjah, has local laws in place that have been in effect for decades which specifically criminalizes the consumption of alcohol in the said emirate and have not been revoked yet.
Federal Decree-Law No. 31/2021 introduces significant changes to fines and penalties related to alcohol-related offenses.
Federal Decree Law No. 30 of 2021 On Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances, Effective from January 2, 2022, Amending Federal Law No. 14 of 1994.
Rehabilitation for First-Time Offenders:
Tougher Penalties for Repeat Offenders:
Stricter Fines for Inducing/Facilitating Drug Use:
Penalties for Managing Drug Consumption Spaces:
Optional Deportation of Expats:
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