- Legal Articles
- Ask Elhais
February 13, 2022|
Before the new changes that were affected by the Federal Decree By-Law No. 15 of 2020, and subsequently, by the 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.
The permits were issued by the respective authorities in each emirate and were subject to the provisions of the law on alcoholic beverage control issued in 1972. Thus, under the said law it was illegal to import, export, manufacture, acquire, drink, supply, sell or offer alcoholic drinks to any person who does not possess a valid alcohol license, issued by the appropriate licensing authority on an emirate level.
Violation of the said rules would have invited a penalty equivalent to six months imprisonment and a fine of five thousand dirhams.
With the recent changes effected in the federal laws, the consumption of alcohol has been legalized in the UAE, subject to the restrictions imposed by each emirate.
For the Emirate of Dubai, the following rules apply:
Consumption of Alcohol by Minors:
In terms of alcohol consumption, a minor would be any person who is below the age of twenty-one (21) and further, it is a punishable offence for any person to sell alcoholic beverages to a minor (‘minor’ as within the purview of this law).
Article 363 of the UAE Penal Code Reads as Follows:
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.
Any person who possesses manufactures, brings, promotes, or sells alcoholic beverages or who arranges or prepares a place for drinking alcoholic beverages or who exercises any related activity without a licence from the competent authorities or in violation of the licensing terms, or in other than the cases and locations authorised according to the applicable legislation, shall be liable to a jail sentence and a fine not exceeding AED five hundred thousand (500,000) or either one of these two penalties.
Any person who drinks alcoholic beverages in a public place or in other than the locations authorised according to applicable legislation, or who is found in a state of intoxication in a public place, or who causes trouble or annoyance to a third party, or causes a public disturbance, while in a state of intoxication, shall be liable to a jail sentence for a period not exceeding six (6) months and a fine not exceeding AED one hundred thousand (100,000) or either one of these two penalties.
Any person who offers alcoholic beverages to a person under the age of twenty-one (21) years or who incites such drinking or who purchases the same to provide them to the said person, shall be liable to a jail sentence for a period not exceeding one (1) year and a fine not exceeding AED one hundred thousand (100,000) or either one of these two penalties. There is no crime if any of the acts are committed when the perpetrator verifies that the age of the person for whom the alcoholic beverages are offered or sold, is not less than twenty-one years, based on his passport or any other official document.
In all cases, a judgment shall be issued for the confiscation of the alcoholic beverages, the seized proceeds obtained, and the equipment, materials, and means used in their production or transfer, in addition to the closure of the place or location in which the crime is committed, and the court may expel the foreigner from the State.
It is 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 criminalize the consumption of alcohol in the said emirate and have not been revoked yet.
Copyright © of this article is retained by the author and/or other copyright owners. We explicitly grant you permission to download a copy, without any alteration, of this article for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or any charge. This article can be utilized on your website or for marketing, however, we grant you permission to host this article on your website and no other rights. This content should not be altered in any way or sold commercially in any format without prior permission of the copyright holder. During reference of this article, full biographic details entailing the name of the author, his designation, the institute and the publishing date of the article shall be provided.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
I owe the success of my case to Dr. Hassan's diligent approach. He remained focused, put me at ease and always went the extra mile. Dr. Hassan tirelessly put my case in the best possible light and I cannot thank him enough. I would highly recommend Dr. Hassan - I am grateful to him from the bottom of my heart.
Dr. Hassan Elhais is among the best legal consultants I have ever worked with. He has an amazing ability to reduce complex issues into a simple concept that non-legal people can understand. He consistently develops innovative litigation strategies that help us to achieve our ultimate legal goals.
...the extraordinary effort that has been exerted by the staff, and we specially thank Dr. Hassan Mohsen Alhais. Wishing your continues success & excellence...
I believe everyone should recognize what a difference Dr. Hassan Elhais work has made to people's lives; and especially to our family's life, because we will remain forever grateful to each and every one of his team.
Dr. Hassan Elhais never fears cases that involve exposure and he always gives me his honest assessment of our chances of success, which is invaluable to me.
He aided us not only in providing legal advice but also in all legal issues that required a long term strategic approach to achieve most favorable and optimum outcomes he provided us with high level of professional service.
Dr. Hassan Elhais is a responsible, reputable counsel who operates to high levels of service.
Dr Hassan Elhais is responsive, thorough and creative with his advice, and is a valued advisor and legal consultant.
Regardless of the complexity of the matter I know Dr. Hassan Elhais will consider not only legal strategy but also business practicalities in providing advice and litigation options.
I recommend Dr. Hassan Elhais to anyone who says 'I'm in legal trouble'. I was extremely satisfied with the high standard of his work. He has always been there when I have needed him and I refer all my clients, family and friends to him/his firm.
Dr. Hassan Elhais was very professional and he listened to my needs. He was very prompt, efficient and always kept me informed. Dr. Hassan Elhais's service was excellent and I would definitely recommend him to friends and colleagues.