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Legal Problems of Consumption of Alcohol and Drugs in the UAE

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Legal Problems of Consumption of Alcohol and Drugs in the UAE

UAE laws give protection to every life. People who found selling or buying alcohol without a proper alcohol license were punished as per Alcoholic Beverage Control issued in 1972. This law was applicable to every person including Expatriates and Emirates.

But now changes in the decriminalization of alcohol consumption was announced on 7th November 2020. Changes regarding the alcohol consumption and selling without a license in authorized areas is the significant part of the amendment. It gives a clear picture of relaxation of Islamic laws for personal freedom. This attracts more foreigners to visit the country than before.

Alcohol in the UAE

The latest amendment in the law allows the consumption of alcohol without a liquor license in Dubai. This is applicable to the whole country, say UAE. Licenses for the individuals are no longer required to sell, drink or possess alcohol in the authorized areas. The consumption is allowed privately or in licensed public areas such as bars, hotels, etc.

Consumption of alcohol is applicable for Muslims in the UAE and is not punishable by law. No penalties will be charged on them according to the new amendment. But the minimum age for alcohol consumption is still 21 years. Selling alcohol to underage people is still prohibited in the UAE. Once breached is illegal.

The law states that “Penalties are limited to those who serve or sell alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of 21 or who bought alcohol with the intention to give it to an underage individual.”

Drugs in the UAE

According to a survey by the National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) in Abu Dhabi and the UN Office for Drugs and Crime in 2016, drug addiction costs were found to be around AED 5.5 billion. For the importance of family values and life, the UAE adopted a zero-tolerance policy to psychotropic and narcotic drugs. Other than for the usage as a medicinal or scientific purpose the drugs export, import, sale or purchase is considered as a criminal activity in the UAE. This should be done with strict supervision only.

Recreational drugs are illegal in the UAE. Many tourists have been caught for misusing drugs or narcotic substances. Commonly used drugs are Marijuana, Cocaine, Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), hashish, MDMA and so on.

The intoxicated travelers or in possession of banned substances passing through the country can be punished by imprisonment for minimum 2 years. Other than bags and vehicle checks, the blood and urine tests of travelers can also be done. Drug impurities in body fluids also counts as possession.

Prescription Drugs

As per some specific UAW laws, some drugs are allowed to come into the country under certain conditions. The tourists and residents of the UAE can make a list on the Ministry of Health and Prevention’s website to check whether those medications are allowed or not. If not, alternative medicine suggestions are the best instead of opting illegal ways.

The travelers are allowed to bring their medications to the UAE through an online system from October 2018. All the details regarding the medicine and use are to be input in the website. They include local address, Emirate ID number, country, contact details, arrival and departure dates, doctor prescription copy, batch number, trade name, and active ingredients of the medicine.


Consumption of alcohol and drugs laws are different in different countries. Everybody has their own right to what to do by themselves. But it shouldn’t mean that those are able to stand against the law. Rock structures include various impurities. It can be good or bad for its strength.

For further knowledge related to the legal aspects of consumption of alcohol and drugs in the UAE, you can get free legal consultation in Dubai and can find lawyer UAE through our best service. You can also get online legal advice in Dubai by opting us through https://iadvise.live.

iadvise.live rank top among the online legal advice in the UAE. We provide ‘legal research’ and free ‘Book an appointment with Lawyer’ service on our website. We are the best platform for customers as well as lawyers and are ready to help you anytime. Feel comfortable and find lawyer UAE whenever you need legal support. 

Disclaimer: We are not a law firm. We neither give legal advice nor provide legal service. All advice and services are provided by duly qualified and authorized practicing lawyers. We are a platform which facilities legal services. 


Eva Iris

Author Since:  October 8, 2020

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