ABU DHABI // A new government office will be responsible for issuing liquor licences in the emirate from today.
The Special Licence Office will accept applications only online at its website, www.auhsl.ae, which is to go live today. The licences is to be delivered to the preferred liquor outlet indicated in the application form.
According to an official at the new office, there will no longer be a fee for the annual licence. The new licences will be in the form of an electronic card rather than booklets, which will be phased out over the next year as licences are renewed, the official said.
Licences to purchase and consume alcohol were previously issued by an office of the Criminal Investigation Department of Abu Dhabi Police.
"Today is the last of this office," an official at the CID office said on Thursday. "Now applicants will have to apply online and upload all required documents as well."
The office received more than 100 applications for liquor licences a day, the official said.
Applicants must now download an application form from www.auhsl.ae and attach scanned copies of their passport, including the visa page, plus Emirates ID, a passport-sized photograph and a no-objection letter from their employer confirming their salary.
A non-employed spouse may request a supplementary licence using the same process, but must submit a no-objection letter from their sponsor in lieu of an employer.
Further details can be obtained by calling 800 5353 from 8am to 4pm on weekdays.
Only non-Muslims are allowed to obtain liquor licences. Muslims found consuming alcohol face prosecution.