Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 29 September 2020

Alcohol licence holders in Dubai must update cards by August 31

A red card that was widely issued during the coronavirus restrictions will no longer be valid from next month

During the lockdown, Dubai relaxed licensing rules to allow most residents to secure an alcohol licence. From August 31, people with a visa from another emirate will once again need a non-objective certificate from their employer to secure one. Reuters
During the lockdown, Dubai relaxed licensing rules to allow most residents to secure an alcohol licence. From August 31, people with a visa from another emirate will once again need a non-objective certificate from their employer to secure one. Reuters

Dubai residents with alcohol licences will need to apply for a new card from September, the city's two government-approved retailers said.

The current red cards will soon expire and alcohol stores will issue new black and gold cards to customers who hold a valid liquor licence.

Red licences will no longer be valid for in-store or online purchases after August 31.

To get their licence converted, red card holders with a Dubai visa must visit Maritime & Mercantile International (MMI) or African + Eastern (A+E) retail stores along with their valid Emirates ID.

No other paperwork is required.

The new black card will be valid for in-store or online purchases after August 31. Courtesy: A+E / MMI
The new black card will be valid for in-store or online purchases after August 31. Courtesy: A+E / MMI

The new card costs Dh25 but the charge is redeemable against an in-store voucher of the same amount.

Any remaining months on the current card will be transferred to the new one.

The process to apply for a new card has also been simplified with less paperwork involved.

Residents can apply in-store and they require just their original Emirates IDs.

Dubai residents who apply for the first time do not need a no-objection certificate (NoC) from the employer.

But those living in Dubai under a visa from a different emirate will also need a NoC to complete their application. The cost of a new licence is Dh270.

“Getting a licence has now become so much easier,” said Mike Glen, managing director of MMI in the UAE and Oman.

“By transitioning to the new system, the amount of paperwork involved has been dramatically reduced.

“Everyone who wants to transport and consume alcohol, at home, in a bar or restaurant, needs to abide by the law and make sure they have a licence.”

Tourists are still able to purchase alcohol from stores by producing their passports with a valid visa .

To obtain a licence, you must be a non-Muslim over the age of 21.

Once your application has been submitted, you must pay the fee.

The application is then sent for approval to Dubai Police and it takes between two and three weeks on average for it to be approved.

Updated: August 10, 2020 06:18 PM

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