Just in time for Dry January, Dubai has announced it will no longer require tourists to pay the 30 percent municipality tax on alcohol.
The news, which went into effect this past Sunday, follows a recently-launched national tourism strategy by the United Arab Emirates that intends to attract 40 million hotel guests by 2031.
The richest city in the Middle East and Africa notoriously has harsh restrictions on both tourists and residents alike, including regulations on clothing, swearing, public displays of affection, and more. As for alcohol consumption, only non-Muslims are allowed to consume alcohol in Dubai, but they must drink in a licensed venue or run the risk of being arrested.
In addition to Dubai scrapping the alcohol tax, tourists and ex-pats will no longer have to pay a fee to secure a personal liquor license in order to purchase alcohol. Instead, they simply need to show an Emirates ID or passport.
“These recently updated regulations are instrumental to continue ensuring the safe and responsible purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages in Dubai as well as boost the dynamic hospitality industry,” stated Maritime and Mercantile International, a leading alcohol retailer in the UAE, and a subsidiary of the state-owned Emirates Group.
The removal of the hefty alcohol tax is under a one-year trial period, until December 31, 2023.