Dubai government has recently taken steps to boost tourism by scrapping its 30% alcohol tax and discontinuing the charging of personal alcohol licences. the move, which took effect on sunday, was also accompanied by the approval of alcohol sales during daylight in ramadan, as well as alcohol home delivery during the pandemic. maritime and mercantile international (mmi) and african & eastern, the two companies that distribute alcohol in dubai, will reflect the cut in tax for consumers.
Move took place in dubai, the gulf’s “party capital” and a city that has historically managed to attract more tourists and wealthy foreign workers than its neighbours. non-muslims in the city must be at least 21 years old to drink alcohol, and those consuming alcohol without an alcohol licence can face fines or arrest. previously, residents commonly drove to umm al-quwain and other emirates to buy alcohol in bulk.
Changes are thought to be a one-year trial and an attempt to make the city more attractive to foreigners, in the face of competition from neighbours. mmi spokesman tyrone reid said the regulations are instrumental to ensure the safe and responsible purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages, and bars and nightclubs rarely ask to see alcohol licences. as dubai faces increasing competition from rivals developing their hospitality and finance sectors, the move is expected to make the city more attractive to expatriates, who outnumber nationals by nine to one.