Dubai has ended its longstanding alchol tax at the start of this year and made its liquor license free for all in an effort to bolster domestic consumption and tourism.
“Dubai Municipality has temporarily stopped collecting the 30% fee from alcoholic beverage companies for a period of one year from the beginning of 01/01/2023 to the end of 12/31/2023. The companies authorized to sell in the Emirate of Dubai have been notified of this decision,” the Dubai Municipality wrote in a post from its official Twitter account.
Dubai’s two state-linked alcohol retailers have cut the tax immediately, but consumers still have to pay 5% VAT.
Alcohol distributor Maritime and Mercantile International, which is part of the wider Emirates Group, through its social media account that it has reflected the 30% tax cut on all of its alcoholic beverage prices.
“Since we began our operations in Dubai over 100 years ago, the emirate’s approach has remained dynamic, sensitive and inclusive for all,” said Tyrone Reid of MMI. “These recently updated regulations are instrumental to continue ensuring the safe and responsible purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages in Dubai and the UAE.”
African & Eastern, the second alcohol retailer believed to be at least partially held by the state or affiliated firms, also announced the end of the municipality tax and license fees.
Under Dubai law, non-Muslims must be 21 or older to consume alcohol, and they must obtain a personal liquor licenses to purchase alcohol in shops and costing 270 dirhams (US$73.50). The license then needed to be renewed annually though buying alcohol in bars and hotels would not require the license.