As far as I know, Dubai is a Muslim country. And as far as I know, it is forbidden to drink alcohol in Muslim countries. Is this also true for Dubai and tourists?

So as a tourist can I drink alcohol in public? And should I? And are there any special rules during Ramadan?

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    It depends what you mean by muslim country. Turkey is a muslim country that produces and exports beer. Nov 10, 2011 at 13:44
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    Actually, Turkey is a secular country. It happens to be composed of more than 90% muslims.
    – mouviciel
    Nov 10, 2011 at 14:38
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    It is the country and the city. Nov 10, 2011 at 15:49
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    @mouviciel: Exactly. Many people would call a country composed of more than 90% Muslims a Muslim country. Many people call the USA a Christian country. Normally only people can be believers in a religion so for a country to be used with the name of a religion as an adjective can be interpreted various ways. And I'm sure the countries which are legally or politically (or oficially in whatever way) Muslim have quite varied laws too. I couldn't tell you where Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Morocco fit in at all. Nov 10, 2011 at 18:58

4 Answers 4


Short answer: Yes, you will get in trouble.

And I personally don't recommend public drinking in any Arabic/Islamic country. It is even illegal in many other countries.

Long answer is that there are a lot of details to know about drinking law rules in Dubai.

By the way, Ramadan is a single month per lunar year. It was in August 2011, it will be in July 2012. and yes, there are special rules for Ramadan.

Also note that Dubai is a state (county) in a country (United Arab Emirates). Rules outside Dubai are MUCH different. For example, drinking at Sharjah is almost forbidden.

  • No he won't get in trouble but you don't recommend it anyway? Nov 10, 2011 at 13:51
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    the embarrassing mistake :D, I fixed the answer.
    – Yousf
    Nov 10, 2011 at 13:59
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    There are plenty of Islamic countries where it is fine to drink in public. Bosnia, Turkey and Malaysia are three examples. In the end, you should do as the locals - if they drink in public - go join them - if they don't - then don't.
    – dan
    Nov 11, 2011 at 16:45
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    @dan Because non of the countries you have mentioned are Islamic countries, they are just countries with a high Muslim population. Try doing that in Saudi Arabia, you would be lucky if they only execute you in public.
    – msk
    Nov 15, 2011 at 1:15

As far as I know there's designated areas for non-nationals to drink. Ramadan is only for Muslims; but, they fast from morning to night, so, finding local food might be more difficult :).

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    Whether foreigners are expected to comply to Ramadan rules seems to vary greatly just within Turkey alone for one example so I'm sure it varies at least as much between countries. Nov 10, 2011 at 13:46
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    It is true that Ramadan is only for Muslims, You are not expected to fast during Ramadan in any country, but in some places you are forbidden to eat/drink in public. Which can vary from locals giving you "the look" to Authorities stopping you in some very conservative countries, As for Dubai specifically within the UAE, you are free to do what you want inside a Hotel.
    – msk
    Nov 15, 2011 at 1:30
  • Yes, anyone depriving themselves of food (be it Ramadam or just dieting) may not appreciate you eating food around them :) Nov 28, 2011 at 17:03

If you are a tourist there are many places to drink in Dubai - I guess it depends what you mean by in public.

I have been there many times and drunk in bars, at poolside in my hotel etc - but these are areas that are quite westernised. I wouldn't expect to find an alcoholic drink in a mall or drink on the street.

Even during Ramadan, the rules in western hotels still let you drink alcohol, just not in the restaurant areas or other places which may offend.

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    Would it be possible for you to name some of these bars and hotels were you've drunk alcohol? That would make your answer quite useful for future users of this website. Or did you omit on purpose as it would have negative consequences for those establishments? Apr 30, 2014 at 13:44
  • Hilton Dubai Creek, Grosvenor House Hotel to name a couple
    – Rory Alsop
    Apr 30, 2014 at 14:56

In Dubai is alcohol widely available, but drinking alcohol in public can get you in a lot of trouble. So make sure that you only drink alcohol in private places like hotel bars and clubs. These places have permission to sell alcohol.

(Source: https://www.meetthecities.com/guide/dubai/dubai-city-practical-information/ )

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