I am Muslim and transiting Abu Dhabi on Etihad. I will travel from US to Abu Dhabi. I am not looking to get drunk - just enjoy a beer with a meal. I have heard being Muslim can cause issues at Abu Dhabi.

Could there be issues in Abu Dhabi if I consumed alcohol on board?

  • Inside the airport, you will okay.
    – Calchas
    Aug 30, 2015 at 21:06
  • I passed through Dubai airport recently and saw a sign that people "in national dress" weren't allowed to buy alcohol at at least one of the restaurants there. But I wasn't "in national dress" and didn't want any alcohol anyway, so I didn't really investigate any further.
    – mlc
    Apr 7, 2020 at 1:22

2 Answers 2


As far as UAE is concerned, there is only one issue at hand - since you are not going to consume alcohol inside the UAE but on-board the aircraft; where they do not check your religion.

  1. If you appear publicly intoxicated, you are breaking the law.

That's it. So, as long as you can "hold your liquor", you'll be fine.

The problem is that "intoxicated" is not a defined in the law; unlike the US and some other places there is no field sobriety test. Pretty much you are at the mercy of the official.

So, if you appear Muslim and are smelling of alcohol; this may get you in trouble - especially if you are not a UAE citizen.

I would recommend a breath mint, mouthwash, or perhaps some other method of calming your nerves during flight. I know some colleagues they use sleeping aids to help them rest - but of course, take these at the advice of your doctor.


They do alcohol on Etihad Airways, the passenger's religion is irrelevant.

As for passing by

Passengers in transit through the UAE under the influence of alcohol may also be arrested.

Foreign travel advice United Arab Emirates

Under the influence of alcohol means

A person is under the influence of alcohol when, as a result of drinking any amount of alcohol, his mental or physical faculties are so impaired as to reduce his ability to think and act with ordinary care.

Definition of Under the Influence of Alcohol

Just don't get drunk Also it's a good idea to wash your mouth and spray some mint and don't go around saying that you are Muslim but just had some beer few hours ago.

  • Thanks for your response. No, I am aware that they would serve me on board without issues. However, once I land in Abu Dhabi can I get into trouble? Because the plane is registered in UAE UAE laws apply onboard I think - and one law in UAE is that you need a permit to consume alcohol and this permit is only issued to non Muslims.
    – Guest101
    Aug 30, 2015 at 21:13
  • 1
    The won't serve you alcohol on an airplane then arrest you when it lands just don't get drunk if you look Muslim cause they won't like that.
    – Ulkoma
    Aug 30, 2015 at 21:22
  • 1
    Thanks. the reason is I have a bit of flying fear. Consuming alcohol would allow me to sleep the entire duration of the flight. Thus making the trip easier.
    – Guest101
    Aug 30, 2015 at 21:32

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