Due to increased competition among the significant Gulf cities for tourists, Dubai has reduced its 30 percent levy on alcohol sales. Beer regularly costs more than $15 per pint, or half-liter, according to distributors, who announced the reduction, but authorities still need to confirm it. According to distributors MMI and African and Eastern, the personal liquor license, available to non-Muslims over 21 and necessary to purchase alcohol at Dubai’s few legal shops, is now free.
“Buying your favourite drinks just got easier and cheap!” MMI described the layoffs in a Facebook post. Authorities in Dubai were silent at the time. The United Arab Emirates, a Muslim nation and significant oil exporter that has recently relaxed its drinking restrictions has its financial, commercial, and tourism centers in Dubai.
The majority of the UAE, unlike its neighbor Saudi Arabia, is far from being a dry country, with alcohol being sold in places with the appropriate licenses, such as hotels, restaurants, pubs, and designated shops. However, it cannot be consumed in public. Only Sharjah, which is close to Dubai and one of the seven Emirates that make up the UAE, prohibits alcohol.
The move to reduce the price of alcohol was made as the Saudi capital Riyadh conducts an ongoing campaign to draw in foreign tourists and businesses. Just weeks after, gas-rich Qatar improved its prestige by hosting the World Cup of football. According to the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism, Dubai welcomed more than 12 million foreign overnight guests in the first 11 months of 2022, more than double the 6.02 million tourists who came during the same period in 2021.
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