Dubai and the United Arab Emirates? How is life there? Can you do party? Can you drink? What are the rules?
Mercy has been living here for 5 years, Stefan for 2,5 years. We can tell you, there is a lot of nightlife going on in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The rules and regulations are not that strict as you might think.
We live in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, which is approx. 1-2 hours from Dubai by car.
The weekends take place here on Fridays and Saturdays. It is not unusual. that in certain branches people have to get back to work on Saturdays and work 48h a week on 6 days.
In Abu Dhabi and Dubai are a lot of bars, nighclubs and restaurants. The nightlife opportunities are more versatile than in certain European cities.
How about alcoholic drinks? Is that allowed?
Expats living in the UAE are allowed to purchase alcoholic beverages. (not valid for the emirate of Sharjah. Alcohol is strictly forbidden there)
In order to purchase and consume alcoholic drinks you need to possess a so called special liquour license issued by the ministry of interior. That sounds unusual, but it isn´t a big deal and free.
With this license you are allowed to purchase drinks in special shops. The choice is indeed quite big as you get several different branded beer from all over the world as well as vine and harder stuff.
The cost for example for 24 cans 0,5l of Beer variies between 100 and 160 DHS, which equals roughly 22 to 40 Euros (Abu Dhabi).
Most common shops in Abu Dhabi are:
The purchased drinks in these shops are only to be used at home. In case you are stopped by police for whatever reason and alcohol is found in your car and you can not show a valid special liquour license, then you are in big trouble.
That is also possible in the UAE. You will find in a lot of hotels some nightclubs and bars, where drinks are served. Just check Tripadvisor and you will be surprised how huge the offer is here. You have to be at least 21 years old to be allowed into a bar.
The prices depend on where you go and start from 20 DHS a pint of beer to 50 DHS in high fashioned clubs. That is 5 to 13 Euro. Partying is a bit more pricy here than in Europe. But there are a lot of happy hours and ladies nights.
You can get a good overview about events, ladies nights and happy hours with the following links:
Brunches are very popular in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
They take place every Friday (except during Ramadan) in certain hotels. It is a buffet with unlimited food and unlimited drinks.
The rates depend on the location and the packages you book. Good brunches might cost between 70 and 100 Euro per person.
Things to consider:
- it is illegal to consume alcohol in public
- don´t walk through the streets when you are drunk
- driving and drinking is no good! If you are caught behind the wheel, you are in big trouble.
Actually these are things we wouldn´t do in Europe either.
Do I need to wear conservative outfits when going out?
In daily life you should indeed wear more conservative as a woman, like covering youre shoulders and wear at least knee long skirts.
But if you go out to a party at night, the standards are not much different to the ones in Europe. Some clubs even have a strict door and only let people in proper evening attire in.
How did you like this post? Have you ever been to the UAE? Send us a comment. 😀