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beginners guide to finding the best wine and beer in uae

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Despite a common myth that you can't drink here, there is also a surprisingly good range of wine, beers, and spirits in the UAE. But to achieve this is a different issue, as each of the Emirates has other laws, conditions, and tax rates on alcohol, many of which can surprise those who have not started. So here we present the Beginners Guide to Finding the Best Wine and Beer in UAE. So read and find out all the details.

Best Places to Buy Wine and Beer in UAE

1. Airport

Visitors to the UAE are not allowed to purchase bottles from retail stores or apply for a license for a liqueur, and having a good alcohol run would not possibly fit in with their holiday plans. Dubai Duty-Free and Le Clos have two places of interest, the latter specializing in fine wines that would make a London cellar of the most important and sell more premium whiskey than in any other basement on the planet, especially at Dubai Duty-Free. Dubai visitors can bring up to five litres of spirit in the region, but we strongly suggest you do so because things get a lot more complicated when you are inside.

READ ALSO: The Ultimate UAE Travel Guide

2. Dubai

Under Dubai legislation, you need a license to store alcohol in your house. However, if you have one, you can buy alcohol from two firms – African+Eastern and MMI, which both stock mainly big global brands. It can be said that an alcoholic license often restricts how much you can spend on booze per month – which could be a positive or a bad thing depending on your consumption, with the recent amendments to the Alcohol License Regulations under which you can now restrict your spending.

The 'Cellar Door' was launched earlier this year in the Depachika Food Hall as part of the Nakheel Mall and is a recent addition to Dubai's wine shopping scene. Although the shop only stocks wine, it works well for The Palm Jumeirah residents.

The best information – or so we believe – was received during the COVID-19 lockdown when the MMI and African & Eastern partnered up to introduce a service to get wine distributed legally in our countries. The 'urban slang for the 'fear of wine running out of wine' was the most common news. is probably the nearest thing for 'boozing on hand' with several offers and next-day delivery, and we cannot be happier.

3. Abu Dhabi

Like Dubai, Abu Dhabi requires an alcohol license, but more than two retailers can choose from it. Grey & Mackenzie has a refined range of some of the best-known wines, while some Spinney's supermarkets also have seven dedicated alcoholic shops in town. Strangely speaking, Euro Star Cellars is officially situated in Abu Dhabi, although it is currently on the outskirts of Dubai. The range is straightforward but still improves. Until recently, Abu Dhabi had a significantly lower tax on alcohol, making shopping more affordable, but both cities aligned in July 2024.

4. Umm al-Quwain

The Barracuda Beach Club, which has a local liquéfaction shop, The Original Barracuda, is home to 6,000 items that constantly change and are a popular place to store on a beer run. The alcohol laws in Umm Al-Quwain are more accessible, no license is required, taxes are less, and, above all, no limit on how much you can invest, like in Ras Al-Khaimah, Ajman, and Fujairah. Three wine consultants are on the spot to advise wine lovers, even trained sommeliers.

Barracuda started a mobile app (iOS and Android) earlier this year, offering a click-and-collect service and a rewards scheme for 'Loyalty points.' You may also give money or loyalty to a mate, making the management of these dilemmas easier! 

This month we have tested the app and combined the vast range of offers and discounts for a highly satisfying booze sprint.

5. Ajman

Indeed, the smallest of the seven emirates has a few alcoholic retailers, including the 'Hole in the Wall,' sometimes called closed but never seemed to be.

Oscars were reputed to be well-stocked in alcohol, though they might neglect their range of beer and wine. During our last visit in the summer of 2024, the increased option of wines, including some of our old favourites and a few less well-known regional varieties, was happily surprised (Romanian, anybody?). Sadly, they were often clean of the spirit – we attribute that to the strategic bulk purchase of the crucial products necessary for handling COVID-19.

The very good Unisat Liquor is also available to select from many branches.

READ ALSO: 10 Best Places To Dine In Abu Dhabi

6. Fujairah 

Fujairah offers a shop in Ras al-Khaimah with a close, if not more robust, wine, whisky, and beer range and lovely beaches. You're also the place to be if you like Belgian or American handicraft beers.

7. Ras al-Khaimah

In Ras al-Khaimah, there are three billboards. His sister business in Dubai and Dubai airport, Le Clos, and the MMI are remarkably friendly at the Al Hamra cellars, which have an excellent option. In the meantime, the basement is owned by African + Eastern, with a decent range of wine and a good list of beer and whiskey. Finally, there is Centaurus, a smaller store with several big names and pleasantly unusual options that often add a personal touch to your operation.

So this completes our Beginners Guide to Finding the Best Wine and Beer in UAE.So get your Emirates Visa and visit the nation to taste the excellent wines and beer.

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