Abu Dhabi Liquor License

If you wish to drink alcohol in Abu Dhabi you need to purchase an alcohol/liquor license.

Some employers offer to obtain a license for you, so it’s worth asking before setting out on a mission to obtain one yourself!

You can ask Spinneys to obtain a license for you, however this can take a while (2weeks+) in some cases. So if you would like to obtain your liquor license in under 1 hour, read on…

Firstly to qualify for a liquor license you must:
– Have a valid residency visa
– Earn more than 2,500 AED per month
– Be a non Muslim

Spouses can also either have their own liquor license, or be added to their partners liquor license. An additional form is required for this as well as 2 passport photos.

You will need to take the following with you to the liquor licensing department:
– Passport copy
– Residents visa copy
– 2 color passport photos
– Completed application form Link to application form (This is the best quality available from the liquor licensing department!!)
– Salary certificate from your employer (This must be in Arabic and addressed to the Directorate General of Police Abu Dhabi Criminal Investigation Department)
– Cash to pay for the license (This is 20% of the value of your license. So if you obtain a license for 2,500 AED, you must pay 500 AED)
– If you are of Arabic decent you must also provide a certificate of religion from a church or embassy confirming you are not Muslim

The liquor license department has recently moved from Khalifah City A Police Station to the City Click here for a location map.

Opening times are Sun – Thurs 8:00 – 12:30.

There are no signs on the building, so I have included a photo of the door you need to go through. Once in the building go to the 2nd floor, turn left out of lift and take the 1st door on the left. This is a small room and you should be greeted by a guy when you enter.
*** Update, this now on the ground floor ***

Just hand everything to the guy in the room along with the cash amount.
From what I can gather you need to purchase a license for the maximum amount first then you can reduce it if needed when you renew next year.

Enjoy your license!

If your experience was different, please let everyone know by leaving a comment, thanks!



  1. K B Nambiar Said:

    Thanks much for the details.

    Could you also confirm if a Religion Certificate is required in case of Renewals of existing license.


    • Nik Ansell Said:


      Thanks for the comment.

      A certificate of religion is required from a church or embassy confirming you are not Muslim, only if you are of Arabic decent.

  2. hr Said:

    Thanks for giving the information, i would suggest you to put the front photo of the building, so that any one can recognise.


  3. Monique Said:

    Thx so much for this post and gps info.
    Another funny experience, but once I was on the right floor (labelled most ‘wanted’ in the lift) it was very quick.
    Still laughing
    Not many blonde girls go there I don’t think!

  4. Gretar Said:

    They have now moved to the ground floor of the same building. Must say they were very effecient. In and out in less than 16 minutes

  5. JJ Said:

    24.457907,54.389488 (E Rd, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

    These co-ordinates will help

    • Nik Ansell Said:

      Hi JJ, thanks for the comment. I have added a Google maps link to the article using the co-ordinates you provided.

  6. JJ Said:

    I went here to today, so can provide an update. The licence department is in the same building, but on the side facing Al Jazera Football Stadium. It is on the ground floor, Shop 3, next door to a shisha shop called Al Samar Cafe & Refreshments and has the same light blue doors as the other side of the building. Other shops you can see from the door include Al Boshia Fire Safety Equipment, Abu Backas Grocery 02 4461277 and Orange Kitchen Services.

    They will ask for your application to be typed (not hand written) so you will have to do this before or use the photo shop around the corner to make the form for you (they charge 10AED). It is opposite the Donner Cafe (see below).

    I found these instructions helpful too…

    Travelling from AD City heading out of town on 4th Street

    As you go through the traffic lights at the junction with 15th Street, turn right at a shop called Technical Scissors. Then take 1st left. Travel up this street and you will see a cafe called Donner Cafe on your left and Abu Dhabi Media Company on your right. Try and park anywhere here.

    To find the building walk past Donner Cafe keeping the cafe on your left side and go to the end of the block. Turn left into a square, the CID building is the last building on your right in this square.

    • mohan raj nair Said:

      Do they work on all days and what are the timings.

  7. Kris Said:

    If we are applying for my DH, does he have to be present at the time the application is turned in?

  8. Graham Said:

    I went this morning at 07.45 and it was open. Been told official timings are Sun-Thu 08.00 – 13.00. I was served promptly and given a receipt and told to collect tomorrow same time….. understand that the driver/PRO can collect on your behalf, lets see.

  9. Maggie Said:

    Does the application have to be compelted in arabic before you go or can they do it there? I know the letter from employer must be, THanks.

  10. milan Said:

    Working hours 0800-1200…for a new one or renewal all documents required again just been there now…

  11. santhosh kumar Said:


  12. Wendy Mark Said:

    Spinneys no longer offer this service. You must go to the CID office.

  13. kim Said:

    i was kicked out today cuz i arrived at12:10!!!
    and no receipt left . don’t really understand their english …
    anyway they said it only opens 8:00-12:00

  14. Mike Said:

    All licenses for Abu Dahbi are now issued to your selected bottle store throughout the Emirate following a very easy online application process at https://www.auhsl.ae/. Provided you qualify your license should arrive in your requested Bottle Store in about 7 days.

  15. Lester Said:

    if you want to buy per month what is the limit? maximum?

  16. Lester Said:

    if i pay 500 aed, what is my amount limit?

  17. Paul de Bruin Said:

    Getting an alcohol license in Dubai is so much easier. This is all you need. http://ezeliving.com/2012/10/15/the-easy-way-to-get-an-alcohol-license-in-dubai/

  18. 123may123 Said:

    how about in Al ain area?

  19. John Scot Said:

    How do you know when the licence is ready. I applied online about 3 weeks ago in Abu Dhabi and never heard a word since.

  20. Joe Said:

    is a Abu Dhabi liquor license valid in Dubai? My visa was issued in Abu Dhabi, but now moving to Dubai. Thanks, Joe

  21. JJ Said:

    This whole process has now been changed and is all done online via special licence office. It’s free.

    Go to:
    auhsl dot ae

    Tip for the website is you need to write down password as you cannot retrieve it and when you upload documents, you need to upload for all the requested places to get the form to accept and move on (good if you save as .jpgs). Good luck!

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