Dubai Municipality suspends 30% tax on alcohol sales

The decision will last one year and affects only companies selling alcoholic beverages in the emirate

Retailer MMI was among the stores to confirm it would be updating prices to reflect the decision. Photo: MMI
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Retailers and restaurants in Dubai will not be required to pay the existing 30 per cent municipality tax on alcohol for 2023, Dubai Municipality confirmed on Monday.

Replying to a user on Twitter, the authority's official page said that collection of the tax had been temporarily suspended. The change took immediate effect on January 1.

"Kindly note that Dubai Municipality has temporarily stopped collecting the 30 per cent fee from alcoholic beverage companies for a period of one year from the beginning of 01/01/2023 to the end of 12/31/2023," the tweet said.

"The companies authorised to sell in the emirate of Dubai have been notified of the decision."

Dubai Municipality confirms the 30% tax levied on alcohol has been removed for 2023. Photo: Twitter

Maritime & Mercantile International (MMI), an off-licence chain, informed its customers in a statement on Sunday, stating that it was cutting prices for shoppers immediately.

Tyrone Reid, group chief executive of MMI and Emirates Leisure Retail, said: “Following the announcement by the Government of Dubai to remove the 30 per cent municipality tax on sales of alcoholic beverages, we are pleased to announce that this will be reflected across all alcoholic beverage products in all our 21 MMI stores in Dubai, effective 1st January."

MMI also informed customers that from January 1 personal alcohol licences that are required to buy alcohol in shops will be free. The licence was Dh270 a year.

A valid Emirates ID or passports for tourists are still necessary to apply for the licence.

Nationwide, the rules around alcohol have been reformed in a series of steps since 2020.

While alcohol should be consumed responsibly and respectfully, it is not an offence to drink alcohol, as long as a person is aged 21 or older, and it is done so in private homes or licensed public places.

Updated: January 03, 2023, 4:09 AM