When it comes to going out for a drink in Dubai, well… It does require certain planning in advance. Wide range of restaurants, cafes in, let’s say, public places (i.e. usually in shopping center or right next to it) do offer a great choice welcoming even the pickiest tourists. But if you occasionally want to enjoy a glass of vine, a pint of beer or any other alcoholic beverage, it becomes a bit tricky. Well, at least – different.
Those who have experienced traveling to Arab countries are acquainted with the fact that there is usually no alcohol served anywhere publicly, except perhaps in hotel bars. In some countries there are also specific shops for these beverages. Needles to say that I have occasionally witnessed Arab men buying couple of bottles in such a shop in the Middle East wrapping it in black bags in order to hide the content. Society rules are set according to Islam and therefore alcohol is banned.
The issue is however taken to the extreme in Dubai. Or at least, you’ve guest it – over the top. The city is proud to be “open” and “meet the needs” of all those people who live and work there, and who do not come from Muslim countries. But Dubai itself is still a Muslim city.
So, if you want to buy a bottle of vine for your friends coming to dinner, you will be obligated to have a certain “alcohol license” which you can acquire only if you work in the city. (Read more about it in article’s follow-up on Saturday.) And if you want to go out for a drink, you would have to visit one of the hotels or shopping centers, and peek behind certain heavy closed doors. As we did..