Monday, 10 August 2009

Getting a liquor license

It is amazing to me how under-utilised Google is, particularly by those people who seem to need it most.

Have a look around the expat forums and you'll find countless threads starting with something like:    "How do I get a liquor license in Abu Dhabi?"  Do any of these folks realise that they could type that very sentence into a Google search box and the top hit will be this:


In fact, it actually takes less time to run a Google search than it does to log in to Forum X, start a new thread, and write up a question (well, sometimes these forum posts are in the form of a question, sometimes they seem to be written by people who were absent on the day the concept of a complete sentence was discussed in grammar school).  Not to mention the time cost of inserting all those annoying little emoticons.

Ceteris paribus with respect to time, however, the real problem with going to a forum to ask advice on practical matters is that you get exactly what you pay for:  responses like "I think maybe the license fee is X."

Why would anyone value this over the straight-from-the-horse's-mouth information they can get from the site above?

I confess I don't know the answer to this question, except for my stock response of "half of the population is below average."  But I'm on a campaign to make the process of getting good information even easier than it is now (I expect in a day or so this blog post will be high up on the Google results).

Here's what to do:

Requirement to obtain a liquor license as applies to normal non-Muslim residents in employment within Abu Dhabi:

Fill in Liquor License application form (to be typed) in Arabic.

Provide original passport plus a copy. Also present residential papers. 

Present Labour contract copy with the original.

Attach 2 recent passport sized photos with application form.

If there is doubt of religion (possible due to nationality or name), present religion certificate from either the appropriate embassy or other authority.

Minimum salary requirement must be above 3000-4000 DHS monthly depending on circumstance. Salary Certificate from the applicant’s company must be presented, in Arabic.

Salary Certificate from the company, in Arabic, addressed to the Directorate Gen. Of Police Abu Dhabi - Criminal Investigation Department.

Those who fall into the Drivers category of employment are not allowed to obtain a liquor license.

For renewals old liquor license must be presented.

Also please note that the value of the permit is based on the holder’s salary; up to 20% of the holders salary may be used for alcohol. 

Payment: the charge will be 20% of the license value (for example, should a license value be DHS400, then the charge would be DHS 80.

The completed documents should be taken by the applicant to the Police Directorate (click here to see map).

The Licensing Department is open from 8am-11am on Sundays and Mondays ONLY.

PROs applying on behalf of the employee can go to the Licensing Department on Wednesdays from 8am-11am.

Licences issued will be delivered to you by Empost within a week after submission. DHS 10 will be charged by Empost for delivery.

Now for those of you below the mean (and you know who you are), here's a special gift from me to you, just in case you didn't manage to notice the link to the liquor license application at the bottom of the linked page:

Ok, that's done.  Of course it's still going to be necessary to actually do a search for this information in order to end up here.  So I offer the following useful link:

Use it.

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