Drinking and Driving in Dubai…Saga Part One

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Dubai liquor license

In Dubai, alcohol is only served at hotels and private clubs (ie. golf) so people tend to hang out A LOT in hotels. Our favorite haunts are JBH (Jumeirah Beach Hotel) and the Madinat Jumeirah for certain reasons and also because it’s a quick 10-minute drive from our apartment. Although it can take up to 45 minutes during the PM rush-hour.

Now to purchase alcohol in Dubai for personal consumption, you can either do so at the duty-free shops in the airport or you can obtain a liquor license by passing a drinking test.

This involves visiting the local liquor outlet, slamming down 5 shots of tequila followed by singing a Garth Brooks song of your choosing.* I thought about doing “Friends in Low Places” but Scotch had already picked that one so I decided on the more alcohol-appropriate “Two Pina Coladas” which goes something like this:

I was feelin’ the blues,
I was watchin’ the news
When this fella came on the TV
He said that I’m tellin’ you,
That science has proven
That heartaches are healed by the sea
And that got me goin’ without even knowin’
And I packed right up and drove down
Now I’m on a roll, and I swear to my soul
Tonight I’m gonna paint this town

So Bring me Two Pina Coladas
I want one for each hand
Let’s set sail with Captain Morgan
Or we’ll never leave dry land
Any troubles I’ve forgotten
I’ve buried them in the sand.
So bring me two Pina Coladas
She said goodbye to her good timing man.

Maybe my a Capella singing didn’t wow the liquor authorities because they then demanded that I also give them a copy of my passport with UAE residence visa (just got that yesterday, woo-hoo!), a passport photo, and Scotch’s liquor licence.

And then I was told to come back in 2 weeks to pick up my license. Perhaps I should have showcased myself better with “Beer Run”:

Twenty-five minutes past quitting time
Seven of us crammed into that truck of mine
Paying no attention to them highway signs
Doing ninety miles an hour toward the county line
Quick sack, twelve pack, back again
It’s a B Double E Double R-U-N.

My buddies and their babies letting down their hair
As long as we’re together it don’t matter where
Ain’t got a lot of money but we just don’t care
Knowing half the fun is in the getting there
Aztec, long necks, paychecks spent
Oh, it’s a B Double E Double R-U-N.

*kidding, kidding


Next I embark on the long way (not recommended) in obtaining a UAE driving license in Drinking and Driving in Dubai…Saga Part Two.

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  1. 5 shots of tequila! and a garth brooks song!?!? are you SERIOUS? that sounds great! id want to get an alcohol license everyday! 😀