But preferably not at the same time. Zero tolerance is the word and one will automatically be sentenced to severe fines and also prison. And who wants to serve time in an Emirati prison, well not me. However, you need to apply for a licence for both drinking AND driving. After receiving the magic stamp in the passport that says that you are here on a residence visa, step two is to apply for a UAE drivers license. Swedish citizens, and most EU- nationals will have their drivers license automatically converted without making any additonal tests. It takes about a month before everything is settled, but if you have a rental car, like we do now, you can drive with your Swedish license.
One as important thing to apply for at the same time, is the liquor license. Yes, you need a liquor license to buy alcohol. There are special shops for this delicate matter, hidden behind the malls and with no windows, a bit like our good old Systembolaget, but a bit more rough. They do have a fairly good selection of wine, beer and other spirits. The liquor license takes also around a month and until then, just consider it as a white month and from a healthy point of view, it is good to let the old liver rest for a while. I must admit that it is frustrating. Last week, I and husband went to the liquor shop where husband had applied for his license, anxious to find out if it had arrived, looking forward to a glass of wine in the evening for a change. But it had not arrived, very disappointing. This week we are going there for another try. The liquor license entitles the person to buy alcohol for the total amount of 1000 dhr per month. Since some months tend to be more wine filled than others, the good advise from old veterans is to keep the wine shelves filled and use your 1000 dhr every month, regardless when you plan on drinking it.
A woman can of course NOT have her own license, she has to be added onto the husbands license, with his permission... Can you imagine!!!!
Well, this is certainly an interesting country...
Today I visited a place called Karama, it is located near the old city centre of Dubai. It is a run down neighbourhood with old houses, mostly Indian shops and restaurants, a market place and something called Karama Shopping Centre, where they sell handbags, lots of them, branded and not branded. Well, I indulged myself in unethical pleasure...no further details, but I came home with three lovely bags, for a bargain price... Lucky me! Well, if you cant have a drink, at least you can go shopping!