One of the things that Westerners have to adjust to when moving to an Arab nation are the rules regarding alcohol. As Muslims are not supposed to drink alcohol, you cannot buy booze in the general supermarkets or convenience stores. However, they do have a massive fake beer section in almost every supermarket. Looks like beer… and in fact the bright blue can on the middle shelf is made by Efes, a Turkish brewery that makes delicious <and very real> beer. I haven’t tried one of these yet, but maybe I should? Who knows, maybe it tastes good.. and of course with no risk of hangover?
That said, Dubai is actually not a dry state. There are liquor stores all over the place selling everything a liquor cabinet needs, but the only catch is you need to have a liquor license to buy it. There is a booze shop called African+Eastern a five minute walk from our home, but right now our liquor license application is being processed and will take up to three weeks! We are going to have to start rationing the bottles we bought in duty-free…
So, where do people go to drink? Well, like I said, there are lots of normal bars all over the place which are absolutely jumping on a Thursday and Friday night. In fact, in a nice twist of irony, because booze is so expensive in bars due to import tax, most bars have Ladies Nights where you walk in the door and get three or four free drinks, I suppose under the general belief that guys go wherever girls are. Score for me! And you don’t need a liquor license for that either. One of these days I will have to try doing a whole week of free drinking, a different bar every day of the week.
(Yes, I have too much time on my hands… perhaps I should try to get a job soon… hmm…)