Buying Alcohol in the UAE - Things to do on the Booze Run!

By Lindsay Trivers October, 18 2020

It’s like a rite of passage. One of those things only someone living in Dubai will truly understand the meaning of. The regular pilgrimage North to the emirates of Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah in search of the best tax-free deals on alcohol in the UAE. 

The Tasting Class was recently invited by Jacob’s Creek to visit Barracuda to try the Australian wine producers’ new 1847 range which is only available at the Barracuda store. 

We tend to do the booze run often, some might suggest it’s a very regular occurrence, and when we do go we visit as many of the alcohol stores in the area that we can to ensure we’re finding the best value and selection possible. Generally, it’s a quick trip, half-a-day max, but this time we made the most of the drive, visiting some sites along the way.

First up was an SUP Mangrove Tour with the team at Kite Beach Center at UAQ Kite Beach. Definitely not what we expected and something different to the usual SUP paddle. After a quick shower, it was off to the Original Barracuda, via an obligatory photo stop at the abandoned Soviet plane left in the desert in Umm Al Quwain. Once at Barracuda we were greeted by the resident sommelier from Bordeaux, Hubert, who is a major asset to the team there. He took us through the new Jacob’s Creek 1847 range which has a few great surprises at the AED49.35 price point. Our favourites were the Pinot Gris and the Shiraz but there’s also a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, an oaked Chardonnay which is great to see at that price, and a Cab Sauv. 

The Jacob’s Creek 1847 Range pays homage to the first vineyard of
the Barossa Valley, planted on the banks of Jacob’s Creek.
A celebration of over 170 years of Australian
winemaking and the legacy of Johann Gramp who planted
these first vines.

After a thorough tasting of the range, Thunder Road was calling. The cross between American and Italian style dining, coupled with massive portions was exactly what we needed and the manager, Donata, is one of a kind. We sat outside on the terrace in the afternoon sun, overlooking the ocean – not the best coastline we’ve encountered but it’s beside the beach, nevertheless. Once satiated there was nothing left to do but lounge by the infinity pool at the Barracuda Beach Resort where we spent the night – returning later to Thunder Road for some freshly baked pizzas.

The next morning Al Hamra Cellars was the one stop on the way home. Its fine wine selection is as good as it gets in the UAE as it’s essentially an extension of Dubai Airport’s, Le Clos. And this is where we spent a lot of our time. They have products to suit everyone shopping in this category, as well as an excellent range of Champagne and other bubbles. Well worth the trip!

For now, here are a few of the photo highlights of the trip but over the next couple of weeks, you can expect another post or two that will cover our tips and trips for buying alcohol in the UAE. So stay tuned. 

The Wines we tasted

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