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UAE allows alcohol for muslims, criminalises honour killings

DUBAI: The UAE has allowed muslims to consume alcoholic beverages and has criminalised honour killings whilst also allowing unmarried couples to live together in a step to become more tolerant towards diverse cultures.

A bartender mixes drinks at Zuma, Dubai.

The Gulf country warned men of harassing women adding that those found guilty of harassment would be punished.

“There will be tougher punishments for men who subject women to harassment of any kind, which is thought to cover street harassment or stalking,” The National reported.

The UAE government defended overhauling Islamic laws, saying that it was an attempt to consolidate “tolerance principles” into the country’s laws and ensure a better investment environment.

“I could not be happier for these new laws that are progressive and proactive,” said Emirati film-maker Abdallah Al Kaabi. “2020 has been a tough and transformative year for the UAE.”

Alcohol consumption allowed

The legal reforms have also done away with penalties for consuming, selling and possessing alcohol for those 21 and over, according to the government.

In the past, individuals needed to have a liquor license to keep alcohol in their homes or to buy it or transport the product. The new law will make room for Muslims, who couldn’t previously consume alcoholic beverages as they were not permitted to have licenses, to drink it freely.

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