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Dubai eases liquor rules for Ramazan

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Dubai had broke new ground with its decision to soften rules prohibiting daytime alcohol sales during Ramazan.

The decision has been hailed as a move that reflects how much Dubai’s rulers value the revenue both tourists and alcohol tax brings into this emirate.

In years past, those wanting a beer or a glass of wine had to wait until sundown, when Muslims break their fast with their first sips of water and Iftar.

Bars in Dubai would also play quiet music and make sure to hide drinks behind closed doors and tinted glass during the holy month.

However, just before Ramazan this year, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing issued a notice to hotel managers across the emirate.

Bars and nightclubs in Dubai are limited to operating inside of or connected to hotels — even drink receipts at the Dubai International Airport show up as coming from a hotel attached to the airport.

The notice issued on May 31 informed hotels that during the dates encompassing Ramazan, alcohol sales would be governed by normal rules, as opposed to limiting their hours.

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing said, “Ensuring a superlative visitor experience consistently is at the centre of our destination proposition and remains in line with Dubai’s significance as a world-class tourism destination.”

The tourism department also did appeal to tourists to respect Ramazan rules.

“With nearly one million tourists expected to visit and enjoy all aspects of our city over Ramazan, we expect all operators and travellers to be respectful of the holy month and be mindful of cultural sensitivities,” the department added.

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