The UAE has moved to revise its Islamic personal laws, loosening restrictions on alcohol and cohabitation of unmarried couples as well as scrapping lenient penalties for “honor killings,” the state media said.
The changes, which were announced on Saturday by the government-run WAM news agency, are intended to “consolidate the UAE’s principles of tolerance” and improve the Gulf nation’s economic and social profile. However, the agency didn’t specify when the new relaxed rules will go into force.
Penalties for alcohol consumption, possession and sales for those 21 and over will be eliminated in the Muslim country, which positions itself as a more Westernized tourist hotspot than other areas in the region. UAE citizens previously required a special license to drink beer and other liquors at bars or at home.
The reform will also allow “cohabitation of unmarried couples.” Such behavior has been considered criminal in UAE for a long time, though the law was rarely enforced against expats living in the financial hub of Dubai and other emirates.
Full story: rt.com