UAE relaxes law on alcohol consumption and fornication




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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has relaxed certain laws criminalising alcohol consumption and fornication.

The announcement was made on the -run WAM news agency and detailed in -linked newspaper, The National.

Details the legal reforms include, allowing unmarried couples to cohabit, loosening alcohol restrictions and criminalising “honour ”.

In the UAE, residents require a liquor licence to purchase, transport or have alcohol in their homes.

But with the development, penalties for alcohol consumption, sales and possession for those above 21 years have been scrapped; thereby allowing who have been barred from obtaining licences to drink alcoholic beverages freely.

According to Associated Press, the country has also permitted “cohabitation unmarried couples”, often categorised as fornication, which had been a crime in the UAE.

The also announced the eradication laws protecting “honour crimes” — a custom in which a male relative may evade prosecution for assaulting a woman accused dishonoring the family.

The punishment for a crime committed to eradicate a woman’s “shame” for promiscuity or disobeying religious and cultural strictures, will now be the same for any kind of .

The legal reforms come as the UAE prepares to host the high-stakes World Expo.

The event, which was postponed owing to the , seeks to bring several commercial activities and some 25 million visitors to the country.

The development is also coming after a historic US-brokered deal to normalise between the UAE and Israel.

TheCable