Will UAE’s relaxation of laws regarding alcohol and ‘cohabitation of unwed couples’ stir a reaction in Muslim world?

Some of the changes include scrapping penalties for alcohol consumption, sales, and possession for those 21 and over.

Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced a major overhaul of the country’s Islamic personal laws on Saturday, allowing unmarried couples to cohabitate, loosening alcohol restrictions, and criminalizing so-called “honor killings.”

According to the state-run WAM news agency, the government aims to improve legislation and the investment climate in the country, as well as consolidate “tolerance principles.”

According to the state-linked newspaper The National, the changes will happen with immediate effect.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, and the de facto ruler of the UAE, Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (right), and the ruler of Dubai, and the Vice President of the UAE, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (left).

Likewise, the changes reflect the Emirati rulers’ efforts to keep pace with a rapidly changing society at home.

“I couldn’t be happier for these new laws that are proactive and progressive,” said Emirati film-maker Abdallah Al Kaabi, whose art has challenged taboo topics such as homosexuality and gender identity.

“2020 has been a resilient and transformative year for the UAE.”

The move follows a historic U.S.-brokered deal to establish relations between Israel and the UAE, which is expected to bring Israeli tourists and investment.

Some of the changes include scrapping penalties for alcohol consumption, sales, and possession for those 21 and over.

Although liquor and beer were widely available in bars and clubs in the luxuriant coastal Emirati cities, individuals earlier needed a government-issued license to buy, transport, or have alcohol in their homes.

People drink alcoholic beverages at a restaurant overlooking the Marina district in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

The new rule would allow Muslims who have been barred from obtaining licenses to drink alcoholic beverages freely.

(Getty Images)

Another amendment allows for “cohabitation of unwed couples,” which has long been a crime in the UAE.

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The government also decided to eliminate laws protecting so-called “honor killings,” a widely criticized tribal custom in which a male relative may evade prosecution for murdering a woman seen as dishonoring a family.

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

Attempted suicide, forbidden in Islam, would also be decriminalized.

(Kamran Jebreili/Associated Press)

In a state where expatriates outnumber citizens nearly nine to one, the amendments will allow foreigners to avoid Islamic courts on matters such as inheritance, marriage, and divorce.

The move comes as Dubai gets ready to host the high-stakes World Expo.

The event is organized to bring a flurry of commercial activity and around 25 million visitors to the state after it was pushed back a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments below.

  • Next will be GBLT..Gay..Lesbian marriage have legeal status..I want to see Sharjah..What they will do??Indoors.already every things going openly in UAE..Now it’s easy for foreigners..UAE should called themselves as a Secular state by constitutional if they have..It’s better for them to eased more restrictions for West peoples..

  • کیا اس طرح کے اقدامات بلآخر انہیں عراق بننے سے بچا لیں گے

  • Religion is a piece of shit. It’s always use to manipulate people and use it fir your own advantages. Time is wake up and negate all religions

  • Inki barbadi shro ho chuki ha or ye dobara shayad ye Muqam na pa sake.
    Mojoda dor k bad tareeen muslman yahi log hn,
    In sha Allah bht Jald inko eska badla milega or tab ye log emaaan sa b farigh ho chuke honge.
    Jo Jiska dost hoga usi k sath uthaya jaega @Israel @america @European.
    Ye sab maloon hn Jinko Mou ki Khani paregi
    Allah Islam ko ghalib Kare k phr ham inko badla den.

  • They are going against ALLAH his prophet Muhammad (PBUH) just because of economy , if they will keep continuously breaking the Islamic rules ALLAH can destroy them and bring some others who will follow ALLAH command.

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