The United Arab Emirates has relaxed its Islamic laws by allowing the consumption of alcohol, criminalising “honour killings” among other legal reforms as it looks to boost investment and become an even more attractive tourist destination. In its legal reforms, the UAE has also scrapped punishment for allowing unmarried couples to live together. The Gulf country has also criminalised the “honour killings” custom.
The development comes a few weeks after US President Donald Trump brokered a historic peace deal normalising relations between the UAE, Israel, Sudan and Bahrain.
Human rights groups have lashed out at the UAE and other Gulf countries in the past, accusing them of killing hundreds of women over activities such as eloping, fraternising with men or anything of a similar nature which could be seen as bringing “dishonour” upon the family.
The Gulf country has also warned men of harassing women or stalking them, adding that those found guilty of the offenses will be punished.
The government defended the overhauling of Islamic laws, saying that it was an attempt to consolidate “tolerance principles” into the country’s laws and ensure a better investment environment.
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.
Source: The News