Dubai bans alchohol in food
Dubai, March 22, 2010
The Dubai municipality, in a significant move, has ordered all the hotels and food establishments in the city to stop selling dishes containing alcohol, said a report.
The municipality had last week sent a circular to the food establishments across Dubai in this connection, the National reported. As per the circular, alcohol will no longer be an ingredient in dishes served in Dubai’s restaurants, the report added.
Those violating the ban will face fines of Dh5,000 ($1,360) to Dh20,000, a municipality official was quoted as saying.
The circular also called upon the outlets serving alcoholic drinks to keep them separate from food products during storage, preparation and display.
However, managers at restaurants and hotels were 'shocked' at the new order, which they said could damage business.
Leading hoteliers said the ban is going to have a big affect on the food industry since most of the items such as steak-and-ale pie, sushi and teriyaki are made with alcohol apart from some sauces, cakes and chocolates.
Some chefs pointed out that the ban will hit their menus and argued that 'it will change the taste of food in Dubai’s hotels.'
However, the municipality officials said the circular was partially the result of complaints from customers.
“There have been a lot of violations, with hotels often hiding content of alcohol in food from customers,” said Ahmed al Ali, the head of food inspections at the municipality.
“This is a Muslim society and visitors to our hotels are our guests. It is important to ensure they are informed about everything,” he was quoted as saying.
Though Municipality officials said an inital grace period will be permitted, some hotels have begun removing the 'alchohol dishes' from their menus.