Dubai restaurants banned from cooking with alcohol

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Dubai restaurants will face stiff fines for cooking with alcohol following a municipality ban, a United Arab Emirates newspaper reported on Monday.

The National daily reported that Dubai's municipality sent a notice to restaurants banning the sale of dishes cooked with alcohol and threatened fines of up to 20,000 dirhams (5,445 dollars).

Restaurants had ignored a previous ban on using alcohol, a common element in dishes such as sushi and Teriyaki sauce, and in European cuisine.

"There have been a lot of violations, with hotels often hiding content of alcohol in food from customers," the Abu Dhabi newspaper quoted Ahmed al-Ali, the head of food inspections at the municipality, as saying.

He added that the decision was taken in part after customer complaints.

"This is a Muslim society and visitors to our hotels are our guests. It is important to ensure they are informed about everything," he said.

Islam forbids the production, sale and consumption of alcohol, but Dubai's ban applies only to cooking. Licensed hotels and restaurants with a permit will still be allowed to sell alcoholic drinks.

"If implemented this is going to affect the food industry. In fact, it will change the taste of food in Dubai's hotels," the manager of a Japanese restaurant told the newspaper.