Cultural differences in drinking in the UAE



The Sharjah Sharia Court sentenced a young Muslim student to 80 lashes for a drink driving offence.

Cultural and religious differences in the UAE mean that the punishment for drinking alcohol would be different for Muslims and non-Muslims.  UAE Law implies that it is prohibited for Muslims to drink but individuals of other faiths are permitted to do so by complying to set rules.  Hotels are allowed to sell alcohol, which must be consumed on site, and expats that hold a valid alcohol license can purchase and consume alcohol in their private residences.

[Liquor store in the UAE]

With Dubai and increasingly other UAE states becoming a melting pot of cultures, both academic and professional environments allow individuals to learn and experience each other’s cultures.  However, one thing is for sure that whatever culture you come from drink driving is a no go!

This 20-year-old student pleaded this was the first time he had drunk alcohol and didn’t know what he was doing when caught driving.  The Judge reduced his sentence to being released on the same day but there was no escaping the 80 lashes!

How aware are you of the cultural and religious differences in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and other UAE states? At Creative Word we are experts in cross cultural training, assisting and training expats and companies with local Arab culture and International cultures in teambuilding and expat relocation courses.

Refer to our courses page for more details.


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