UAE announced major relaxations in Islamic Personal Laws.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced major changes in its Islamic laws. The country has decided to loose the restrictions on alcohol, to allow cohabitate unmarried couples and to loose criminalization of honour killings.

Highlights

The new rule allows Muslims to drink alcoholic beverages freely. Earlier, the people  required license to purchase and transport liquor and to have alcohol at homes. Now, the rule has scrapped penalties for alcohol consumption, sale an possession for people aged 21 and above. Further, in a recent move, the Government has also liberalized the laws that protect the honour crimes in UAE. The UAE government has  relaxed the law that supported a tribal custom under which a male may evade prosecution.

What does it signifies?

The amendments into the laws have broadened the personal freedoms. It signifies the changing profile of a country that seeks to present itself as a skyscraper-studded destination for Western tourists. This also reflect the efforts of the Emirates’ rulers so as to maintain pace with a rapidly changing society. These amendments would permit foreigners to avoid Islamic Shariah courts on issues involving marriage, divorce and inheritance.

Background

The background of the amendment lies into US-brokered deal to normalize relations between the UAE and Israel. The normalized relation is expected to bring huge number of Israeli tourists and investment.

Why UAE has relaxed the norms?

UAE’s economy has greatly affected amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  As per the International Monetary Fund, the economy of the country will contract by 3.5% in the year 2020. Therefore, UAE has been taking every step and relaxing the norms to boost its economic growth. It will ease the lifestyle of the foreigners who are supposed to be the major contributors of the economy of the country.