A leading Dubai official confirmed on Tuesday there was no ban on the use of alcohol in the preparation of food, marking a u-turn over new rules issued in a circular to the emirate's hotels.
Khalid Mohammed Sharif al Awadhi, the director of the food control department, told Arabian Business: "It's a misunderstanding, it's not a ban. Alcohol should be segregated and it should be clear on the menu the food that has been prepared with alcohol. This was the confusion."
He said that food containing alcohol could still be served, provided it was clearly marked in Arabic and English on menus.
He said that some establishments had not been "following the code of practice" with regard to alcohol use, and that was why the circular was sent out last week as a warning, but that chefs had misinterpreted its meaning.
The circular, which has been seen by Arabian Business, clearly stated that the display and sale of food containing alcohol was “strictly prohibited”.
Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Ali, head of food inspection at the Food Control Department of Dubai Municipality, told us earlier on Monday that there was a total ban on the use of alcohol in food, but said he did not think it would harm hotels.
Chefs told Arabian Business on Sunday they were expecting to receive a revised circular on Tuesday, but Al Ali ruled this out.
Al Ali said the reason for the clampdown of an existing law issued in 2003 was following a number of complaints from Muslims about alcohol in food.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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