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Abu Dhabi ends need for alcohol licenses

ABU DHABI (AP): Abu Dhabi, the conservative capital of the UAE, is eliminating its licensing system for alcohol purchases for drinkers after Dubai repeatedly loosened its own rules to boost sales and tourism amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The emirate’s Depart-ment of Culture and Touri-sm announced the new ru-les in a circular dated last week to distributors and li-quor stores, but otherwise did not publicize the decision.

Previously, individuals had needed a license to purchase, transport or have alcohol in their homes. But the new rules appear to only set an age limit of 21 and require drinkers to consume the beverages inside private homes or other licensed areas like bars.

“Residents and tourists will be permitted to buy a-nd possess alcohol from li-censed retail shops, and are allowed to drink within to-urism and hotel establishm-ents, clubs and independent outlets,” the circular says.

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