Dubai bans cooking with alcohol…for some minutes


News broke out a couple of days ago about Dubai government banning the use of alcohol in cooking in hotels and restaurants. The municipality said it had sent a circular to all food establishments in Dubai last week ordering them to stop the sale of any dishes containing alcohol.

That’s bye bye to juicy steaks, Ciao to sweet tiramisu and sayonara to richly flavored teriyaki dishes!


It is absurd and just complete non-sense because inside hotels and restaurants (and even in our homes) we can consume alcohol to go with food but cooking food using alcohol – which, evaporates when fired up (think pan exploding with fire when alcohol is poured) – is a no? Dubai just reached a new level of weirdness.

Food lovers were up in arms and voiced out their outcries in Twitter and Facebook. Several of our Japanese chef friends were disappointed with the new law. Japanese restaurants will surely be badly hit if this nonsense prevail. A teriyaki will simply be not teriyaki without rice wine!!

So, in full Dubai journalism style, Dubai retracted, a few minutes after the first report. Bring back the coq au vin! Eat and dine with wine and be merry!

They said the “ban” was lifted because it was misunderstood. Cooking with alcohol is permitted as long as restaurants declare them and separate them in the menu.

And all is well in desert land again.

Photo credit: Chicken teriyaki cooked at my home, by me.


  1. As I am currently outside looking in at the UAE, it seems that there is a constatnt struggle brewing between the local Emirates who make policy over there. On one hand, they need the tourism income and need to maintain the image and feel that Dubai is more European (Western) than Middle Eastern. Underneath it all, however, it is still an Arabic country and the Islamic rules, morals and laws are dearly held sacred by most who are in control. Anyone outside of the UAE paying attention can see the struggle between traditional morals and standards and the necessity to keep the economy afloat. After all, isn’t it in the master plan to make Dubai “the” world’s top tourist destination? British newspapers are already making a big deal about the couple going to jail over a kiss on the cheek. You think that’s going to help tourism? Laws are made, everyone squawks, laws are recinded. It’s actually quite amusing.



  2. This is a interesting news. If some food don’t add the alcohol, the tastes is not fragrant. Now, the juicy steaks, Ciao to sweet tiramisu and sayonara to richly flavored teriyaki dishes all come back, ah!



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