Clubs and bars step up ID checks
ABU DHABI // Bars and clubs have been told to ask customers for their Emirates ID or passport to ensure they are old enough to drink alcohol.
The minimum age for drinking is 21 and managers said they were under renewed scrutiny and faced fines of up to Dh40,000 if they were caught serving younger people.
Residents aged up to 30 have had their identification checked in recent weeks to ensure they were not under age.
“We have been told to check IDs for a long time but now it is more strict,” said Salman Ahmed, manager of Porters in the Grand Millennium Al Wahda. “The authorities have instructed us to check everyone.”
Mr Ahmed said that only passports, Emirates ID, GCC national IDs and driving licences would be accepted, as outlined by authorities.
Photocopies would no longer suffice.
“They strictly said that the guests must carry one of the originals,” he said.
“We have been reminded of this law and we need to enforce it more.”
Mr Ahmed said establishments had been told to post a sign at entrances telling -patrons they needed to carry a valid ID.
CID officers visit without notice “any day and any time, and if we are not doing it we will face a penalty”, he said.
“Age, you can tell from looking at the person, but CID said they have caught people with fake IDs in the past few weeks or months, so they have advised us to make sure we are checking,” he said.
Denis Balung, a supervisor at McGettigan’s at Al Raha Beach Hotel, said staff found fake IDs quite regularly, but they were usually easy to spot.
“Checking IDs is part of the procedure. We need to do it and we have been for along time,” Mr Balung said.
“It is difficult to tell if there has been an increase in the amount of fake IDs, but it does happen and we do reject them to the best of our ability.”
Yousef Al Bahar, a criminal lawyer, said all bar patrons should carry documents at all times.
“That’s the law, it has been for a while. Those entering these establishments should carry a valid ID and those checking must accept only original forms of valid ID,” Mr Al Bahar said.
“And those caught with fake identification are tampering with the implementation of the law and are susceptible to punishment accordingly.”
Updated: April 18, 2017 04:00 AM