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Burj Khalifa

In a first, Mideast hub Dubai eases liquor rules for Ramadan

Dubai, the Mideast's desert party town, has just gotten even wetter.

The city-state is breaking new ground with its decision to loosen rules prohibiting day-time alcohol sales during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a move that reflects how much Dubai's rulers value the revenue both tourists and alcohol tax bring into this emirate.

In years past, those wanting a beer or a glass of wine needed to wait until sundown, when Muslims break the daylong Ramadan fast with their first sips of water and their evening meal called iftar. Bars in this city of skyscrapers would also play quiet music and make sure to hide those imbibing behind closed doors and tinted glass during the...