Now I know my brother won’t be visiting me. “Bananas Foster” — one of his favorite desserts — is now banned in Dubai.

It isn’t alone. Menu items like coq au vin and tiramisu would also be nibbles non grata: Dubai Municipality has decided to enforce a 2003 law banning items made with alcohol. Reading the story in The National, the reason why seems unclear.

Yes, this is a Muslim country and alcohol is forbidden. But most hotels have a liquor license and serve it openly. They also serve pork, which is also banned under Islam. In fact, items made with alcohol are usually marked with an “A” like items containing pork have a “P” to the side.

Apparently, there is a grace period for restaurants to comply — clearly the Japanese restaurant I ate in yesterday is taking advantage of that since that was definitely sake the chef put into my shrimp. Eventually, owners fines of between 5,000 dirhams ($1,360) and 20,000 dirhams ($5,445)

Just another example of how rules and etiquette can seem to be in flux around here. It certainly keeps you on your toes.

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