x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Cashiers fired for selling alcohol to unlicensed customers

Abu Dhabi National Hotels fired two cashiers at its Hilton Hotel alcohol store in Al Ain after they were accused of overcharging and selling alcoholic drinks to customers without licences.

AL AIN // Abu Dhabi National Hotels (ADNH) fired two cashiers at its Hilton Hotel alcohol store in Al Ain after they were accused of overcharging and selling alcoholic drinks to customers without licences. ADNH is now installing a point-of-sale terminal with a scanner to replace the pen-and-paper method of recording sales to prevent such incidents.

One visitor from Saudi Arabia said he went to the store to buy some alcohol. Although he did not possess a licence, he was allowed to buy the item - at a premium. "On Thursday I was not charged extra, but when I went back on Saturday, I was charged Dh5 extra per bottle. When I asked why, the clerk pulled out a liquor licence from behind the counter and asked me if I had one. "When I told him I didn't, he said I would have to pay Dh5 more per bottle or he would not allow me to buy. I paid it, but wondered if the Dh5 was going to go to the store or if it would be put in the tip box on the counter after I left."

Another patron, an Egyptian, said he had brought just enough money with him for a bottle that usually cost Dh90. "Suddenly, I was being asked to pay Dh95 when I only had Dh90 on me," he said. "When I was refused the sale, I went out to my car and found Dh5 in coins and went back in and bought the bottle." ADNH have since fired both the store's cashiers. A new cashier on Monday said prices at the store were being changed to reflect those of the company's stores in Abu Dhabi.

"The majority of prices have been reduced," he said. ADNH said that there was no reason for cashiers to charge anyone extra and that tipping was not obligatory. "Anyone found charging extra or demanding a tip will be terminated immediately," an ADNH official said. A licence is required to buy alcohol from shops. They are available only to non-Muslims who earn at least Dh3,000. Licence holders can spend up to 20 per cent of their monthly income on alcohol.

ealghalib@thenational.ae