Moore faces drinking charge in Dubai

DUBAI, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Former Australia defender Craig Moore is set to be charged with illegally drinking alcohol after being arrested in the Gulf emirate last week over an alleged altercation with a policeman, a prosecutor said on Wednesday.

Moore, who has been released on bail, allegedly argued with a taxi driver over a $13.60 fare, Dubai police said last week.

The 34-year-old, who retired after the World Cup in South Africa, was also accused of having an altercation with a policeman who arrived on the scene, police said.

Sami al-Shamsi, a Dubai chief prosecutor, told Reuters that Moore faced one charge relating to the illegal consumption of alcohol although he did not disclose any further details. Al-Shamsi said complaints of evading a taxi fare and insulting a policeman had been dropped.

An attorney said charges of illegal drinking usually lead to fines, although imprisonment is not ruled out.

Gulf tourism and financial hub Dubai allows drinking in bars, mostly located in hotels, and non-Muslim residents can obtain a licence to purchase alcohol.

The liberal Muslim emirate has attracted hundreds of thousands of expatriates by its tax-free laws and year-long sunshine.