Qatar World Cup: There’s just one off licence and followers should make an appointment to buy there

World Cup revellers heading to the off licence face prison-style safety measures in Qatar.

The nation’s solely liquor retailer is situated in a dusty neighbourhood on the outskirts of the capital, Doha. Right here, guards stand responsibility at a gated compound ringed with razor wire, rigorously checking passports and permits earlier than permitting anybody inside.

Inflexible limits on alcohol are a truth of life on this conservative Muslim nation, which follows the identical strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam as its neighbour Saudi Arabia.

Soccer followers coming to Qatar for the World Cup bought a style of that simply earlier than the event as authorities cancelled beer gross sales at stadiums.

Alcohol is barely obtainable contained in the fan zone, FIFA Fan Competition – the place €13 Budweisers are offered – different fan locations and at licensed accommodations, eating places and bars.

Followers say the World Cup and alcohol go ‘hand in hand’

“To not say that you simply want alcohol to gas your life, nevertheless it’s time,” says Ed Ball, an American who created a web based map of bars in Doha, which has been seen over 875,000 instances.

“The concept being handed round that you would be able to’t drink in Qatar is improper. There are locations,” he continues. “I do know [drinking is] not a part of Qatar … nevertheless it’s a part of the World Cup. One of many largest sponsors is Budweiser so it simply goes to indicate you it type of goes hand in hand,” he provides.

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Those that imbibe ought to concentrate on the nation’s strict guidelines on alcohol. Ingesting in public locations and being drunk are each an offence, as is providing alcohol to Muslims. As soon as bought, alcohol have to be hidden from sight and brought straight residence. Supporters should not permitted to carry alcohol into the nation or outdoors designated zones.

Qatar’s state-controlled off licence requires a allow to enter

Along with the bars, there’s the off licence the place non-Muslim residents can store after making use of for a government-issued licence.

Situated subsequent to an Indian college in Doha’s Abu Hamour neighbourhood, it’s run by the Qatar Distribution Firm, a state-owned enterprise underneath the umbrella of Qatar Airways, which holds unique rights to manage alcohol permits, and distribute alcohol and pork within the nation.

The shop – at present the one one promoting liquor in Qatar – operates on an appointment system.

In addition to alcohol, it sells a small collection of frozen pork pepperoni pizzas, slabs of bacon, Spam and cans of pork and beans.

How a lot does alcohol price in Qatar?

In Qatar’s liquor retailer, bottles of wine largely run from €12 as much as €43. A litre of Absolut vodka goes for €40, whereas a litre of Jack Daniels whiskey units you again €66. A 24-pack of normal Budweiser cans prices almost €50.

Bars in Qatar usually scan IDs of these heading in, with many engaged on a voucher system in the course of the event to ensure followers spend no less than a certain quantity.

Why is alcohol banned in some Center Jap nations?

Throughout the broader Persian Gulf, alcohol stays banned in Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the sheikhdom of Sharjah within the United Arab Emirates. Ingesting alcohol is taken into account haram, or forbidden, in Islam. Imams level to a verse within the Quran calling wine “the work of Devil”.

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However the area as an entire has a protracted historical past with alcohol, itself an Arabic phrase. The eighth century poet Abu Nawas was even identified for his ‘khamriyyat’, or ‘wine poems’.

Each alcohol and pork face a 100 per cent import responsibility in Qatar. The nation says it makes use of the tax income to enhance well being care, infrastructure, schooling and different public providers.

Guests should not allowed to carry alcohol into the nation. Many accommodations are dry and prohibit company from bringing alcohol to their rooms.

Even with these restrictions, Qatar offered 23.2 million litres of alcoholic drinks in 2021, in response to knowledge from Euromonitor Worldwide. Although dwarfed by the United Arab Emirates’ 115 million litres offered in the identical interval, Qatar’s numbers present a 14.6 per cent progress because the pandemic waned.