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Qatar Alcohol Laws : Drinking Alcohol Complete Guide 2024

QDC

In countries where Islam is the main religion, there are rules about alcohol that some people may not know. Some countries follow these rules very strictly, while others are not as strict. Basically, it’s against the law to drink alcohol in public or have it without permission in most of these countries.

Different countries have different rules about alcohol, and there are exceptions to these rules. For instance, in certain countries in the Gulf region, only Muslims are not allowed to drink alcohol, but non-Muslims can buy it from authorized sellers.

If you are going to visit an Islamic country such as Qatar, it’s important to know the laws about having and drinking alcohol there. We have done some research and made a guide with all the information you need to know..

Table of Contents

Can You Drink Alcohol in Qatar?

Yes, it’s allowed to drink alcohol in Qatar if you buy it from authorized sellers. However, you can’t drink it in public as it’s against the law. Tourists and non-Muslim residents can drink in private as long as they don’t cause any disturbance or get too drunk.

Currently, only hotels with licenses are allowed to serve alcohol to guests over 21 at bars, clubs, and high-end restaurants. Non-Muslim residents can get a permit to buy liquor for personal consumption from a state-controlled distributor.

Qatar Alcohol Laws :

It’s against the law to drink alcohol in public or to be drunk in public in Qatar. If you are caught doing either of these things, you could face severe penalties, including heavy fines and even imprisonment. For example, public drinking could result in a fine of up to QAR 3,000 (USD 825) or a prison sentence.

Penalties for Drinking Alcohol in Qatar

The following are the alcohol-related crimes and penalties based on Qatar’s Law No 11 of 2004:

ArticleOffencePunishment
270Drinking alcohol in public or selling alcohol from a store or houseUp to 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to QR 3,000
270Being drunk on the main road or causing a disturbance while intoxicatedUp to 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to QR 3,000
271Providing alcohol to a person under 16 years old or encouraging them to drink alcoholUp to 3 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to QR 10,000
272Bringing in, taking out, manufacturing, extracting, or producing alcohol or alcoholic beveragesUp to 3 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to QR 10,000
273Engaging in selling, buying, delivering, receiving, transporting, or possessing alcohol or alcoholic beverages for the purpose of trade or promotionUp to 3 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to QR 10,000

Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other psychotropic substances is considered a grave crime. Additionally, engaging in offensive behavior, such as disturbing public life, swearing, and making rude gestures, are all considered offenses that carry potential penalties of imprisonment and/or deportation. It is crucial to note that in the past, numerous foreign visitors and expatriate residents have been apprehended and prosecuted under these laws.

Carrying alcohol within Qatar is not advisable, except on the day it’s collected from the warehouse.

Minimum Drinking Age in Qatar

You must be 21 years old to legally drink in Qatar, and establishments that serve alcohol will ask for an original photo ID as proof of age. Providing alcohol to minors is a criminal offense.

Where to Purchase Alcohol in Qatar

At present, individuals can consume alcohol in specific locations, such as bars, clubs, or hotels, as long as they are residents or tourists. Ordinary restaurants do not serve alcoholic drinks, but authorized restaurants within hotels may do so.

Individuals who are over 21 years old and Qatar residents can obtain alcohol from the Qatar Distribution Company (QDC) store if they have an approved license. However, they may only consume the alcohol in their own residence and are not permitted to sell it to others.

Alcohol Restrictions in Qatar During Ramadan

The consumption of alcohol in Qatar will face stricter regulations during the Holy month of Ramadan. Bars and restaurants will be closed during the day, but some hotels may offer alcohol through room service. These establishments will be operational at night.

The QDC outlet will be closed during the month of Ramadan. However, individuals with a license can purchase additional quotas in the preceding months. The upcoming Ramadan month is expected to occur from March to April 2023.

Alcohol Availability in Qatar’s Airports

If you are traveling to Doha, it is important to note that alcoholic beverages are classified as “Prohibited Goods” and cannot be imported under any condition. All luggage arriving at Doha Airport will be scanned, and any illegal import will be subject to penalties under Customs law.

Transit passengers travelling through Doha on some airlines, such as Qatar Airways, may be allowed to carry alcoholic beverages in receptacles that do not exceed 5 litres. It is advisable to confirm with the airline about their policy regarding transit passengers and alcohol.

Note : Consuming alcoholic beverages is not allowed within the airport premises in Qatar. However, airlines may have their own policies on serving alcohol on their flights.

Qatar Airways Policy on Serving Alcohol

Qatar Airways, the national airline of Qatar, offers a range of alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, and spirits, to its passengers during flights. Non-alcoholic beverages and cocktails are also available on most Qatar Airways routes.

During the Holy month of Ramadan, the service of alcoholic beverages onboard Qatar Airways flights may be more restricted.

Purchasing Alcohol at Qatar Duty-Free

If you are traveling from or transiting through Doha to any other country, you can purchase alcohol from Qatar Duty-Free shops inside Hamad International Airport. However, please check the maximum alcohol allowance for your destination country beforehand. You will need to show your passport and boarding pass to make the purchase.

If Doha is your final destination, you are not allowed to purchase alcoholic beverages from Qatar Duty-Free.

For transit passengers planning to exit the airport and explore the city of Doha for a brief period, whether it be a few hours or days, while holding a transit visa or obtaining a visa on arrival, it is mandatory to declare any alcoholic beverages in your possession to Customs officials. These officials will securely store the items during your stay and return them to you upon your departure from Doha.

FAQs about Drinking Alcohol in Qatar

Is alcohol banned in Qatar?

Importing alcohol is prohibited in Qatar, but authorized dealers such as QDC, licensed bars, clubs, and hotels offer alcohol for sale.

Do restaurants serve alcohol in Qatar?

Only licensed high-end restaurants within hotels are permitted to serve alcohol in Qatar.

Is alcohol expensive in Qatar?

Yes, alcohol is relatively more expensive in Qatar due to strict regulation and high taxation, including the introduction of a 100% tax on harmful goods in 2019.

Can you drink alcohol in Qatar?

Yes, adults can consume alcohol in Qatar at designated places such as bars, clubs, hotels, or approved fan zones, as well as in private settings after purchasing from licensed sellers.

Qatar is not an entirely dry country when it comes to alcohol. Alcohol purchased by adults from authorized sellers is legal in Qatar.

Can you drink beer in Qatar?

Alcoholic beer follows the same restrictions as other alcoholic beverages. You can consume beer at designated places or in private settings after purchasing from licensed sellers. Non-alcoholic beer is available at regular stores.

Are there any limitations on the amount of alcohol you can purchase in Qatar?

Yes, there are limits on the quantity of alcohol that individuals can purchase from authorized sellers. These limits vary depending on the person’s residency status.

No, public consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited in Qatar. Alcohol should only be consumed in designated areas like bars, clubs, hotels, or private residences.

Are there any specific laws regarding drunk driving in Qatar?

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a severe offense in Qatar. Strict penalties, including imprisonment and fines, are imposed on individuals caught driving while intoxicated.

Can tourists or visitors bring their own alcohol into Qatar?

No, tourists and visitors are not allowed to bring alcohol into Qatar. It is illegal to import alcohol without proper authorization.

Are there any religious or cultural restrictions associated with alcohol consumption in Qatar?

Yes, Qatar is an Islamic country, and Islamic principles and cultural norms are followed. It is important to respect local customs and traditions, consume alcohol responsibly, and be mindful of local sensitivities.

Related Article : QDC announces new online appointment system for store and Office Permit

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Written by Saleh wasim

Blogger who writes topics such as Employment, News, travel, sports, events and life in Gulf.

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