Drinking Alcohol in Qatar: Important Rules To Know (2022)

Many people are not aware of the alcohol laws in Islamic countries. Some Muslim countries have very strict laws about alcohol, while others are more relaxed. In general, drinking in public and possessing alcohol without a permit is illegal in most Islamic countries.

Some exceptions exist, and rules may vary from country to country. For example, in some Gulf countries, only Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, and non-Muslims can buy alcohol from authorized sellers.

So if you’re planning on travelling to an Islamic country like Qatar, it is important to understand the laws regarding the possession and consumption of alcohol in Qatar. Here is our detailed guide based on our thorough research.

Recent Updates

Drinking Alcohol During Qatar World Cup

As Qatar is a conservative Islamic country, there have been many speculations about the sale and consumption of alcohol during the FIFA World Cup 2022. Following are the updates as of 18 November 2022:

  • Alcoholic beverages will be sold to fans at FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations and licensed venues.
  • Alcoholic beverages (including beer) will not be sold at World Cup stadium perimeters.
  • Bud Zero (zero-alcohol beer from Budweiser) will be available at all of Qatar’s World Cup stadiums.

On 18 November, FIFA announced a ban on selling alcoholic beverages in the vicinity of FIFA World Cup 2022 stadiums in Qatar. This was announced through a statement on social media by the FIFA Media department. 

Qatar World Cup FIFA Announcement on Alcohol
Statement From FIFA

The FIFA statement is as follows:

“Following discussions between host country authorities and FIFA, a decision has been made to focus the sale of alcoholic beverages on the FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations and licensed venues, removing sales points of beer from Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium perimeters.”

“There is no impact to the sale of Bud Zero which will remain available at all Qatar’s World Cup stadiums.

“Host country authorities and FIFA will continue to ensure that the stadiums and surrounding areas provide an enjoyable, respectful and pleasant experience for all fans.”

“Host country authorities and FIFA will continue to ensure that the stadiums and surrounding areas provide an enjoyable, respectful and pleasant experience for all fans.”

“The tournament organizers appreciate AB InBev’s understanding and continuous support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.” the statement added.

Bud Zero Price in Qatar

If you are wondering how much Budweiser Zero costs in Qatar World Cup stadiums, a 500 ml can of Bud Zero costs QAR 30 (USD 8.20) inside the stadium. Here is the full food menu and price list inside World Cup stadiums.

You can also buy Bud Zero from some regular grocery stores at the price of QAR 31 / QAR 34 per 6 cans or bottles of 330 ml.

Budweiser Zero Bottles and Cans

Other brands of non-alcoholic beer such as Bavaria, Bundaberg and Efes, are available at regular grocery stores for around QAR 4-8 per 300 ml bottle/can.


Is Alcohol Allowed in Qatar?

The answer is yes! Consumption of alcohol bought from authorized suppliers is legal in Qatar, but here is the catch: drinking in public is strictly prohibited and punishable by law. It is legally allowed for tourists and non-Muslim residents to drink in private as long as they do not get intoxicated and create a nuisance for others.

At present, bars, clubs, and high-end restaurants licensed by hotels serve alcohol to guests over the age of 21. Non-muslim residents can buy liquor for home consumption from a state-controlled distributor through a permit system.

Qatar Laws Regarding Alcohol

Drinking alcohol in public or being found drunk is illegal and can attract heavy fines and even jail terms. Public drinking, for example, may result in a prison sentence and/or a fine of up to QAR 3,000 (USD 825). 

Punishment For Drinking Alcohol in Qatar

Below are the alcohol-related offences and punishments as per Qatar’s Law No 11 of 2004:

ArticleOffencePunishment
270Drinking any alcoholic beverage in a public place or opening a store or a house to trade in alcoholUp to 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to QR 3,000
270Being found drunk on the main road or, being intoxicated disturbing othersUp to 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to QR 3,000
271Giving a person under 16 years of age an alcoholic beverage or inciting him to drink alcoholUp to 3 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to QR 10,000
272Importing, exporting, making, extracting or producing alcohol or alcoholic beveragesUp to 3 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to QR 10,000
273Selling, buying, delivering, receiving, transporting or possessing alcohol or alcoholic beverages, or dealing with alcohol in any way for the purpose of trade or promotionUp to 3 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to QR 10,000
Qatar Laws Regarding Alcohol

Driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other psychotropic substances is a serious crime. Offensive behaviour, disturbing public life, swearing and making rude gestures are all offences that can result in jail time and/or deportation. In the past, several foreign visitors and expatriate residents have been arrested under these laws.

Transporting alcohol within the country is also not recommended, except on the day of collection from the warehouse.

Legal Age To Drink in Qatar

In Qatar, the legal age to drink is 21 years. Establishments serving alcohol will require an original photo ID upon entry. Offering alcohol to minors is a legal offence.

Where To Buy Alcohol in Qatar

Currently, alcohol can be consumed by residents and tourists in designated places, such as bars, clubs, or hotels. Regular restaurants do not serve alcoholic beverages, but licensed restaurants inside hotels may serve them.

Qatar residents over 21 years can also purchase alcohol from the Qatar Distribution Company (QDC) outlet if they have a pre-approved license. Please note that this is for their own home consumption, and they are not allowed to sell it to others.

Alcohol in Qatar During Ramadan

Alcohol consumption in Qatar will be more restricted during the Holy month of Ramadan. During the day, some hotels may serve alcohol as part of room service, but bars and restaurants will be closed. Bars, clubs, and restaurants will be open at night.

The QDC outlet will be normally closed during the month. However, license holders can buy additional quotas during the previous months. The next month of Ramadan will be from March to April 2023.

Alcohol in Qatar Airport

If your final destination is Doha, alcoholic beverages cannot be imported under any condition as they are classified as “Prohibited Goods”. All baggage arriving at Doha Airport will be scanned, and any illegal import will be subject to penalties by Customs law.

Some airlines, such as Qatar Airways, allow transit passengers to carry alcoholic beverages in receptacles not exceeding 5 litres. Please check with your airline about their policy for transit passengers.

NOTE: You are not allowed to drink any alcoholic beverage while you are at the airport. Drinking is allowed inside the aircraft, subject to airline policies.

Traveller drinking alcohol in flight

Serving Alcohol in Qatar Airways

Qatar’s national carrier Qatar Airways typically serves alcohol to onboard travellers (if requested). A wide variety of alcoholic beverages are available on most Qatar Airways routes, including beer, wine, and spirits. Cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages are also available.

However, the service of alcoholic beverages onboard will be more restricted during the Holy month of Ramadan.

Buying Alcohol at Qatar Duty-Free

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

You are not allowed to buy alcoholic beverages from Qatar Duty-Free if your final destination is Doha.

If you are a transit passenger planning to leave the airport and visit the city for a few hours or days (transit visa or visa on arrival), you should declare your alcoholic beverages to Customs officials. They will store these beverages and release them while you are leaving Doha.

Conclusion

To conclude, drinking alcoholic beverages is a sensitive subject in Qatar. It is not widely accepted in the local culture nor encouraged at public meetings. However, those wishing to drink in moderation are free to do so at their residence or in a private space. The only condition is that the liquor should be purchased through legal means, and consumption should not create any issues for the public.

READ NEXT: QDC Qatar License Application & Renewal Guide


FAQ On Drinking Alcohol in Qatar


Is alcohol banned in Qatar?

Importing alcohol is banned in Qatar, but you can buy from authorized dealers such as QDC, licensed bars, clubs, and hotels.

Do restaurants serve alcohol in Qatar?

Only licensed high-end restaurants inside hotels are allowed to serve alcohol in Qatar.

Is alcohol expensive in Qatar?

Alcohol is relatively more expensive in Qatar as it is regulated and subject to high taxation, including the 100% tax on harmful goods introduced in 2019.

Can you drink alcohol in Qatar?

Adults can drink alcohol in Qatar at some designated places (bars, clubs, hotels, or approved fan zones) or at private places after purchasing from licensed sellers.

Is alcohol legal in Qatar?

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

Can you drink beer in Qatar?

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


Related Articles:

  1. Prohibited Items in Qatar World Cup Stadiums
  2. What To Wear in Qatar: Dress Code For World Cup
  3. Qatar Entry Requirements During World Cup
  4. How To Change Hayya Card Application Details
  5. How To Get Hayya Physical Card
  6. How To Get UAE Visa With Hayya Card
  7. How To Get Hayya Card Without Match Ticket
  8. Is Smoking Allowed in Qatar: Know The Rules

Copyright © DohaGuides.com – Full or partial reproduction of this article in any language is prohibited.

References: Al Meezan Legal Portal, Qatar Customs Law


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4 thoughts on “Drinking Alcohol in Qatar: Important Rules To Know (2022)”

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  1. Can a match ticket holder carry a bottle of Scotch (sealed) in our checked baggage to Doha during WorldCup Soccer ?

  2. This will cause people to drink heavily before they go to the game(or tailgate and drink a lot). The end result will be worse than allowing beer sales in the stadium.

  3. There are bars that serve alcohol in side passport control at the airport, so yes, you can consume alcohol inside the airport. Just don’t get wasted.

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