Getting a beer has by no means been simple in Qatar. However shopping for a six-pack will now set you again at the least $26, because of an alcohol tax that went into impact on Tuesday.
Many nations have tried to control alcohol consumption by making ingesting costly. However Qatar, a predominantly Muslim nation that has lengthy had strict limits on the acquisition and consumption of alcohol, has primarily doubled the associated fee in a single day.
A 100 p.c tax, calculated on the earlier gross sales value, has been imposed on all alcohol imports, the nation’s sole liquor retailer, the Qatar Distribution Firm, instructed prospects in a letter.
“All alcohol merchandise imported into the State of Qatar will probably be topic to a 100% excise tax,” in response to the letter, which was posted on Twitter by Stefan Ellerbeck, a journalist at Al Jazeera. “It will end in a 100% gross sales value improve per alcohol product.”
This brings the worth of a 24-pack of beer to 382 Qatari riyals, or about $104, and a one-liter bottle of gin (roughly 33 ounces) to 304 riyals, in response to information stories. The Qatar Distribution Firm confirmed the worth improve, however an worker declined to debate particular costs on Tuesday.
The brand new costs apply solely to foreigners dwelling in Qatar who’ve legitimate permits to purchase alcohol
Guests who need an alcoholic beverage have restricted choices. The authorities confiscate alcohol at Doha Airport, and ingesting in public is banned. Just a few bars in worldwide motels do serve overseas guests, promoting beers for round 50 riyals.
The value will increase that went into impact on Tuesday are more likely to be a fragile topic as Qatar prepares to host the lads’s soccer World Cup in 2022, when a rustic of two.6 million folks will open its doorways to an anticipated 1.5 million worldwide guests. Many have puzzled how a lot Qatari society may bend to accommodate friends who view ingesting as a central a part of the World Cup expertise.
Qatari officers have stated that alcohol consumption could be extra restricted than in different World Cups. They’ve urged that some ingesting could be allowed in designated zones, and that the nation’s courts would deal extra gently with visiting followers who eat alcohol than typical.
The tax improve appeared to be a part of a push to clamp down on “health-damaging items,” in response to a press release launched final month by the Ministry of Finance that didn’t point out alcohol. The brand new tax will improve the worth of sugary drinks by half, whereas the worth of tobacco, alcohol, vitality drinks and pork will double, Walid Zidani, an worker of the ministry, stated by cellphone on Tuesday.