Alcohol Purchase and Consumption
The religion of Islam plays a strong role in the Qatari way of life. Extra care must be taken to respect this way of life, especially when it comes to the consumption of alcohol. The importation and consumption of alcohol is strictly regulated. While alcohol will be available in most hotel restaurants and bars, you will need to obtain a liquor permit in order to purchase alcohol for consumption in your home.
Alcohol Sale and Liquor Permits
You may purchase alcohol for home consumption in only one place in Qatar, the Qatar Distribution Company (QDC), + 974 4469-9412. However, you will need to apply for a liquor permit first. In general, you must have a residence permit in order to start the application process. This requirement may be waived if you have an authorized letter from your employer (GU-Q) confirming your position, salary, marital status, etc. Upon request, the Office of Human Resources will provide you with this letter. In addition to the letter, you will need to complete an application form (available at the QDC) and pay a QR1,000 refundable cash deposit.
The QDC is closed during the whole month of Ramadan and in the period around religious holidays or observances, such as Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha. Only the card holder can enter (you will be asked to show your permit to get into the parking lot) and no children are allowed. The QDC offers an extensive selection of wine, beer, and spirits from all over the world. You will also find a variety of pork products there.
There is zero tolerance for drunken behavior or driving a car under the influence of alcohol, even a small amount. Severe penalties can include fines, imprisonment, or deportation.
It is illegal to gift, sell, or exchange alcohol.
Liquor purchased through the QDC must be taken directly home and should be kept concealed while driving.