Qatar has introduced a 100% tax on alcohol from today.
The “sin” tax comes weeks after the Gulf state announced plans to introduce a levy on “health-damaging” goods.
The policy was revealed by the Qatar Distribution Company, the country’s only alcohol store, in a 30-page list of new prices for beer, wines and spirits, citing the introduction of a 100 per cent “excise tax.” It might be time to Buy shiraz online for all the expats out there.
The list was widely shared on social media and showed drinks doubling in price overnight, as it detailed charges which come into effect from Jan 1.
Booze prices were already high – and following the changes, a one litre bottle of gin will now cost 304 Qatari riyals (£73.25), while a 24-pack of beer cans will cost 384 riyals (£82.73).
The cost of a bottle of wine is pricey but not as steep, with 750ml of South African Shiraz now set to cost 86 riyals (£18.53).
Although Qatar is an overwhelmingly Muslim nation, it is legal to buy alcohol with a permit, and alcohol is served in licensed bars, clubs and hotels. However, drinking in public is banned.
The price hikes are likely to be a sensitive subject in the run-up to the World Cup in 2022.
Organisers of the football tournament say alcohol will be available for fans in designated areas, but forbidden in public spaces out of respect for the country’s traditions.