Ahead of the 2022 World Cup, Qatar’s relationship with and the legal framework surrounding alcohol has come into sharp focus. For a select, er, large group of fans, Saturday afternoons at the football game are inconceivable without a plastic pint, but for supporters traveling to the Middle East, mainstream lad culture and behavior will have to be altered and curbed. What supporters should know about drinking beer in Qatar is provided below.
Qatar’s alcohol policies
The following advice is taken from Gov.UK’s travel recommendations for Qatar visitors: “Being drunk or drinking in public is illegal. British nationals have been detained in accordance with this law, usually, after the police have become aware of them as a result of related activity like disorderly or offensive behavior. For instance, drinking in public places is punishable by a fine of up to QR 3,000 or a jail term of up to 6 months.
Only authorized hotel restaurants and bars serve alcohol, and foreign nationals living in Qatar can only get it with a permit. Don’t take alcohol with you anywhere (except to take it on the day of collection from the warehouse to your home). In Qatar, the legal drinking age is 21, and any establishment that serves alcohol will require a valid photo ID upon entry.”
Is alcohol legal in Qatar?
Alcohol is legal to consume in Qatar. The country’s legal drinking age is 21, but there are very strict regulations regarding beer, bourbon, and other alcoholic beverages. Alcohol consumption and intoxication are prohibited in public.
A competition insider recently told the Telegraph that drunken fans are unlikely to be sent to Qatari prisons for minor infractions, so there may be a slight relaxation of the rules for the World Cup. The “Hayya card,” which grants visitors a permit to enter Qatar and access to the stadium, could be canceled if fans engage in acts involving flares and fireworks or engage in altercations. Alcohol is typically only sold in establishments with special licenses, such as hotels, bars, and restaurants. Its importation is prohibited, and violators risk the death penalty.
Will alcohol be served in the stadiums?
At the World Cup in Qatar, alcohol will be available in the stadiums. Three hours prior to kickoff and one hour after it, fans can purchase and drink beer, but not during the game itself. In the heart of Doha, at Al Bidda Park, the FIFA Fan Festival will be held. Although more details are expected to be released, it is anticipated that fans will have to wait until 18:30 local time to consume alcohol in the fan zone. Coca-Cola and Budweiser will have their goods available as official partners. While alcohol consumption is permitted in this fan zone, fans are advised not to do so in other, undesignated areas.
Prices for alcohol in Qatar
Everyone enjoys complaining about the cost of beer on nights out; if you’ve ever paid £25 for three pints in London, you know how it feels. Sadly, the World Cup won’t be like your neighborhood bar around the corner where you can buy cans of Tuborg for a pound. Instead, the cost of a single pint will be close to ten pounds. The average price for a pint in Qatar is £9.94, which is more than double the price you’d expect to pay in the UK. After the game, all of the Trevors, Kevins, and Big Alans who were rooting for the Three Lions are likely to fly to Burundi, where a drink can be purchased for as little as 59p. That at least takes care of the upcoming holiday.