Qatar raises cost of 24-pack of beer to £82 three years ahead of World Cup

Prices double overnight as Gulf state welcomes 2019

Samuel Osborne
Tuesday 01 January 2019 21:23
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World Cup 2022 host Qatar to introduce 100 percent alcohol tax

Qatar has introduced a 100 per cent tax on alcohol, doubling prices overnight.

The tax came into effect on New Year’s Day in the conservative Gulf state, which will host the World Cup in 2022.

The price of a 24-pack of beer cans rose to 384 riyals (£82.73), while a litre bottle of gin will cost 304 Qatari riyals (£73.25).

Wine has also become more expensive, with a 75cl of Shiraz from South Africa on sale for 86 riyals (£18.50).

The tax is part of the Muslim state’s levy on “health-damaging” goods and was announced by the Qatar Distribution Company – the country’s only alcohol retailer.

While it is legal to buy and consume alcohol in Qatar with a permit, drinking in public is against the law.

World Cup organisers have said alcohol will be available during the tournament, but only in designated drinking areas.

Footage shared on Twitter showed people rushing to the shops to buy alcohol as news of the price increase spread.

One person joked: "Must have had too much to drink yesterday evening as I woke up to fuel prices lower by 25 per cent and alcohol prices up by 100 per cent. I though the goal was to save the planet. Not my liver."

Another said: "Thinking of my friends and family living in Qatar at this difficult time ... Qatar gov just put a 100 per cent tax on all alcohol effective tomorrow ... thoughts are with you all."

It comes as the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan introduced a law sharply limiting the sale of alcohol.

The Muslim majority Asian nation banned the sale of alcoholic drinks on trains, aeroplanes and ferries and at sports facilities.

It also banned the sale of alcohol on holidays when workers get the day off, and calls for alcohol sales to be banned on Saturdays and Sundays beginning in 2021, except at bars and restaurants.

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