Football fans will be sad to learn that drinking in Qatar has just become extortionately more expensive thanks to a new “sin” tax. In the run-up to the World Cup, this new tax will likely put a dampener on the travel plans of many.
The new tax comes after the Gulf state announced plans to tax “health-damaging” products. The new tax is at 100 per cent and this now means that the price of a bottle of Gin will rise to £73.25 and a case with 24 cans of beer will now priced at a staggering £82.73. A bottle of wine will now cost £18.50.
The tax is likely to also affect the prices of tobacco, energy drinks, products containing pork and sugary drinks. Similarly, the UK implemented a sugary drinks tax in April of last year.
Alcohol can be legally purchased in Qatar by those with a permit and by individuals at licensed bars, clubs and hotels. Importing alcohol however, drinking in public or appearing drunk in public spaces is illegal and punishable by a prison sentence.
The new drinking tax comes into effect just as preparations for the 2022 World Cup begin. Event organisers have said that alcohol consumption will be allowed in designated areas but not in public spaces in order to respect the country’s traditions which follow Islamic laws and customs. Muslims are forbidden from consuming drugs, alcohol, blood, pork, or meat that is not halal.
The 2022 World Cup is expected to bring over 1.5 million visitors to the Gulf state. The choice of Qatar to host the sporting event has been met with controversy due to allegations of bidding corruption, the alleged mistreatment of foreign workers who have been building the stadiums and worry over player health due to the high temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius during the summer months when the tournament will take place.