Qatar introduces ‘sin tax’ on alcohol0:25
Qatar has introduced a 100 percent ‘sin tax’ on alcohol, weeks after the conservative Gulf state announced plans to introduce a levy on ‘health-damaging’ goods.
The increase means a case of 24 beers will cost more than $150.
It is legal to buy alcohol in Qatar with a permit, and alcohol is served in licensed bars, clubs and hotels. However, drinking in public is banned.
- January 2nd 2019
- 4 months ago
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Qatar has doubled its price of alcohol overnight by introducing new taxes on ‘health damaging goods’. Picture: iStockSource:istock
World Cup 2022 host Qatar has introduced a massive tax on alcohol, doubling the price overnight after rolling out its ‘sin tax’ on January 1.
A government official confirmed the 100 per cent tax on alcohol, which led to long queues of people ahead of the rollout, who wanted to stock up on cheaper booze.
The ‘sin tax’ has doubled the price of beer in Qatar, sparking outrage ahead of the World Cup in 2022. Picture: GettySource:Getty Images
The ‘sin tax’ was introduced just weeks after the conservative Muslim Gulf state announced in its annual budget statement that it would introduce a levy on “health-damaging goods”.
The policy was revealed by the Qatar Distribution Company, the country’s only alcohol store, in a 30-page list of new prices for beer, wines and spirits, citing the introduction of a 100 per cent “excise tax”.
The list was widely shared on social media and showed drinks doubling in price overnight, as it detailed charges which come into effect from January 1.
When asked if the document was genuine, a government spokesman told AFP: “it is true”.
With the new levy, a 100cl bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin will now cost 340 Qatari riyals ($AU135, 81 euros) and a 75cl of Shiraz wine from South Africa will be sold for 86 riyals ($AU34, 20 euros).
I left #Doha at the right time. #sintax gone crazy pic.twitter.com/0fzLC1Zl4J
— jane dutton (@janedutton) December 31, 2018
A 24-pack of Heineken 330ml beers will now cost 384 riyals ($AU152, 92 euros).
In comparison, the same case of beer in Australia costs $45 and a bottle of Bombay Sapphire is $75 at Dan Murphys.
It is legal to buy alcohol in Qatar with a permit, and also to drink in licenced bars, clubs and hotels — although drinking in public is banned.
The issue of alcohol is likely to be a sensitive subject in the run-up to the World Cup in four years’ time.
Critics say the levy has been introduced as an attempt to claim back money spent on hosting the event.
Another reason why Qatar should never have been given The World Cup to host, a ridiculous "Sin Tax" being imposed on alcohol, meaning a 24 can case of beer is approx. £80! One way of getting some of the money back they've spent out! #WorldCupjoke
— KenBW (@Kenbw1960) January 1, 2019
Tournament organisers in Qatar have said alcohol will be available for fans in designated areas, but not in public spaces, out of respect for the country’s traditions.
Qatar hotel bars after the 100% sin tax on alcohol. #alcohol #sintax #qatar #prices pic.twitter.com/cpKCeW1RLt
— Andy (@BlueinQ) January 1, 2019
Qatar says the move is to wean people off addictive substances.
It’s reported the tax also includes an increase in the price of cigarettes and energy drinks by 100 per cent and soft drinks by 50 per cent.