Qatar and Alcohol - Rules & Requirements
iVisa | Updated on Sep 20, 2023

Qatar is a destination in the Middle East, known for its growing tourist interest among travelers. This may be because it is one of the conservative countries in the area with more straightforward access. It is located on a peninsula that extends into the Arabian Gulf and has only one land border to the south with Saudi Arabia. The rest of the territory is surrounded by the waters of the Persian Gulf.

This country is distinguished by its unique culture and history, which, on the one hand, is conservative and traditional but has also been involved in technological and architectural advances. This makes it one of the countries with the highest income worldwide.

This positioning has grown due to the fact that in 2018 it was announced as the host country for the 2022 World Cup. Since then, it has become one of the most important tourist destinations in the Middle East.

If you want to visit Qatar, you might need to present the Qatar Entry Pre-Registration to enter the country. iVisa can help you obtain this document pre-arrival and make planning your trip easier!

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What travel document do I need to travel to Qatar, and what do I need to do?

The pre-registration system on the Ehteraz website or the Ehteraz mobile app is a document that allows travelers to enter the country and allows the health authorities to monitor arrivals in Qatar. This is a Single Entry document. It is mandatory and valid for 30 days after arrival.

However, there are some exceptions like the following:

  • All residents and visitors under 18 traveling with a parent or adult.
  • Tourists holding the NHS UK COVID Pass or EU COVPass.
  • Citizens and residents of Qatar who have been fully vaccinated in Qatar and approved by the health authorities.

To obtain this document, iVisa offers an easy 3-step application form:

  • Step 1: Fill in all your travel information in our online questionnaire, then choose your preferred processing time.
  • Step 2: Verify that all your information is correct before paying to avoid any problem in the process. Then pay the iVisa service fee.
  • Step 3: Finally, upload the required documents and submit the application form.

You will receive the completed form via email, and you must save it in an easy-to-access place on your mobile device or even print it out, as you will be asked to present it at airline check-in or on arrival to Qatar.

If you need more information, contact our experts, who will advise you.

How much does the Pre-Registration Entry Form cost?

You can select from three payment and processing options based on your travel budget and needs.

  • Standard Processing Time: 24 hours - .
  • Rush Processing Time: 8 hours - .
  • Super Rush Processing Time: 4 hours - .

Drinking alcohol in Qatar

Many tourists ask a big question when traveling to a conservative country: Can you drink alcohol in Qatar?

The answer to this question is that people can consume alcoholic beverages, but there are strict local laws on consumption. For example, drinking alcohol in public places such as the street, parks, or vehicles is a crime; being drunk in public is a crime; drunk driving or attempting to traffic alcohol is considered disorderly or offensive behavior. These offenses are taken seriously and can be punishable by fines, deportation, or even imprisonment, depending on the degree of the act and the judge's sentence.

To understand how alcohol works in Qatar, it is worth remembering that it is a Muslim country, so to consume alcohol, you need to go to an establishment that has the country's official sales license, in addition to paying a special tax known as "sin tax."

Why can't you drink alcohol in Qatar?

There is a great controversy when visiting Qatar because it is presumed that during the visit to the country for tourism or the development of an important sporting event, there will be many limitations for foreign visitors regarding alcohol consumption. That is why many of the attendees are wondering why you cannot drink alcohol in that country.

The main reason you cannot drink alcohol in Qatar is that it is a Muslim country with more conservative customs than other nations. For this type of culture, alcohol is not allowed, as they consider it a substance that produces inappropriate actions, is harmful to health and makes you a sinner.

Despite all this, Qatar is not a dry country in terms of alcohol, since it has a crowded visit of foreign tourists. That is why it has created unique places where alcohol can be consumed, always with a special permit.

Can I travel to Qatar with alcoholic beverages in my luggage?

No! Qatar prohibits the import of alcoholic beverages. There is only one company authorized to import and distribute alcoholic beverages in the country, Qatar Distribution Company. Therefore, you must respect local laws to obtain alcohol or carry alcohol near the stadium.

Anyone trying to enter the country with alcoholic beverages in their luggage or bought at duty-free shops will be checked at customs. After that, they will be confiscated at the airport. Not to mention the warning that the corresponding authorities will surely give you the payment of a fine, or they might not even authorize you to enter the country.

Can I buy alcohol in Qatar?

The Qatar Distribution Company is the only entity that can import, distribute or sell alcohol in the country. It is also the only authority to give permits to establishments serving alcohol like licensed hotel restaurants, local restaurants, bars, nightclubs, or other premises for the sale of liquor.

A tourist cannot obtain this type of permit, as it is only for residents of the country. On the other hand, if a citizen wants to buy alcohol for his personal consumption, he must obtain a special permit from the Qatar Distribution Company. To get it, he must submit a signed letter on letterhead from his employer, specifying his job title, salary, legal drinking age, address, religious affiliation, and marital status.

But don't worry. Tourists and residents can consume alcohol in restaurants, bars, and certain licensed hotels without applying for a personal permit. However, in order to enter these places, you must show an identification, which is usually scanned and recorded at the entrance. If you do not carry it, you will be denied entry.

A different FIFA World Cup

Qatar's World Cup stadiums will be alcohol-free for the first time in the history of the sporting event. In addition, the sale of alcoholic beverages will only be allowed before and after some matches, outside the stadium, at points selected by the FIFA Club World Cup tournament organizers.

This year's World Cup will be held in a Muslim country for the first time, with strict measures on alcohol. This represents a unique challenge for organizers of an event that is often associated with football fans of beer or other alcoholic beverages and is frequently an official beer sponsor that advertises some teams.

However, to cater to visiting fans in 2022, consuming alcohol will be available in additional designated areas during the tournament. Still, they will have set hours and requirements to enter these spaces.

Travel with iVisa

If you want to learn more about how to travel to Qatar, at iVisa, we can offer you all the information you need about any travel document. Don't hesitate to contact our Customer experts or email them at [email protected]; you can do it 24/7.

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