Upon doing research on Qatar you may run into the fact that alcohol is very scarce. Consuming alcohol in Doha is frowned upon by the locals, which may lead you to wonder where you can find it if you do want a night cap. You may have even wondered can I buy alcohol in Doha Airport. Here’s what you need to know about that.
Can you buy alcohol in the Doha airport? Yes alcohol can be purchased inside Doha Airport. You can buy alcohol on your way out, but not on your way in. All bags are scanned by customs, so if you try to sneak some in, they’ll find it.
There are certain rules involved which must be remembered and followed to avoid any mishaps at the airport while enjoying your holiday.
Know The Rules Regarding Alcohol
If you’ve never been to Doha airport before you’re in for a treat. It’s full of shops, including those that allow you to peruse and buy lots of duty-free items including souvenirs and alcohol.
It’s important to mention that the country is a Muslim country and has many rules and regulations that may not be obvious to casual visitors. By researching the area ahead of your trip you should be able to navigate your way through the airport with ease, especially if you want to take some tax-free spirits home with you.
You can buy alcohol on your way out, but not on your way in. The alcohol bought inside Doha Airport may not leave Doha Airport until your departure. In most cases, especially if you’re just there for a quick stopover, you can just keep any alcohol you purchase on you.
If you will be staying for a few days, or want to leave the airport for any reason, you must declare and check your alcohol with a customs agent. If allowed you may be able to leave your alcohol with them and then be able to retrieve it before leaving.
Your other, and possibly better, option would be to just wait to purchase it until you’re just about ready to board and depart. This will allow you to roam wherever you’d like, throughout the airport and even out in Doha, without having to constantly worry about your items.
Qatar citizens are not allowed to purchase alcohol inside the airport. You must show your passport in order to purchase it, so be sure to keep it on you.
Qatar, Doha more specifically, has designated markets where they allow expats to purchase alcohol. Citizens and expats are limited and their allowance amount for alcohol is mainly based on their salary among other factors. The alcohol supplied to them is sold with an additional “sin tax” imposed.
Citizens and residents can only purchase alcohol from the QDC (Qatar Distribution Center). Understandably, the Qatari government is not going to give their residents a way to avoid paying exorbitant costs and those extra taxes for something they consider sinful.
You cannot drink any alcohol that you buy at the airport in Doha, including inside the airport. When you purchase it at the airport it will be duty-free and it should be provided to you inside a transparent and tamper-proof bag that is sealed. You must also make sure that it comes with the purchase receipt. That bag is to remain closed for the duration of your visit to Doha and time at the airport.
What Happens If I Drink Alcohol In The Airport Or Bring Some Into Doha?
All bags are scanned by customs, so if you try to sneak some in and they find it, it will definitely be confiscated at bare minimum. There’s not much worse things in life than throwing away hard-earned money unnecessarily.
The worst thing that would happen if you were caught possessing, or worse drinking, alcohol where you shouldn’t would be that it’d get confiscated AND you would be subject to additional fines. Getting caught publicly intoxicated in this country would probably even land you in jail. There are only a couple of places you’re allowed to drink as a visitor and that’s at the major hotels and some select restaurants.
Remember, there are no exceptions to Qatar’s rule. They consider drinking a sin, so all alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited from being imported in any way.
Other Important Information
One other thing that will need to be well researched is the rules that are imposed by other places that you are going to be flying to. While you may be able to purchase alcohol in the Doha airport and bring it on the plane, you must make sure that your next stop will allow you into their country with it as well.
Most airline websites offer rules and restrictions regarding bringing items onboard and through customs. Some restrictions, when it comes to alcohol, include prohibiting it altogether, limiting the amount that you can bring, and what you can do with it once you arrive.