A 100-percent excise tax has been imposed on all alcohol imported into Qatar, a move that will result in an equal price increase to all “foreigners living in Qatar who have valid permits to buy alcohol,” according to a report in The New York Times.
Qatar Distribution Company, the only liquor retailer in the country, told its customers in a letter dated December 31 that the tax, part of the country’s effort to reduce the impact of “health-damaging goods,” would “result in a 100 percent sales price increase per alcohol product.”
Per the NYT:
This brings the price of a 24-pack of beer to 382 Qatari riyals, or about $104, and a one-liter bottle of gin (roughly 33 ounces) to 304 riyals, according to news reports. The Qatar Distribution Company confirmed the price increase, but an employee declined to discuss specific prices on Tuesday.
The increase would be notable in any context, but as both NYT and The Spirits Business note, Qatar is preparing to host the 2022 men’s soccer World Cup, and over a million visitors are expected to attend. In 2016, officials in Qatar announced that public consumption of alcohol would be banned throughout the tournament, and that ban includes consumption in stadiums. But the World Cup being the World Cup, people are probably going to find a way to sneak it into the stadium. Now it’ll just cost more to illegally bring your booze into a soccer match.
Alcohol isn’t the only product that will be affected by the new import tax. The prices of tobacco, pork, and energy drinks are also expected to double.