Qatar introduces 100% alcohol taxBy Melita Kiely
World Cup 2022 host Qatar has introduced a 100% ‘sin tax’ on all alcohol products effective from 1 January 2019.
The tax hike comes under the Selective Tax law, which was revealed in the country’s annual budget in December last year with an aim to impose taxes on “health-damaging goods”, including tobacco and energy drinks.
Reports suggest the tax hike has pushed the cost of a litre bottle of gin to 304 Qatari riyals (£73.25/US$93).
The tax increase was revealed when the Qatar Distribution Company, the country’s only alcohol store, released a statement on social media yesterday (1 January).
It is legal to buy alcohol in Qatar if you have a permit, and alcohol is served in licensed bars, clubs and hotels – though drinking in public is prohibited.
The statement said: “The State of Qatar, ministry of finance, tax department has advised that with effect from 1 January 2019, all alcohol and pork products imported into the State of Qatar will be subject to a 100% excise tax, calculated on the current retail sales price.
“This will result in a 100% price increase to QDC [Qatar Distribution Company] customers.”