Qatar is an Islamic country and so one would need a special license or permit to purchase pork and alcohol products. These products, which are not halal, are also subject to 100% sin tax (excise tax), which are applied to specific goods typically deemed harmful to human health and the environment.
Qatar Distribution Company (QDC) is the sole importer, distributor and retailer of alcohol and pork products. It's also the authority that issues permits to hotels, clubs, and restaurants in the country so they can sell liquor to their customers.
At Qatar Distribution Company (QDC):
- Alcohol can be bought directly by license/permit holders for home and personal consumption.
- Non-muslims can only buy pork products with a license/permit.
So if you're interested in purchasing these products and applying for a permit, here's a quick guide on what you need to know.
ALSO READ: How to apply for QDC permit online
Who is eligible to apply for a QDC license/permit?
- Non-GCC citizen with a valid Qatar Resident Permit
- Over 21 years old
- Basic salary of at least QR 3,000 per month excluding all allowances
Some non-RP/non-QID applicants on a multi-entry visa can apply under special circumstances. The criteria that must be met for individuals who are working in Qatar on a multi-entry visa or other types of business visa:
- Must be residing in Qatar for a minimum of 3 months
- Must be residing in private accommodation in Qatar (not hotels)
- These details must be confirmed in writing by the employer or sponsor based in Qatar
How to apply for a new QDC permit?
Here are the requirements you need to apply for a new QDC permit:
- Letter in English from employer addressed to QDC or "To Whom It May Concern", which contains the following:
- Breakdown of monthly salary (basic salary, allowances)
- Accommodation entitlement must be shown either as free housing provided by the employer or as a monthly allowance
- Signed by authorized signatory and stamped by the company
- Dated within the last 3 months
- Original company letterhead
- QID validity of more than 2 months
- Completed QDC application form - available in the Permit Office waiting area or at the Parking Guard Room
- Other requirements that may be asked:
- Bank statement
- Employment contract
- CR copy
- The applicant should pay the license fee on a pro-rata basis based on the validity of QID. The license fee is not refundable. You can pay using a debit or credit card.
|PERMIT VALIDITY||ANNUAL FEE|
|1st year||QR 150|
|2nd year||QR 250|
|3rd year||QR 350|
|4th year||QR 400|
You can book an appointment online to go to the Permit Office through the QDC website.
What do you need to remember once you have your QDC permit?
- Permits are for personal use only.
- You'll find out your monthly quota (for alchoholic beverages) after the application process is complete.
- Only main and joint permit cardholders are allowed inside the retail store. No guests, spouses without joint cards or children of any age will be allowed to enter the retail store.
- Pork products will be sold to non-muslims only.
- You cannot purchase without your permit card.
- Any transfers observed on QDC premises will result in confiscating goods and suspension or cancellation of the permit.
- The permit holder and goods must be in the same vehicle and taken to the permit holder's residence directly.
- The permit holder must conceal the goods from public view in transit.
- Consumption of alcohol products must be at the permit holder's residence only and cannot be sold to others or given as a gift.
- It is not permitted to transfer the liquor to another person even if they hold a valid permit.
How to get an extra permit for your spouse?
An additional card can only be issued to the spouse of the current permit holder, provided that the spouse has a valid Residence Permit. Both the permit holder and spouse should apply in person together.
How to book an appointment online?
QDC started its online appointment on 31 May 2020. Find out more details here for the QDC online appointment system for the store and permit office.
How to order from QDC online?
Those with a QDC license can also pre-order items directly from the QDC website through the Click & Collect service.
- Choose the Click & Collect button on the QDC homepage
- Enter log in details
- Select date & time of collection
- Add items to the cart
- Review and pay online
- Collect your order from the QDC shop
Things you need to remember when ordering through Click & Collect
- You can cancel your order up to 24 hours before the collection date & time through the QDC Contact Us page.
- You can change your collection date and time up to 24 hours before the previously selected date & time.
- You can not change your order.
- You'll get confirmation of your order through email.
- You can view your orders on the "My Orders" tab on the QDC website.
- Only a main cardholder or a joint cardholder (linked to the main cardholder) can collect an order.
- If you miss your collection date & time, your order will be cancelled, so you have to place a new order.
- Pork products are not available for purchase online.
What is the maximum validity of the permit?
- According to QDC, the expiry date will be shown in the format MM/YY.
- The permit will be valid up until the last day of the month shown.
- You will be allowed one purchase 30 days after the expiry date to allow you time to renew the permit.
- Usage within 30 days is conditional upon you having a confirmed retail store appointment booked before the last day of expiry of the card.
How to renew your QDC permit?
- If your employer is still the same, you can renew online through the website or book an appointment online to renew in person. You must have a valid QID.
- If your company, role, salary, accommodation status, etc., changed, you need to submit the required documents as per the new permit application. You have to apply in person and submit the updated application form along with the documents.
- If under family sponsorship, you will need to get a new letter from your employer and present your QID card every time you renew. (Qatar Residence Permit validity should be more than 2 months).
- The applicant should pay the license fee on a pro-rata basis based on the validity of QID. You can pay using a debit or credit card.
What do I do if I lose my permit card?
- You must notify QDC immediately by emailing them at [email protected] so that the lost card can be disabled.
- For replacement, you will need to first get a Retail Store Visit appointment. You will then have to go to the Permit Office with your QID or Qatar driving license or passport.
- If the permit is still valid, a new card will be issued under the same number but with a new card code.
- If the old card is found, it should be discarded as the code will be disabled in the QDC system.
- If the permit has expired, then it must be renewed before a replacement card can be issued.
How to cancel the QDC permit?
There are two ways to cancel your QDC permit:
- You can visit the QDC permit office to request your card to be cancelled and surrender your permit card.
- If you cannot visit in person or have already left Qatar, then you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your permit details so that your card can be cancelled.
Qatar Distribution Company (QDC) details:
- Umm Al Jefairat، Doha (Abu Hamour area, off Wholesale Market Road)
- West Bay Hotel Park (Sheraton Road, Hotel car park entrance at Basement Level 1)
- Website: https://www.qdc.com.qa
- Contact number: +974 4429 9777
- Opening hours: Saturday to Thursday- 8:30 am to 7:00 pm; Friday- 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm
- Facebook: @QatarDistributionCompany
- Email: [email protected]
RELATED: QDC West Bay branch is now open
Source: Qatar Distribution Company (QDC)
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