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9 July 2019 01:30 pm

Qatar hotels facing alcohol shortage; hiking prices! [UPDATE]

nabeela
nabeela
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[Update] 9 July 2019

According to the latest update we've received Qatar Distribution Company (QDC) has just reduced the prices of alcohol by almost 30%, and stock is back.

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7 July 2019

According to sources in a number of hotels around Qatar, most hotels are facing a shortage of alcohol for the last two weeks, with supplies dwindling to a bare mimimum, and, as a result, have hiked their prices to deal with this shortage. One of the main reasons cited for this shortage is that shipments are getting stuck at the General Authority of Customs in Doha. This is causing a delay in releasing these shipments to QDC which is Qatar’s main hub of alcohol distribution. Hence, the supply is short and hotels are facing the brunt of it.

We contacted QDC, but customer services said they could not provide us any further information on the subject.

Rumours doing the rounds on the alcohol shortage

No one seems to quite know the reason for the alcohol shortage in Qatar and why it's taking so long to replenish alcohol supplies in Qatar, but there are some rumours doing the rounds on various social media platforms.

One rumours on various Facebook and Reddit posts is that QDC is waiting for a supposed reduction in the Excise Tax - levied under Act No. (25) of 2018 and implemented on January 1, 2019, on certain unhealthy goods. According to this Selective Tax Law, tobacco products, alcohol, energy drinks and special purpose goods incur a 100% tax and carbonated drinks incur a 50% tax - before they pick up alcohol shipments from Customs.

Another rumours is that QDC refuses to pay the tax, and that's why the shipment is not being released to them.

Reports on international media on alcohol shortage

There have been reports on international media that football fans from around the world may not visit Qatar to watch the FIFA World Cup 2022 if the shortage continues.

Selective Tax Law implementation

As part of Qatar’s aim to limit consumption of such consumer items, while raising government funds for public services and reduce the country’s dependency on hydrocarbon resources, the General Tax Authority of Qatar implemented the Selective Tax Law at the beginning of the year and is also taking measures to improve voluntary tax compliance.

As a result, the cost of alcohol and the other items mentioned above went up. In the case of alcohol, QDC which imports and stores it, is responsible to pay the tax as are the hotels that stock and sell it, according to the Tax Department at the Ministry of Finance.