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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Doha hotels work to meet newly enforced alcohol policy



Some of Doha’s five-star hotels will continue to serve alcohol at their beach parties following an assessment of newly enforced alcohol sales rules – but most hotels’ beach and pool bars will remain alcohol-free.

A memo sent out to hotels last Thursday reminded the country’s luxury hotels that their license to sell alcohol does not extend to public areas such as their pool, beach and lobby, a spokesperson for a prominent hotel who asked not to be identified told Doha News.

This led to the last-minute cancellation of scheduled beach parties at many hotels, and the immediate suspension of alcohol sales by beaches and pools while the hotels sought clarity on the scope of the rule.

Mixed picture

Since then, some hotels have consulted with authorities and decided to continue to sell alcohol at their beach parties.

For example, alcohol will be served at Dutch DJ Laidback Luke’s set at the Intercontinental on Thursday night, as planned.

Jared McCulloch, who runs Iconic Qatar, the event’s organisers, told Doha News:

“The whole area we use is encased in fencing, making it not a public area. We also check IDs and abide by rules which state we can’t admit people wearing national dress. This is normal standard procedure for us. We are business as usual.”

Meanwhile, the St Regis, which hosts popular Reggae nights on its beach, told us that these events – and other private parties – will continue, with a cordon around the area and an ID check.

It will no longer, however, be serving alcohol around its pool or on its beach.

“We continue to have dialogue with the authorities to make sure we meet the local regulations,” a spokesperson for the hotel told us.

Meanwhile, the Doha Marriott Hotel off of the Corniche told Doha News that its beach parties will continue, but similarly confirmed that no alcohol will be sold at other times in its public areas. The Hilton Doha’s Tiki Time party on Thursday night will also go ahead with alcohol on sale.


Other hotels, however, still have their beach events on hold, including the Four Seasons. A spokesman there told us that he was “not able to comment at this point, as we’re still trying to seek further clarity on the rules.”

And when contacted by phone this morning, the Ritz-Carlton also told us that all alcohol sales around its pool and on its beach remain suspended.


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