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Monday, March 1, 2021

QDC to close for nearly two weeks ahead of Eid Al-Adha holiday

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For illustrative purposes only
For illustrative purposes only

Qatar’s sole liquor store Qatar Distribution Company (QDC) will for the first time be closed for nearly two weeks in the run-up to and during Eid Al-Adha next month.

The outlet in Abu Hamour, which allows residents who have a permit to buy alcohol for home consumption, is likely to be shut for 13 days, with its last day of trading expected to be on Sept. 12.

It will reopen around Sept. 26, depending on the official date of Eid, a representative said.

The move comes after hotels in Qatar have also been instructed by the government to cease selling alcohol in the nine days prior to Eid and on the first day of the celebration itself.

QDC
QDC

While the dates for Eid have not yet been formally fixed and are dependent on the sighting of a new moon, Eid Al-Adha is expected to start around Sept. 23.

QDC refused to officially comment on the closure or confirm the dates when Doha News called, saying: “It’s a sensitive subject.”

However, customers with liquor licenses were told about it when inquiring over the phone, and a notice outlining the closure dates is expected to be posted on the doors of the store “soon,” a store official said.

Hotel closures

Previously, QDC remains closed during the first days of Eid Al-Fitr, Eid Al-Adha, and other public holidays such as Qatar National Day (Dec. 18). It also does not open at all during the month of Ramadan.

Long lines snake around the store for days ahead of the start of the holy month, as customers stock up ahead of its closure.

QDC
QDC

Earlier this year, the Qatar Tourism Authority contacted all hotels in the country, telling them they would not be allowed to sell alcohol for the first 10 days of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah, when Muslims perform the Hajj.

At the time, a representative of one five-star Doha hotel said that during the week or so leading up to Eid Al Adha, restaurants and bars would not be allowed to serve or sell alcohol, and minibars in guest rooms would not be permitted to stock it.

However, it is understood that guests would be able to order alcohol through room service, as long as it was consumed in private in their rooms.

Even for observant Muslims who are not performing Hajj, the first 10 days of this month are believed to blessed days to undertake good deeds.

Thoughts?

68 COMMENTS

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Susan
Susan
5 years ago

Can’t wait for the comments to start rolling in!

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
5 years ago
Reply to  Susan

My kind of person 🙂

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
5 years ago

Well done 🙂

AEC
AEC
5 years ago
Reply to  Ibrahim Ali

For who? Those who are being denied something or those who would wish to deny something to others?

Grantley
Grantley
5 years ago
Reply to  AEC

It’s the hypocrisy that bothers me. It is sinful to profit from something that is considered to be haram ie pork and alcohol so QDC is a glaring beacon of hypocrisy.

AEC
AEC
5 years ago
Reply to  Grantley

Not too loud thanks – they might close it for good!

KK
KK
5 years ago
Reply to  AEC

No it will not be closed. Too profitable for its owners.

Grantley
Grantley
5 years ago
Reply to  KK

Absolutely.

Peaches
Peaches
5 years ago

This for me just seems like a public acknowledgment that Muslims drink alcohol. Whether it is open or not should not have an impact on the celebration of Eid. I think this is just a publicity stunt to sell more alcohol. Nothing sells faster than things that will soon become unavailable.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
5 years ago
Reply to  Peaches

Amen!

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  Peaches

Your logic is funny

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

Utter madness. QTA making sure that Qatar is off limits to a large number of the world’s tourists, when they are supposed to be encouraging people to come and visit. Don’t they realise that people from other places have different cultural profiles and don’t want to be dictated to by a tourism authority! Also why as a legal resident of the county should I have my freedom of choice denied to me? I’m not Muslim so the 10 days before hajj mean nothing to me.

It is the same for other countries who offer halal food to Muslim guests even in some places the majority of the population find the practise disgusting and abhorrent.

Qatar needs to decide want it wants to be, because it is failing to stand for anything currently.

AEC
AEC
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

1.5 billion Muslims should generate a few tourists. And not all of the other 5 billion in the world drink. I do get your point though – not exactly going for international…

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Not really 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, Shias/ahmadis to mention two are not considered true Muslims and I would wager at least 30% of the 1.5 billion drink, especially when on holiday.

Kz
Kz
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Yes you sat in your living room and decided 30% of them drink. Lol. Also people travel to visit new places and not to sit in some dingy bar and have a drink.

Yves
Yves
5 years ago
Reply to  Kz

Yes, I find it kind of sad that people get so worked up over not having alcohol. The mind is man’s greatest asset, doesn’t make sense why one would be so fixated on dumbing it down.
As well, I agree when I travel I want to see the culture, people, architecture, etc. not sit a bar.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Yves

That’s your choice and good for you. I’m just asking for other people’s views:belief/faith not to be imposed on me. It’s discrimination

Pete
Pete
5 years ago
Reply to  Yves

I don’t think it’s about not having alcohol. It’s about senseless decisions.

Yves
Yves
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

So according to you Shias are not Muslims? I am not Shia…just thought it was an interesting perspective from yourself.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Yves

No not according to me. People can be what they want, however some Sunni Muslims do not consider them true Muslims. Some go as far as killing them as we see the slaughter in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq to name a few. Don’t even get on the ahmadis they are considered even worse!

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

“Sunni Muslims do not consider them true Muslims.” Oddly enough, I, a Sunni Muslim, do consider them Muslims. Also, Dr. Al Qaradawi, have often spoken in defense of that view. Last but not least: they are allowed to enter Makkah, so, even Saudia Arabia considers them to be Muslims!

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Unfortunately not even one is as reasonable as you. Looking from the outside I see Qatar hosting Taliban members implicated in the murder of thousands of Shias in Afghanistan, Islamic state murdering Shias by the thousands. Iraq once saddam left turned into one giant ethnic cleansing as Shias and Sunnis murdered each other.

Before you say these people don’t represent Islam we must not forget that Mr Al Qarawdi also supports violence. He endorsed the beating of wives, the killing of apostates and suicide bombers.

So for an outsider, he doesn’t see one Muslim umrah, he sees an ever ending sectarian war over who are the true Muslims

Yves
Yves
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I am sorry but whether some consider them to be or not, is not really a legitimate reason to not consider them Muslims. You stated that in your estimate of Muslims in the world you would not include them. It would be like calculating the Christians in the world and not including Protestants or whatever because some Christians out there don’t believe they are “true” Christians. I really could careless what some people think. If I am going to do a calculation I will do it based on fact and the fact is they fall under the umbrella of Islam.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Yves

I don’t care who is Muslim or not or what shade of Muslim. If that is their choice I have no problem with it. It seems within the greater Muslim umbrella there are many interpretations and done lead to violence and murder.

For example in the bad example of a country Pakistan, citizens have to swear that the founder of ahmadis who consider themselves Muslims is a false prophet.

That is discrimination on a countrywide scale!

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Deleting this thread bc it’s off topic.

KK
KK
5 years ago
Reply to  AEC

And your source of 1.5 Bn Is what ?

AEC
AEC
5 years ago
Reply to  KK

Rough guess – few hundred million in the sub-continent, few hundred million in Indonesia and one or two in MENA What’s your guess?

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I’m curious; while in the U.S., do you complain about malls that don’t open until noon on Sunday? Or bars that also are not allowed to open on certain days or at certain times?

“why as a legal resident of the county should I have my freedom of choice denied to me?” So, does that mean when I was a legal resident in the U.S., I could’ve ignored laws I deemed to infringe on my freedom of choice? For example, can someone who comes from a country where marijuana is legal just buy it and use it freely?

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Not really the same comparison. If they don’t open until noon in the U.S. I can live with that, the same way their forbade the bars to open before 5pm. Not too much of an imposition.

However if they said the shops couldn’t open for one month, (same as Ramadan) and then for another two weeks on the feeblest of excuses, boy yes you would hear me complain.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

And here I was hoping for a valid objective response.Instead, it’s about what you personally consider to be inconvenient.

Guess what, lots of people who drink alcohol here can also live with the month and two weeks with QDC being closed. And that’s not even counting those who don’t drink.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

That’s not the point. If i visit QDC and then go home to consume it doesn’t affect you. I’ve never called for any of your legitimate activities to be curtailed, so I don’t see why QTA thinks it has the right to tell me and others what we can do and when we can do it. (Or whoever in govt wants to be my moral judge. I hope they get minus points from God when they die for their actions)

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I’ll answer that when you answer the questions I posed to you, with something other than “I personally have no problem with that”.

Again, how does my being able to shop at 10:00 am, rather than having to wait until noon affects anyone? Same goes for someone who has no problem using marijuana? What about people coming from countries where the drinking age is less than 21?

The fact is, Qatar is officially a Muslim country, where the U.S. isn’t officially a Christian nation, in spite of what some people keep saying.

omer bin abdulaziz
omer bin abdulaziz
5 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

So is anyone stopping the “alcoholics” from staying in Qatar? If that’s the only reason they moved to Qatar, then it was a bad choice. You should go to the Oktoberfest countries then 🙂

Masboro
Masboro
5 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

But why should they have to? I can’t understand why me being to have an alcoholic drink (or to purchase alcohol) affects your observance of your faith in anyway shape or form?

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
5 years ago
Reply to  Masboro

What makes you think I care about this? Sorry, but you simply misread my comment.

I’m merely questioning why some people seem perfectly fine when their own countries put similar restrictions back home, but get very upset when Qatar does something similar.

Mr. B
5 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

“while in the U.S., do you complain about malls that don’t open until noon on Sunday? Or bars that also are not allowed to open on certain days or at certain times?”

I do. They also get a low Yelp rating from me. 🙂

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

The othe point on this is I doubt the hotels are happy about this, with the QTA cutting into their revenue for spurious reasons. Again a business builds its model around one set of rules and then suddenly a change is made without consultation.

They already put 50% of the businesses on the pearl out of business, is it their desire to make Qatar a very unwelcome and risky place to do business?

AEC
AEC
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

It already is a risky place to do business isn’t it?

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
5 years ago

I really have to thank QTA for this, because I will save money not going to any hotel restaurants because this decision puts me off!! Highly appreciated! They really help you not to leave or spend money here.
It must be a new social program!

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

Looks like Dubai and Bahrain will gain from these preposterous decision by QTA.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

in fact! ahahahah

Grantley
Grantley
5 years ago

Would it be possible to also remove the prostitutes hanging around outside hotels during these blessed days…? Or is that not as haram as alcohol?

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  Grantley

Are you sure you are talking about Doha?

AEC
AEC
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

How could that possibly be happening in Doha?!

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  AEC

I was wondering myself….

AEC
AEC
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

I thought they were just nice friendly ladies – even if they were dressed a bit funny.

Mr. B
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Defo is going on rather regularly; not as open as places in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, but still there.

Grantley
Grantley
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Oh yes.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
5 years ago
Reply to  Grantley

If you know any for sure, report them 🙂

AEC
AEC
5 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

You’re assuming people disapprove?

AEC
AEC
5 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Or you’re instructing people to do so?

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
5 years ago
Reply to  AEC

The only assumption I’m making is that such activities are considered illegal, and as such, those caught doing them would be arrested. I could be wrong though 🙂

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Grantley

No prositution is tolerated even accepted in Qatar. Everyone knows it goes on openly, even Doha News and the police but they just turn a blind eye.

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
5 years ago

This will almost certainly increase the price of drinks in Doha as Qatari owners will demand the same if not increased profits from F&B departments. This reduces outlets to make the same money in what 10 months, if we include Ramadan and other unexpected no serving days?? QDC only gives hotels a wholesale 10% discount to what the ordinary punter can get it from in the store (not incl. champagne) so I predict an increase soon. I wonder if anyone is thinking about World Cup? Will the beer sponsors be subsidising pints? Will QDC be bypassed? Given QDC were refused expansion permission how will they even store all the booze required for the biggest party in the world. Can’t wait 🙂

KK
KK
5 years ago

Plan ahead so you do not have to worry about these things !

Blue
Blue
5 years ago

So is QTA’s mandate to increase or decrease tourism in the country?

How are they going to attract investment for the 60,000 rooms required in 2022 which such anti tourist moves or attract non-GCC visitors (considering the GCC visitors like a drink or two as well…).

Wish they had the same sentiment on Smoking – one smells like an ashtray after visiting any place (Wahm to whatever….)

Kz
Kz
5 years ago

Excellent decision.

Zeit
Zeit
5 years ago

LOL at the ones claiming it will affect tourism. If people are coming to Qatar just for drinking better they dont come. Few qataris descend on their countries and they start taking their photos trying to malign them or make documentaries clsiming they are a nuisance. We shut down bars for 10 days and they start making all the noise in the world.

Will
Will
5 years ago

Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but from everything I’ve read on the subject (not a great amount I admit), the Quran doesn’t ever specifically mention alcohol, but rather intoxication. It even says there is good in wine, but more sin than good. My entirely unqualified interpretation of that is that alcohol isn’t necessarily bad, just being intoxicated is. So is one glass of wine a day OK on a technicality? Just curious, feel free to school me.

Net-guy
Net-guy
5 years ago

Maybe I misunderstand, but I can’t see how this is a big deal. I have lived here going on 13 years now. I as well as most expats have learned to stock up as necessary for the drink of choice. I am just glad that there is an option here. To even have access to alcohol in this part of the world is a priviliage.
About the statements with regards to malls opening at certain times on certain days, the availability of bars to open, and the sale of alcohol, those are well published (Blue Law in the US) not just whims of the government.
In some of the States within the United States there are Dry Counties, where the sale of alcohol is prohibited just fyi.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Net-guy

It’s a privilege? Seems you brought the propaganda. It is he same as saying Muslims having mosques in the U.S. Is a privilege

Net-guy
Net-guy
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

You are making the assumption all cultures are the same. Two different worlds, much different way of life. Sorry, but can’t apply or compare one countries way of life to another’s which is what it appears you are attempting.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Net-guy

Culture is not an excuse for anything. FGM is sometimes defended as cultural. No it’s not, it’s a crime against women, sorry girls and should be stamped out.

What you seem to imply is it is ok for one country to discriminate against others because it’s their ‘culture’ and therefore superior. To me that is discrimination and imposition of your values on others.

Net-guy
Net-guy
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

We live in a Muslim state, the government is a monarchy, freedom is perceived, here, culture is everything. We are guest of this country. For sure there are lots of topics about Qatar I don’t agree with but I have to tolerate them or leave.

Expat
Expat
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Of course it is a privilege!

Paul
Paul
5 years ago

What’s next:…?

omer bin abdulaziz
omer bin abdulaziz
5 years ago

To those ranting about the ban, I guess then all the reports about Qatar being a destination of choice must be a big lie too. There are millions in this country and not everyone ticks the “I want alcohol” box in the visa form 🙂

greylag
greylag
5 years ago

Maybe escapes notice here that the biggest group of tourists in Qatar are from Saudi. Especially on any holidays they pour across the border. And I would venture to say that most of them do not drink alcohol.

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