Qatar in crackdown on alcohol based perfumes

Ministry of Environment brings in new regulations that could see many perfumes banned
(Image for illustrative purposes)
By Francesca Astorri
Mon 21 Jan 2013 12:16 PM

Qatar’s Ministry of Environment is imposing strict new regulations for the import and sale of alcohol-based perfumes.

The new directive will be enforced by April this year, with all laboratories in the country that import perfumes required to produce a mandatory certificate to show there is no alcoholic content.

A warning “for external use only” will be printed on the product in both Arabic and English. The aim of the new regulation is to prevent misuse and any potential health hazards.

In December 2011, Qatar banned the sale of alcohol on its flagship Pearl Development, resulting in a huge slump in revenues for retailers.

Earlier this month, UK celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay hit out at the ban, which led to the closing of his restaurant at the development, and said he does not see the legislation “lasting much longer”, it was reported.

Ramsay closed down his Maze Doha restaurant in March 2012 after just two years of operation, while many restaurateurs operating on the Pearl-Qatar development said they had seen revenues decline by as much as 50 percent in the six months immediately after the alcohol ban was introduced in December 2011.

“I think the legislation in terms of operating restraints - going out for dinner and not being allowed to have a glass of wine - I think it’s one turn-off for any local,” he was quoted as saying by Doha News, while on a visit to the city to open two new restaurants at the St Regis Hotel.

“We had to make sensible commercial decisions - you’re not going to run that restaurant and look stupid and lose thousands on a weekly basis.”

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