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Mon 21 Jan 2013 12:16 PM

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Qatar in crackdown on alcohol based perfumes

Ministry of Environment brings in new regulations that could see many perfumes banned

Qatar in crackdown on alcohol based perfumes
(Image for illustrative purposes)

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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Mohammed 6 years ago

Please tell me this is a joke! Do a lot of people drink perfumes???!

Kazza 6 years ago

Hahahahahaha - this is ludicrous!!! Hang on is this April Fools Day? Oh no it's not! Does the Qatari government think that people are going to start bringing bottles of perfume to consume on the Pearl following the alcohol ban????
All this from a country who has organised the rest of the world to come into their back garden and consume just a few alcohol beverages when the world cup is on.
Is this a feeble attempt to try and placate the fact that they sold their alcohol free values down the river when they won the world cup bid???

keenobzerver 6 years ago

This has got to be one of the most ridiculous news stories i have heard in a long time :)
Are Qataris really drinking perfume ?! and this is now a social problem large enough to warrant new regulations, I know muslims are not allowed to drink alcohol but there is definirely nothing wrong with applying it to skin, disinfectant etc.
How about listerine or other mouth washes, cough medicines, etc.
Does Qatar airways sell inflight alcohol ?

Ok after calming down and re-reading the article, there is nothing written about banning these products, but just labelling them as (external use only) which is fine by me.

leo50 6 years ago

i remember Saudi banned the import of Charlie perfume over 30 years ago; they used to confiscate from the bags of incoming passengers also. Not too sure why the sharp flowery fragrance of Charlie was singled out, but i know there was a great sense of disappointment from a number of local colleagues who never quite smelled the same afterwards.

alex 6 years ago


The Avenger 6 years ago

You guys are missing the point , it's not for the high end perfumes that you and i would wear or what you can buy in duty free or in the mall .

There's bottles of so called perfume that are on sale in all the major supermarkets here for around 10 QR a bottle and they're pure alcohol , they have no other smell than alcohol . This is what the authorities are trying to crack down on .

The low skillled workers are buying these and drinking them a long with a brand of drain fluid . Alcohol is tightly regulated here and lower paid employees find it difficult to purchase it and even the black market prices are out of their reach .

RBH 6 years ago

This is funny. What next? ban alcohol-based medicines? Just check every medication that contains elixir. That's alcoholic.

Abdur Rehman 6 years ago

Oh yes! If France and other sheep-oriented european countries can BAN VEIL in their streets, why can't a Middle-east country come out to BAN ALCOHOL? You consider veil as an example of women-oppression, consider the stats of rape, women-abuse, drunk driving, drunk theft in your country and compare the similar stats with Qatar.
Qatar is far more safer and serene than most european countries.
I'd say, ban alcohol and let it stay banned!

Shaikh Nasir 6 years ago

There no clear concept of banning alcoholic perfumes as they are not health hazardous. In fact they are good for heealth as they smell good and help smeling good in person. The alcohol external use is always appropriate as it kills germs and sprit using before and after vaccination is the example.

Banning alcoholic perfumes may not harm any economy of France or any european country but herslef Qatar's economy. Just need a wise calculation.

John Thomas 6 years ago

Dear Abdur; when you decide to come out of the 15th Century please let us know.... "Sheep-oriented"?? Seriously? Is that the best you could come up with?? Funny enough that this Region has a "can't live with them but can't live without them" approach to everything Western... I would love to see everything Westerner taken away from the region and I mean everything.. let us see what people like you and many others would then be driving; wearing, eating; flying in, etc...