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Wed 30 Nov 2016 11:37 AM

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Qatar to introduce annual fee for expat alcohol licence

Residents at present pay a QR1,000 refundable deposit to buy from Qatar’s only alcohol store

Qatar to introduce annual fee for expat alcohol licence
(Getty Images)

Expats in Qatar will have to pay an annual fee for a liquor licence to buy from the country’s only alcohol store.

Qatar Distribution Company (QDC), whose warehouse is based in the Abu Hamour area of Doha, will introduce a new annual licence fee from December 1, which will replace the current Q1,000 ($274) one-time deposit required to purchase alcohol and pork.

The new fee, payable subject to a successful liquor licence application, ranges between QR150 ($41) for one year and for QR400 ($109.8) for four years, and will be based on the validity of applicants’ residents’ permits, according to QDC, which is owned by Qatar Airways Group.

QDC said in a statement that customers whose existing liquor permit is due for renewal in December, will have their QR1,000 deposits refunded in full in cash. Between January 1 2017 and February 28 2017, all other customers will be given the opportunity to claim their full deposit in cash and pay the new licence fee.

From March 1 2017, any customer with a valid permit card who has not claimed their deposit back in the abovementioned period, will receive an automatic refund less the applicable licence fee, QDC said. It added that the balance would be available in the customer’s respective account as store credit for future shop purchases on the liquor permit card. QDC added that a cash refund would be given to only those customers who cancel their permit.

Applications for a liquor licence requires a resident to have a valid residents’ permit and a monthly salary of QR4,000 ($1,098).

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