Everything you need to know about drinking rules at the World Cup in Qatar
Drinking football is a common practice in the world of football, whether it’s on the sofa in front of the TV with friends or in a plastic cup off the ground on a Saturday afternoon. It’s a combination that has become a rite of passage for many game lovers.
Similar rituals are, of course, replicated across Europe, the Americas and the rest of the football-loving world. A defining feature of England’s journey to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, for example, was the frenzied viral celebrations captured every time they scored. Specifically, the image of several hundred drinks thrown into the air, with each goal celebrated.
The World Cup 2022 will take place in Qatar, an Islamic country in the Middle East. Consumption of alcohol is prohibited in Islam and alcohol-fueled stages such as those at the 2018 World Cup are not in line with the host country’s alcohol policies.
As such, traveling fans, especially those in larger groups, will need to modify their behaviors in the Gulf State. here OBJECTIVE takes a look at the kind of restrictions fans should expect when it comes to alcohol consumption at Qatar 2022.
Can you drink alcohol in Qatar?
Yes, you can drink alcohol in Qatar if you are 21 or older. However, the country’s relationship with beers, wines, spirits and everything else is strict.
What are the official guidelines?
Drinking alcohol or being drunk in public is an offense in Qatar. According to the British government’s travel advice for Qatar, “drinking in a public place can result in a prison sentence of up to six months and/or a fine of up to QAR 3,000”.
Alcohol is only available for purchase in restaurants and bars in licensed hotels, while there is a permit system for expats living in Qatar. You must not carry alcohol in public, except when you obtain it on collection day.
As noted, the legal drinking age in Qatar is 21 and establishments that serve alcohol will require government-issued photo ID upon entry.
Although you are not allowed to be drunk in public in Qatar, there will likely be a slight relaxation of the rules around the World Cup. However, if fans take part in acts involving fireworks or flares, fights, or engage in any other activity deemed antisocial, they risk a fine or even deportation from Qatar.
Will alcohol be sold in World Cup stadiums?
Yes, alcohol will be sold in Qatari stadiums during the World Cup. Beer will be sold and available to fans three hours before and one hour after kick-off. It will not be available during matches.
A policy has been finalized by tournament organizers so that fans can do so in all eight stadium enclosures, but not in the concession stands in the hall.
Where else will fans be allowed to drink?
There might be a few possible options for supporters outside of the stadium area. The 40,000 capacity FIFA Fan Festival will take place at Al Bidda Park in central Doha, although there are restrictions on what time of day fans can drink . Fans are expected to wait until 6:30 p.m. local time to drink alcohol in the fan zone.
Official World Cup partners Budweiser and Coca-Cola will have their products available. This fan zone will be an alcohol-tolerant zone, but fans are advised not to drink such beverages in other non-designated zones.
Just outside Doha, the Arcadia Electronic Music Festival will serve beer 19 hours a day between 10 a.m. and 5 a.m.
During the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup, which was held in Doha and won by Liverpool, fans were able to consume alcohol at a venue just outside the city.
Of course, outside of these venues, licensed hotel bars and restaurants would be the only standardized alternatives.
What are the prices of alcohol in Qatar like?
Not only will it be difficult for fans to find a place to drink, but it will also be relatively expensive and fans should be prepared for exorbitant prices.
The average price of a pint in Qatar is €9.94, which makes a beer in central London almost reasonable. Almost.
What have the World Cup organizers said?
Nasser Al Khater, CEO of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, said: “Although alcohol will be available for those who want a drink in designated areas, it will not be available openly on the streets.
“What we ask is that people, when visiting, stick to these designated areas.
“We are incredibly excited to welcome the world to Qatar, the Middle East and the Arab world. For many people, this will be their first opportunity to see and explore the region.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we are determined to use it to the fullest.”