Qatar’s hotels and its only off-license shop will not serve alcohol for a 10-day period leading up to and including Eid Al Adha for the second year running, according to reports.
Doha News cited Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) spokespeople as confirming that hotels will stop selling alcohol through most of early September.
It also referenced Qatar Distribution Co text messages sent to customers with alcohol permits as saying the Abu Hamour branch would be closed from Friday, September 2 until the second day of Eid.
Last year the QTA sent a circular to hotels warning them that no alcohol should be sold in public places, including restaurants and bars, in the nine days leading up to Eid and the day itself.
This was the first alcohol ban implemented in the emirate for the first 10 days of the holy Dhul Hijjah period, which marks the beginning of the final month of the Islamic calendar.
During the 10 days, including Eid, Muslims descend on the holy city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia to undertake the Hajj pilgrimage. They are also encouraged to fast, intensify their worship and do good deeds.
Similarly, Qatar bans the sales of alcohol during the holy month of Ramadan and on Prophet Mohammed’s birthday, expected to fall on December 12 this year.
Hotel spokespeople told the publication they had yet to receive notice of the alcohol ban from the QTA this year but expected to receive the instruction soon.
Last year, hotels stopped stocking mini bars in rooms as well as in bars and restaurants ahead of Eid Al Adha.
However, customers could order from alcohol from room service if they consumed it privately, according to the publication.
Qatar’s stricter approach to alcohol sales comes in contrast to nearby Dubai, where expats are able to consume alcohol in bars and restaurants during Ramadan, although typically not the night before and day of Eid holidays.
The Qatari government has also taken a hardline stance against the public celebration of non-Islamic events including Valentines Day and Christmas.