Doha Qatar from an airplane window.

Doha City, Qatar from an airplane window. Another great shot by Joe Dodgshun

Doha is Qatar’s futuristic-looking capital, sprouting out of the Persian Gulf 400 miles west of Dubai. describes Qatar as a “liberal Arab state“: women are allowed to vote and the Qatari government funds Al-Jazeera, an important news station that Hillary Clinton once called real news.

But alcohol is still a taboo.

Drinkers in Doha can only legally imbibe at the bars of their favorite international hotel. Passports are required and drinks are reportedly expensive.

Inside the Qatar Distribtuion company

A humble beer selection at the Qatar Distribution Company in Doha. Image from their Facebook page.

For residents looking to pay retail prices, head to the Qatar Distribution Company, a pseudo liquor store about 20 minutes outside of town. Here, those with proper documentation – including a residence permit, alcohol license and letter from their employer stating their salary – are allowed to buy a ration of alcohol, based on their wages.

Once purchased, the brews must be kept out of sight. Alcohol can not be seen in public. Ever.

And don’t drink and drive in Doha. You could reportedly end up in jail for several years and then kicked out of the country upon release.

Doha, Qatar

Doha, Qatar by Kyle McDonald on Flickr

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