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Procedure to get or Renew a Liquor Permit in Qatar

[Note for tourists or visitors: you do not need a liquor permit to have alcohol at a bar, the permit only applies to purchasing alcohol at the one liquor store in Qatar. However, please be aware that you will need to bring your passport or Qatar ID card to the bar to be allowed entry. A drivers’ license or other picture ID is not good enough -- it has to be your passport/Qatar ID.]


 For those of you new to Qatar and looking for a liquor permit, or wondering what to do to renew it, here are the steps:

1) IF YOU ARE APPLYING FOR A NEW PERMIT -- get a letter from your employer addressed to the Qatar Distribution Company confirming your name, ID number, position, basic salary, accommodation entitlement (or whether the company provides accommodation), and marital status. It has to be on original letterhead, signed and stamped by the company. You do not have to get this letter for renewing your permit. 

[UPDATE -- two commentators have said you need a salary of at least QAR 4000/month to get a license] 

Yes, this means your employer has to give you permission to get a liquor license. No letter, no license. Your HR department should know exactly how the letter should look, if they don't then chances are you work for a company that's not going to give you one. This also means that if you do not have a job you won't be able to apply for your own liquor license. I have a Muslim friend who is married to a Christian woman and because she is under her husband’s sponsorship she could not get her own liquor license.

In the past you needed a letter from your employer for a renewal, not anymore. If you are renewing your permit then the documents you need depends on whether any details have changed. The QDC now has a handy guide posted at the permit office, but due to changes from December 2016 ignore the last bit about a security deposit:

2) Prepare to visit the Qatar Distribution Company (“QDC”) by gathering your letter, your passport or Qatar ID, a pen to fill out the application, and some a credit or debit card to pay the fee (they now state on their facebook page that payment must be electronic, no cash). Renewals are NO LONGER FREE so if you are renewing you also need to bring payment as well as your Qatar ID, I don't think a passport will do it. QDC does have an email address as well, [email protected] (if that doesn't work try [email protected]), so you might be able to request the form in advance. I found just visiting them not complicated or time-consuming so just going there might be easier. As you'll need to pay a fee you can't complete the licensing process via email so you'll need to visit the QDC anyway.

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Source: qatarskeptic

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