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Alcohol Law in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is a country popular not only for its rich oil resources but also for its disciplinary system. As an expat, you should be knowledgeable about the laws and provisions in Saudi Arabia if you don’t want to end up in jail. One of the major provisions we are going to discuss in this article is the alcohol law in this country.

Also Read: Dos and Don’ts in Saudi Arabia

Alcohol is necessary for most expats, they can’t live without having a drink, imagine having to work all day and go home without any other activities. Without alcoholic beverages, social life can be boring sometimes. But once you’re in Saudi Arabia, you might want to restrain yourself from drinking too much, because the law about alcohol in this country is strict.

alcohol law in saudi

Alcohol Provisions in Saudi Arabia

Consumption of alcohol

Alcohol is totally banned in Saudi Arabia. There are no special rules and no license needed because it is forbidden to consume, import, buy, and sell alcoholic drinks in this country. Since Saudi is an Islamic country complying with strict rules, it has always obeyed the Islamic culture and enforced it on its residents. Even smelling like alcohol can get you arrested if you don’t take precautionary actions. Based on reports, some have been traveling to Bahrain just to get to clubs and buy their favorite alcoholic drinks.

Also Read: Punishments for Violating Saudi Labour Rules

Reasons for banning alcohol

As an expat, you might wonder, why is there a complete ban of alcohol? To give you an answer, Saudi Arabia is an Islamic country and this is where Mecca lies–one of the holiest place in Islamic culture. And because the Quran states that no one should pray when intoxicated, they implement these rules.

Punishments for disobeying the law

Once you are caught disobeying the law, you will face years in jail, pay fines, and get deported. This applies to all people will be caught consuming, buying, selling, and transporting alcoholic drinks.

Tourists and the Alcohol Law

No matter who you are, even when you’re not a permanent resident of the state, you must obey the law or else face the punishments. Sadly, there are no exemptions with regards to the alcohol provisions of Saudi Arabia. Even when crossing the border of the country, you are not allowed to get intoxicated. That’s how strict the Saudi state is in terms of controlling the use of alcohol.

The list of the provisions above will guide you if ever you decide you want a glass of champagne or wine. Your alcohol cravings can still be satisfied only if you will exit the country, like some people do–going to Bahrain for clubs and alcohols. But of course, if you don’t want to spend a dime for the travel expenses, it is always better to abide by the rules and forget about drinking alcohol in Saudi Arabia.

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