Updated on Aug. 29 with new date of QDC closure
For the second year in a row, Qatar’s hotels and the country’s sole off-license are preparing to go dry for the 10 days leading up to Eid Al Adha next month.
This week, the Qatar Distribution Co. (QDC) sent text messages to customers with liquor permits announcing that the Abu Hamour outlet will close from Friday, Sept. 2 to the second day of Eid.
It later revised its closing date, bringing it forward by a day. Customers were contacted by text message on Aug. 28 and 29 and informed the last day of QDC’s operations would be Aug. 31.
The store will be open until 10pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, ahead of its extended closure.
It will reopen on the third day of Eid. The exact date of the holiday has yet to be declared, but is estimated to be around Sept. 11.
Hotels across town will also stop selling alcohol through most of early September, in line with a directive issued last year by the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), spokespeople told Doha News.
The government body sent a circular to all hotels last year, advising them that no alcohol should be sold in public places – including restaurants and bars – in the nine days leading up to Eid, as well as the first day of the Muslim holiday itself.
This was the first time such an alcohol ban was implemented ahead of Eid Al Adha.
There is also no alcohol sold in Qatar during the holy month of Ramadan or on the first day of the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed, which this year is expected to fall on Dec. 12.
Spokespeople for a number of five-star hotels around town said they have not yet received a memo from QTA for this year.
However, they confirmed plans to go dry for 10 days, following last year’s directive. Many added that they expected to receive updated instructions in the coming weeks.
Last year, hotels stopped selling alcohol in their restaurants and bars and did not stock it in their mini-bars in guest rooms.
However, alcohol could still be requested from room service as long as it was consumed in private.
The days prior to Eid are known by Muslims as the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah, which is the twelfth and last month in the Islamic calendar, and are holy days.
During this time, Muslims from around the world travel to Makkah in Saudi Arabia to undertake Hajj (pilgrimage).
Even those Muslims not performing Hajj are expected to perform good deeds during this blessed time.