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Duty Free Question

Duty Free Question

Old Oct 14th 2017, 6:15 am
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Default Duty Free Question

Hello all,

I'm thinking of taking in a few ME countries, and was wondering which ones I can take duty free booze into? Obviously not Saudi or Kuwait, for starters, and Bahrain 'cos been there, got the t-shirt. How about Oman, Qatar, and the UAEs? Let's say I visit a couple, and want a little drinky-poos in my hotel room before sleeping, but don't want to pay their ridiculous prices. Which countries can I take a bottle or three of spirits into from the airport (two prepositions there together doesn't look right ).

Also, do any of those three have off licences? Ooh, and pork?

While I'm on the subject, I vaguely remember anything of cultural significance in Oman is closed at the weekend, so spending that time in the UAE or Qatar would be the best use of my time. Is that right or did I dream it?

Many thanks in advance.
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Old Oct 14th 2017, 6:48 am
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Default Re: Duty Free Question

You might be mostly dreaming .

You can't bring booze into Qatar, they have bag scanners for both checked and hand carry looking specifically for that.

You can bring pork in your bag but should not be in industrial quantities.

There is one shop where you can buy alcohol, and pork products for that matter, but you must have a license for which you must be a resident, must earn over a certain amount per month, must have a letter from your master and pay their equally eye watering prices.

So if you do want a little drinky-poos in your hotel room before sleeping and don't want to pay hotel prices I'd suggest it's going to be a nice non alcoholic hot chocolate.

Qatar is pretty much a 7 days a week open sort of place though some places might not open until later, maybe after 1pm. Also expect places to shut around midday on Friday.

Others can comment on Oman and UAE but I would suggest all pretty much the same.
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Old Oct 14th 2017, 9:04 am
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Default Re: Duty Free Question

Duty free is big business in UAE so no issues stocking up and bringing it into the country. Everyone does it, both expats and visitors. Plenty of pork sold in UAE - bars and restaurants with a liquor license will have pork on the menu. Supermarkets sell pork as well.

As Martin said, Qatar is no no. And absolutely no pork sold in the country outside that one shop. Won't find pork on any hotel restaurant/bar menu.

Can't comment on Oman. But I suspect it's probably more relaxed like the UAE.

If you're planning a ME holiday, UAE and Oman is all you need to go to. UAE has all the glitz and Vegas glamour and beaches, Oman has the nature and Muscat is a neat city to explore for a day or two.

Absolutely no point going to Doha. And you can't fly between Doha and UAE any more. You can go via Oman but ticket fares now average 400 quid.
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Old Oct 14th 2017, 11:59 am
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Default Re: Duty Free Question

For Oman, two litres of spirits per person duty free allowance. Only residents with a liquor permit can buy alcohol from the bottle shops. The National Museum of Oman is, apparently, open from 10am to 5pm on Saturdays. The larger, international branded hotels have pork products as do some supermarkets and a couple of independent 'butcher' shops.
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Old Oct 14th 2017, 6:50 pm
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Default Re: Duty Free Question

But don't get drunk in public; take taxi drunk; drive drunk etc. in UAE.
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Old Oct 15th 2017, 6:32 am
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Default Re: Duty Free Question

UAE limit is four litres per person, but if you're ever unsure just ask the staff in either duty free in the baggage hall, they can tell you exactly how much you can buy.
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Old Oct 15th 2017, 9:03 am
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Default Re: Duty Free Question

why would you want to go on holiday to Doha??? it's a sh*thole mate.
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Old Oct 15th 2017, 9:24 am
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Default Re: Duty Free Question

Originally Posted by mission View Post
why would you want to go on holiday to Doha??? it's a sh*thole mate.
I don't believe that your mind is truly made up. You haven't actually decided yet have you.....
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Old Oct 15th 2017, 5:20 pm
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Default Re: Duty Free Question

Originally Posted by mission View Post
why would you want to go on holiday to Doha??? it's a sh*thole mate.
Well it’s no pinnacle that’s for sure but you’re being a tad hard methinks. Have you truly experienced the best of the place. Maybe you need to visit so that those here can show you the error of your ways. Now it’s not Dubai, more nuanced,with shit of various grades, no pork though, and no bringing duty free booze but the Pearl is nice and there’s lots of shopping, ooh and desert 😄
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Old Oct 15th 2017, 6:25 pm
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Default Re: Duty Free Question

Shopping is shit. Yeah, the brands are there but half the range and twice the price. UAE is far better.

When talking about shopping or the desert or the Pearl and you’re also talking about going to the UAE then what’s the point of going to Qatar?

The only thing I can think of that Qatar offers that might be of interest to visitors already familiar with Dubai is Souq Waqif and the Islamic Art Museum. Both are genuinely nice. But are they worth the efforts of solely going to Qatar? No.

I find Qatar shit because the quality of everything is just.... shit. Food is uninspiring, malls are uninspiring, the city is unremarkable, the atmosphere is dull and feels much more....uninspiring. If you live here you need to make the most of it so you can eke out something decent especially if you have mates. I’ve been in Qatar nearly a year and my memory of the place is .... work. And a few drinks after work. It doesn’t even feel like I live in Qatar insomuch as I work in Qatar while I actually live elsewhere.

Last edited by DXBtoDOH; Oct 15th 2017 at 6:27 pm.
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Old Oct 16th 2017, 4:02 am
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Default Re: Duty Free Question

Originally Posted by DXBtoDOH View Post
I live in Qatar insomuch as I work in Qatar while I actually live elsewhere.
I very much agree with this statement but would go so far as to say that's how I feel about all the countries I've worked in, and I would include UAE in there too. It's just a transient place to earn. I "live" where I have invested of myself, where I have property, family, something that draws me. No ME place could ever be that.

As places go Qatar is definitely bottom of the ladder, almost, and no way I could do the months on end without a regular an exit that many seem to manage. Still don't think it's a complete shithole. Dhaka is, so is Chennai, so is Port Blair,so is a lot of rural Korea, and much of China outside the cities. I'd no more spend my own money to go to such places than visit an ME place.
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Old Oct 16th 2017, 5:15 am
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Default Re: Duty Free Question

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
UAE limit is four litres per person, but if you're ever unsure just ask the staff in either duty free in the baggage hall, they can tell you exactly how much you can buy.
Few years back they were doing a special offer on 3 ltr bottles of Vodka, I
asked the immigration/customs guy how many I could take through he said 4 bottles is your limit. So 4 bottles it was!!
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Old Oct 16th 2017, 5:42 am
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Default Re: Duty Free Question

Originally Posted by martinbkk View Post
I very much agree with this statement but would go so far as to say that's how I feel about all the countries I've worked in, and I would include UAE in there too. It's just a transient place to earn. I "live" where I have invested of myself, where I have property, family, something that draws me. No ME place could ever be that.

As places go Qatar is definitely bottom of the ladder, almost, and no way I could do the months on end without a regular an exit that many seem to manage. Still don't think it's a complete shithole. Dhaka is, so is Chennai, so is Port Blair,so is a lot of rural Korea, and much of China outside the cities. I'd no more spend my own money to go to such places than visit an ME place.
You're right. Relatively speaking it's not shit. It's a harsh word to use for Qatar. It's clean and safe. It's not living in an African city. I can get to work/gym/drinks in 10-15 minutes most of the time.

Qatar does suffer a lot in comparison with brash Dubai across the water and that is unfair. It's still fascinating to see how the two cities differ, Qatar has far more money yet somehow manages to get it mostly wrong. Doha has the personality of low rent American suburbia mixed with the aesthetics of Cairo and Indian building standards Whereas Dubai started with far fewer resources than Qatar and yet has developed into a place with personality and a certain zest.
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Old Oct 19th 2017, 9:03 am
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Default Re: Duty Free Question

Is there a duty free shop selling booze after immigration at Abu Dhabi airport on the way in like in Dubai? How do prices compare to bringing in your own stuff?
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Old Oct 19th 2017, 12:41 pm
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Default Re: Duty Free Question

Yes there is, but I have never compared prices.
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