February 26, 2024


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Saudi Arabia is making a change to its alcohol rules

Saudi Arabia is making a change to its alcohol rules

Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

The first liquor store in Riyadh will reportedly open soon, serving diplomats only.

Abu Dhabi

New rules on alcohol in Saudi Arabia have been revealed ahead of the announced opening of the first ever liquor store in the capital, Riyadh.

The government's Center for International Communications (CIC) said in a statement that the rules regulating alcohol quotas for non-Muslim diplomatic missions were introduced to “combat illicit trade in alcoholic goods.”

Reuters quoted a source familiar with the plans and a document that Saudi Arabia is preparing to open the first alcohol store in the capital, Riyadh, which will serve non-Muslim diplomats exclusively.

In response to the Reuters report, USCIS told CNN that “a new operation will focus on allocating specific quantities of alcohol goods as they enter the Kingdom to put an end to the previous unregulated process that caused the uncontrolled exchange of such goods in the Kingdom.” ”

The Canadian Immigration Department did not clarify whether a store would be opened or not, but said that “the new regulatory framework has been introduced to combat the illicit trade in alcoholic goods and products received by diplomatic missions.”

The sale and consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited in Saudi Arabia, and is punishable by flogging, deportation, fines, and imprisonment.

However, under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country has moved towards redesigning the tourism industry as part of a grand vision to diversify the economy. This has led to speculation that alcohol could be legalized in the Kingdom in the near future.

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