Saudi Government Authorises Alcohol Purchases for Non-Muslim Diplomats
For the first time, non-Muslim diplomats in Saudi Arabia have been given the green light to purchase alcohol. Previously, they had to rely on diplomatic agreements for alcohol imports, but now they can buy it themselves.
To do so, they must register through a mobile app, get a clearance code from the foreign ministry, and stick to monthly purchase limits. This new regulation to allow non-muslim diplomats to purchase alcohol comes from a document obtained by Reuters.
Since 1952, the Saudi government has strictly banned alcohol after an incident where one of King Abdulaziz’s sons, while under the influence, fatally attacked a British envoy.
However, a recent statement from by Saudi Arabia government revealed plans to introduce a new regulatory framework to combat the illicit trade of alcohol products received by nondiplomatic missions.
The new process aims to allocate specific quantities of alcohol upon entry into the Kingdom, replacing the previous unregulated system that led to an uncontrolled exchange of such goods.
This policy is expected to ensure that diplomats from non-Muslim embassies continue to have access to alcohol within specified quotas.
The impact on the majority of Saudi Arabia’s 32 million residents who have limited options for consuming alcohol unless they travel abroad is likely to be minimal in the near term.
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