Can you drink Alcohol in Saudi Arabia?

As a general rule of law, you cannot drink alcohol in Saudi Arabia and if someone is caught, the punishment is very strict. However, keep in mind that there are some exceptions;

Who can drink alcohol in Saudi Arabia?

Foreign delegates, diplomats, and foreign embassies are allowed to drink liquor.  The Saudi government has set a quota to import alcoholic drinks for personal use.

Moreover, there is a store in Riyadh where Non-Muslim foreign delegates can buy alcohol for personal use only.

Who can drink alcohol in Saudi Arabia?

Drinking in Compounds

Having said that, it is generally known that Saudi residents of western countries arrange parties in their compounds where they drink alcohol very openly.

Although I have never experienced it personally, there are some “NO GO COMPOUNDS” where foreigners arrange such kinds of alcoholic parties.

Drinking in Compounds

Punishment for drinking alcohol in Saudi Arabia

We have heard that some foreigners who were caught trading alcoholic drinks were punished with 500 lashes. There are also cases when foreigners were detained from the airport just because they were selling alcohol.

Drinkers of Alcohol are also sentenced to lashes. If you are an expatriate caught drinking alcohol, the minimum punishment is deportation with 5 years ban.

Punishment for drinking alcohol in Saudi Arabia

Dangers of Homebrew in Saudi Arabia

In the absence of branded alcoholic drinks in Saudi Arabia, some people rely on home-based drinks which is quite dangerous.

I have heard about some cases in South Asian countries when several people died just because of drinking locally manufactured alcoholic drinks. There are no quality checks and no purity in these drinks.

Dangers of Homebrew in Saudi Arabia

Alcohol Addiction Treatment Saudi Arabia

There are plenty of alcohol treatment centers in Jeddah and Riyadh and alcohol addiction centers in other parts of Saudi Arabia which are operating at a private level.

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