Punishment of Drinking Alcohol in Saudi Arabia

Can you drink alcohol in Saudi Arabia? Can tourists drink alcohol in Saudi Arabia? This is the question that must be coming to your mind if you are intending to visit Saudi Arabia. Well, the answer is absolute “NO”. The punishment for drinking alcohol is very strict in Suadi Arabia.

Alcohol is strictly prohibited in Saudi Arabia as per the guidelines of Islam. Alcohol drinking, producing, trading and smuggling are strictly banned and one who is found in violation is seriously punished. 

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How to Get Alcohol in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia has good control over its borders due to which it is near to impossible to smuggle any alcoholic drink from the neighboring countries. In fact, if someone is found smuggling alcoholic drinks in Saudi Arabia, he is punished seriously.

Foreign delegates, diplomats, and foreign embassies have an exemption under this subject.  They have a set quota to import alcoholic drinks for their personal use. Normally the Saudi government sets a quota for them. I

It is very difficult to get it and even if you find one, it will be “homebrew” which means homemade.

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Drinking in Compounds of Foreign Residents

Having said that, it is generally known that Suadi 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 kind alcoholic parties.

It is illegal, so I do not suggest anyone gets involved in it. It is prohibited in your religion if you are a Muslim, and there is harsh punishment under Saudi Laws upon such persons.

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Punishment for drinking alcohol in Saudi Arabia

As stated earlier, the punishment for drinking alcohol is very strict. The punishment is stricter if somebody is found carrying alcohol for commercial purposes.

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.

Dangers of Homebrew in Saudi Arabia

In the absence of branded alcoholic drinks in Saudi Arabia, some people rely on home-based drinks. Home-based alcoholic drinks are very dangerous irrespective of the country you are drinking in.

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. I would never suggest you purchase them and play with your life and health anywhere in the world.

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Alcohol Addiction Treatment Saudi Arabia

Alcohol is illegal in Saudi Arabia and so on Alcoholism. Alcoholism is an addiction and a disease. There is no government center or institution to take care of the patients seeking treatment of alcoholism in Saudi Arabia.

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

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.