The attitude to alcohol in Oman is far more relaxed than in some other parts of the Middle East.
Alcohol is widely available in Oman and can be purchased at the airport, in hotels and bars and at licensed liquor shops around the country, however there are strict laws regarding alcohol that have to be adhered to at all times.
At the airport alcohol is limited to two bottles of wine or spirits or 24 cans of beer per person. The person purchasing the alcohol at the airport or anywhere else in Oman must be over the age of 21 years. The government grants alcohol licenses to certain restaurants, bars and night clubs.
Almost all of these outlets are located within hotels and only a few independent places are dotted around Oman. Non-Muslim expatriates are allowed to purchase alcohol from licensed bottle stores, however they must carry a liquor license in order to do so.
It is illegal to carry alcohol around on the streets, the only exception being when you are taking your purchases home directly from the liquor store or airport duty free. Keep your receipt as this gives you the right to transport alcohol. It is also illegal to resell alcohol to others or to purchase alcohol from individuals. While this is being practiced in some areas we strongly advise you against and illegal transactions while in the Middle East as this may land you in some very hot water indeed.
Being inebriated in public is strictly prohibited and could result in a night in jail and a hefty fine. Driving under the influence is absolutely against the Omani law and if you are caught driving under such circumstances, or worse yet if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, the consequences are dire.
Alcohol is served and sold throughout the year with the exception of the Holy Month of Ramadan when alcohol is not sold at all in Oman.
If you have a residence visa and are a non-Muslim you can apply for a liquor license and are allowed to keep alcohol in your home. The amount of alcohol you are allowed to purchase from a retailer is directly related to your salary and you can spend only 10% of your monthly income on alcohol at the bottle store. In order to get the liquor license in Muscat you have to follow the following procedure.
Go to the Ruwi Police Station with the following documents:
Copy of passport & labor card
2 passport sized photos
No objection letter from your employer
Labor card application in original - copy returned after issuing labor card. This is to confirm basic salary as registered with the Ministry of Manpower
Employment contract attested by the Ministry of Manpower to confirm employment and eligibility to apply for a permit
Completed permit application (Which you can get there)
If you are renewing your permit, bring your old permit with you.
The application process is easy and your permit will be ready sooner than you think. The license is typically valid for a period of two years. When you want to renew it just take the documents along with your expired liquor license and get a new one.
African and Eastern
Some liqour shops like African and Eastern will handle the liquor license application for the customer as well.
Application forms can be picked up at any of our 4 African + Eastern stores, conveniently located in Muscat, Sohar and Salalah.
Please carry the following documents with you when applying for your license:
2 passport size photos
A copy of your passport
A copy of your labour card
A No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your company(in English & Arabic)
Your original labour card application form and a copy, original will be returned
Your completed application form and the necessary documents must be submitted in person to ROP Liquor Licensing Office, Ruwi police station
These are the major retailers of alcohol in Oman:
African & Eastern (A&E)
Tel: +968 23467817
Oman United Agencies (OUA)
Phone: +968 24643333
Gulf Supply Services (GSS)
Ph: (+968) 2448 2333