Kuwait is one of the few countries in the world where alcohol is completely banned.
4 July 2017| Last updated on 3 January 2018
Many people tend to think that Kuwait is similar to other GCC countries, such as the UAE and Qatar, where alcohol is restricted but widely available. However, it’s important to note that there’s no alcohol available in Kuwait. That means even hotels and restaurants don’t serve alcohol.
The laws surrounding alcohol here can be somewhat confusing to expats. In Kuwait, the act of drinking alcohol privately is not illegal in itself, but buying and/or selling, bringing alcohol to a public place or being intoxicated in public areas, including a car as a passenger, are all serious crimes.
To be clearer, the Kuwait Penal Law states that “any person who brings, imports or manufactures alcoholic or intoxicating beverages for the purpose of trading shall be penalized for a period not exceeding 10 years.”
In the case that the alcohol is for personal use, the law goes on to state that “if the intention of bringing, importing or manufacturing is not trading or promotion, the person shall be penalized with a fine not exceeding KD100 and should he repeat this act the penalty shall be for a period not more than six months and/or a fine of not more than KD100."
SEE ALSO: Guide to laws in Kuwait
In regards to public intoxication, the law says that “any person who takes alcoholic or intoxicating beverages to a public place or to a place where he may be seen by others be it a public place or a private club, and any person who brings the alcoholic or intoxicating beverage to the said place for another person to consume shall be penalized for a period not exceeding 6 months and/or fined not more than KD50. Any person who is found drunk will be punished the same.”
Many expats find alternative ways to consume alcohol in the privacy of their homes, but it is not advisable.