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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shopping in stealth

One of the first things we had to do when we got here, was to get our alcohol license! To get that, you had to complete certain tasks like get your residency ID card which can take anytime between 2 weeks to a month. Luckily T managed to get his sorted out early and armed with that, we charged out to the industrial corner of Doha to check out the QDC.

QDC or the Qatar Distribution Centre is hidden from the main thoroughfare, about 15 minutes drive from the City Centre, behind high stone walls and a formidable steel black gate. After producing our ID card, we were allowed to drive through and park.

We had to register for a liquour license first and after filling in some forms and putting a 1,000 riyal deposit, we were issued with one of these.

I have to get one myself, after I get my ID card but that will take a couple more weeks. With this card, the authorities give us an monthly limit of 5000 riyals. This is the top limit we are allowed to spend on booze at the QDC each month. As the Ramadan is approaching, we were given a total of July, August and September limits to spend now. The QDC will be shut from Aug 9-Sep 10th, so we will need to stock up.

The limit as you can imagine, is more than what we ever need. Although having said that, booze prices were higher than in KL and the selection limited but enough.

You could get a 5 litre keg of Heineken for 130 riyals ( RM 110 or USD 35). Beers ranged from Italian Peronis, to  Japanese Sapporos, Australian VBs, Singapore's Tiger and more. Wines were sourced from all over and you can get almost all flavours of vodkas, whisky and gin. A bottle of Verve champers which cost RM 250 in duty free KLIA cost 340 riyals ( RM 290 or USD 91)

Still, it was good enough especially since they charge 50 to 75 Riyals for a glass of wine in hotel bars. T almost choked when he had to fork out 120 Riyals for a double scotch at the Hyatt last week.

Overall the experience was surreal and felt like we were being naughty. This is the only off-license in all of Doha. We took away a few bottles of wine and some beers but will return once we move into the house.

I will be having a glass of chilled s.blanc tonight with my dinner so cheers !

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