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Curbs on alcohol
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Whatever will be



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:41 am    Post subject: Curbs on alcohol Reply with quote

http://www.timesofoman.com/News/35105/Article-Majlis-Al-Shura-plans-to-impose-curbs-on-trade-intake-of-alcohol-in-Oman

Muscat: Plans are afoot to impose new restrictions on the trade as well as consumption of alcohol in Oman.
Members of the Majlis Al Shura are planning a vote on the issue on June 22 to bring in stricter rules regarding the sale and availability of alcohol. If passed, the proposal will be referred to the Council of Ministers.

A Majlis Al Shura member said, "We will work towards formulating a law that will advocate more restrictions. We feel the easy going attitude towards the consumption and sale of alcohol is not doing any good." The move by Majlis Al Shura's members follows frequent calls from the nationals to ban alcohol in Oman.

"Many citizens have approached us asking for restrictions on easy availability of alcohol. They feel there has been a huge social and health impact due to the consumption of alcohol."

Members are also likely to recommend a ban on alcohol in public places like bars and nightclubs. More restrictions are likely to be imposed on owners of liquor shops besides checks on new shops licenced to sell liquor.

The proposal, moved by the Legal Committee of Majlis Al Shura, will include the amendments mentioned in the Omani Penal Code articles regarding the trade and consumption of alcohol.

The members have plans to urge the authorities to keep a strict tab on the flourishing black market trade in alcohol.

"We will push for harsher penalties on those found selling alcohol in the black market," he said.

It is important to note that according to the latest ROP figures, drinking while driving resulted in 167 road accidents that left 15 dead and many injured.

It is also important to remember that an amount of OMR45 million is being spent annually by the government on an average to treat alcohol related diseases.

Official figures reveal that there has been a four per cent rise in the number of such patients since 2010.

Some of the Majlis Al Shura members who want a complete ban on alcohol in the country are calling for changes in the penal code articles and have urged to criminalise the trade and consumption of alcohol in Oman.

He said efforts must be made to make the availability of alcohol very difficult.

"Many families have faced the brunt of having an alcoholic in the family. Therefore, it is in the interest of families that alcohol laws become stricter in the country," he said.

He also feels once the laws come into effect, youngsters will not be exposed to alcohol.

About whether it will have an impact on tourism, the Majlis Al Shura member feels that "there will not be any significant impact on tourism because tourists mainly come to experience the country."

Doctors in Oman have also been urging the government to start a campaign to combat alcoholism before the problem gets out of control.

It may be recalled that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have completely banned the sale and consumption of alcohol.

To get in touch with the reporter: fahad@timesofoman.com
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pooroldedgar



Joined: 07 Oct 2010
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are the hotels and bars and liquor stores owned by Omanis? If so, they'll be facing a serious loss of revenue. And what tourist is going to chose Oman. Even non-drinkers will be turned off by the draconian idea. Anyone fancy a holiday is beautiful, sunny Kuwait?
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Whatever will be



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:16 pm    Post subject: No more booze Reply with quote

Well, if Oman gets dry then expats have the Saudi lifestyle without the pay.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16086
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I noted that even back when I was there in the 80's that Omanis were hitting the bars in spite of the laws... and already an obvious problem with alcoholism. It reminded me very much of the alcohol problem on the reservations in the US. Many of the teachers never bothered with the licenses... like me... and it doesn't seem to bother most expats in Kuwait or Saudi... as they seem to get access relatively easily. I was never at a party in Kuwait that didn't have plenty of alcohol... and none of the bathtub variety.

Quote:
Anyone fancy a holiday is beautiful, sunny Kuwait?

Obviously not, but not because of booze, but because it is definitely not beautiful and there is nothing to do or see for tourists. Same reason that Qatar has no tourism. Whereas Oman has so much to see and do.

I highly doubt that there will be a complete ban. Not sure who owns the hotels, but the liquor stores are owned by the government I believe.

VS
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CVN-76



Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 116

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pooroldedgar wrote:
Anyone fancy a holiday is beautiful, sunny Kuwait?


Is there a small corner in Kuwait I don't know about? Kuwait was the biggest dump I had ever seen. Still is.
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Tazz



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 150
Location: Jakarta

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say that at least 25-30% of customers in 'Rock Bottom' boozing it up on the extended happy hour session, until 10 pm, are Omanis....who 'shouldn't ' be drinking -right? They aren't allowed to purchase from the liquor store, although I know there are ways around this, but how about enforcing the law and refusing service to them in the hotel bars?!!! Oh the horror-'migrant employees saying 'no' to an Omani!!!
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
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Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tazz wrote:
I'd say that at least 25-30% of customers in 'Rock Bottom' boozing it up on the extended happy hour session, until 10 pm, are Omanis....who 'shouldn't ' be drinking -right? They aren't allowed to purchase from the liquor store, although I know there are ways around this, but how about enforcing the law and refusing service to them in the hotel bars?!!! Oh the horror-'migrant employees saying 'no' to an Omani!!!


They ARE allowed to drink in the bars but not allowed the permit to prevent them taking alcohol home and 'contaminating' the family. However many do buy take away booze from the private members clubs and others just make their non-Muslim employees get a permit and then use it themselves, There is a bizarre law which states that if they wear the dish dasha in a bar then they MUST also wear a kumma or turban, ditto for the Omani women drinkers, if they wear the abaya they must cover their hair but not otherwise. Rock Bottom is not allowed to sell alcohol anymore except with food. Feeneys has now closed entirely and Route 66 is also gone. They just don't understand that whilst tourists may choose to come here for the beaches, desert and mountains they also want entertaining at night and expect at least alcohol with food. Virtually every western ex-pat teacher at my college is leaving, the non-native speaking ex-pats are staying as Oman is still preferable to Syria, Iraq, Egypt, etc......at least at the moment. Seen two more Omani on Omani drunken brawls this week, it is getting worse.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16086
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not being a drinker and avoiding the bar scene (did that in the 70's... no urge to get anywhere near them again in this life), I was told in the 90's that Omanis were not supposed to be served... whether or not they were eating or whatever they were wearing. But they were there then too.

I suspect that the reason that this law/rule may have gone by the wayside is because of the difficulty/impossibility of the servers being able to enforce it.

VS
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
I was told in the 90's that Omanis were not supposed to be served... whether or not they were eating or whatever they were wearing. But they were there then too.

I suspect that the reason that this law/rule may have gone by the wayside is because of the difficulty/impossibility of the servers being able to enforce it.VS


That's possible but it's definitely not the law/rule now as they even have their own private members licenced drinking dens as well as the hotel bars. Some of them even open during Ramadan albeit only after dark. These places are where they can buy booze to take out and it's easy to observe Omanis leaving the clubs with the black bin bags full of booze for which no permit is required. I was chatting with a group of Omani drinkers last night and their opinion is that a total ban will not happen as the distributors are ultimately Omani owned and the profits are too great for the elite who own the business.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
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Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It usually is about money in the end. Personally, I think that the arrival of easy to get alcohol in Oman has only been a negative and they would have been better off never opening access.

It is doing to local culture what it did/does on the reservations in the US.

VS
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
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Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
It usually is about money in the end. Personally, I think that the arrival of easy to get alcohol in Oman has only been a negative and they would have been better off never opening access.

It is doing to local culture what it did/does on the reservations in the US.VS


Not too sure about this, I was talking to some Omanis about the issue and they said that prior to alcohol being available there were serious problems caused by brewing and distilling a variety of chemical concoctions.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course... human nature is as it has always been and there have always been a certain number who need the crutch to cope with or escape from life. But the cure is not to make any and all of it easily available. The way is to control sales, and provide drug treatment for the many that can't handle it... organizations of the AA sort... medical care if needed.

Ignoring it and openly feeding their addiction doesn't help. One of the biggest problems with this is that it is totally culturally unacceptable... AND... a sin. That makes it so much harder to help those who need it.

VS
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Organisations like AA just substitute one kind of addiction for another.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12794
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear MuscatGary,

"Organisations like AA just substitute one kind of addiction for another."

Hmm, what would the substitute of alcohol be? Attending meetings? Very Happy

If so, I would think being a meeting addict might be more beneficial for one's health.

Regards,
John
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="johnslat"]Dear MuscatGary,

"Organisations like AA just substitute one kind of addiction for another."

Hmm, what would the substitute of alcohol be? Attending meetings? Very Happy

If so, I would think being a meeting addict might be more beneficial for one's health.

Regards,
John[/quote

People with addictive personalities are easy prey for quasi-religious superstition addiction was actually my point.
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