Can you drink alcohol in an international hotel in Saudi Arabia?

I am going to work in Saudi and have heard that you may drink in a hotel bar although I is rather expensive, any one currently or in the past worked out there?


Best Answers:

I live in riyadh and alcohol is freely available on the black market or from diplomatic quarters...i dont think a hotel would serve you alcohol but you can get it thru private means or brew your own. A saudi chap my husband knows told us how to brew our own wine - i have forgotten the recipe since I dont really drink till its really good wine - but i am sure there will be many naighbors who will tell you... it involves grape juice and yeast i remember..
I would like to give you a word of caution here though: I know a lot of people here who feel the pressure to drink. I mean most times all they can get from the DQ is one thing - so say there'd be several bottles of vodka one time. And they feel pressurized to drink it even if they dont like that particular drink. I have friends who say they have drunk more in saudi then anywhere else... also i know of friends who say stuff like they are going to the UK to 'dry out.'
What i am trying to tell you is think of your health first. dont fall into this excessive drinking culture of saudi bcos remember it is banned here. If you collapse from excessive drinking which hospital will treat you???
So keep safe and drink moderately. Or be like me - enjoy the abstinence!!

I have friends working in Saudi Arabia and they say that it is legally absolutely forbidden, even in international hotels. Even though in their own camps they do have alcohol, but it is mainly self made and tastes a little "funny" or somebody buys it on the black market, which is expensive and dangerous, because the religious authorities (which obviously are the leaders of this country) go behind these guys who sell illegally and these guys who buy illegally - and punishment is really hard over there if they catch you.
So I guess you would have to do like they do: Drink when you are invited in some occasions or going on a trip to Dubai or any other more liberal country in the Middle East (like Lebanon) from time to time to have at least a little fun.
Well, my friend says that at least during the last 4 years they saved up a huge amount of money and they will stay 1 year more and then definitely leave, because that is no life for them, especially for his wife it is hell on earth living there.
Don´t know, they did not want me to come over and we usually see in another country when THEY go on holiday as well.