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Saudi Arabia opens first alcohol shop

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Saudi Arabia is set to open the first-ever liquor store in the capital, Riyadh.

The country is also unveiling new rules on alcohol.

Alcohol sale and consumption in Saudi Arabia is strictly forbidden and is punishable by lashes, deportations, fines and imprisonment.

The rules regulating alcohol quotas for non-Muslim diplomatic missions are being introduced to “counter the illicit trade of alcohol goods,” the governmental Center of International Communication (CIC) said in a statement.

According to Reuters which released the report, the first alcohol store in the capital Riyadh will serve exclusively non-Muslim diplomats.

The CIC responding to the report said that a “new process will focus on allocating specific quantities of alcohol goods when entering the Kingdom to put an end to the previous unregulated process that caused an uncontrolled exchange of such goods in the Kingdom.”

The CIC did not clarify if a shop will be opened but said the new “regulatory framework has been introduced to counter the illicit trade of alcohol goods and products received by diplomatic missions,” the CIC said.

Despite the ban on alcohols, Saudi Arabia under Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman has moved towards the remodeling of its tourism industry as part of a grand vision to diversify the economy leading to speculation that it could legalize alcohol in the Kingdom very soon.

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