Alcohol (Liquor) is strictly prohibited in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as per guidelines of Islam. Alcohol (Liquor) drinking, producing, trading and smuggling is strictly banned and one who is found in violation is seriously punished. If you talk about the countries where it is hardest to find Alcohol (Liquor) for drinking, Saudi Arabia is on the top of this list. However, there are still residents (both Saudis and expatriates) in Saudi Arabia, who are addicted to Alcohol (Liquor). Some of the expatriates were addicted to Alcohol (Liquor) when they reached to Saudi Arabia and some Saudis became addicted when they went out of Saudi Arabia for recreational or educational trips.
How to Get Alcohol (Liquor) in Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia has good control over its borders due to which it is almost near to impossible to smuggle any alcoholic drink (Liquor) from the neighboring countries. In fact, if someone found smuggling alcoholic drink (Liquor) to Saudi Arabia, he is punished seriously. Foreign delegates, diplomats and foreign embassies have exemption under this subject. They can set quota to import alcoholic drinks (Liquor) for their personal use. Normally Saudi government sets a quota for them. It is very difficult to get alcohol (Liquor) in Saudi Arabia and even if you find one, it will be “home brew” which means homemade. All the ingredients used to make alcoholic drinks (Liquor) are available in the supermarkets.
Drinking in Compounds of Foreign Residents
Having said all above, it is generally known that foreign residents of western countries arrange parties in their compounds where they drink alcohol (Liquor) very openly. Although it is the rule that they cannot even drink within their house but government takes very harsh action against them. Although I have never experienced it personally, but there are some “NO GO COMPOUNDS” for Saudis where foreigners arrange such kind alcoholic parties. It is illegal, so I do not suggest anyone to be involved in it. It is prohibited in your religion if you are Muslim, and there is harsh punishment under Saudi Laws upon such persons.
Punishment in Saudi Arabia for Drinking Alcohol (Liquor)
As it is already stated, penalty of smuggling alcohol (Liquor) may reach to sentence to death. Those who supply alcohol (Liquor) to Saudis are liable to highest punishment. We have heard that some foreigners who were caught trading alcoholic drinks (Liquor) were punished with 500 lashes. There are also cases when foreigners were detained from the airport just because they were smelling alcohol (Liquor). Drinkers of Alcohol (Liquor) are also sentenced with lashes. If you are an expatriate caught drinking alcohol, minimum penalty is deportation with 5 years ban.
Dangers of Homebrew in Saudi Arabia
When you don’t have branded alcoholic drinks (Liquor) in Saudi Arabia, you will have to rely on home-based drink. Home based alcoholic drinks (Liquor) are very dangerous irrespective of the country you are drinking in. I have heard about some cases in South Asian countries when several people died just because of drinking locally manufactured alcoholic drinks (Liquor). There are no quality checks and no purity in these drinks. I would never suggest you to purchase them and play with your life and health.
Treatment of Alcoholism in Saudi Arabia
Alcohol (Liquor) is illegal in Saudi Arabia and so on Alcoholism. Alcoholism is an addiction and a disease. There is no center or institution to take care of the patients seeking treatment of alcoholism in Saudi Arabia. People who want to get rid of this addiction have to do it on their own or travel abroad for the treatment. On the other hand, many expatriates just accept offers from Saudi Arabia to get rid of Alcoholism since it is not easy to get the alcohol (Liquor) here in Saudi Arabia. Many expatriates and Saudis frequently travel to other Arab countries like UAE and Bahrain on weekends just to spend life in their desired life style.