‘No plans’ to ban alcohol in Oman just yet

Tourism ministry official says Oman may instead impose restrictive regulations over the consumption and trade of alcohol

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Amid calls to ban alcohol in Oman, a government official has said the sultanate has no plans at present to ban the trade and consumption of alcohol, Gulf News reported on Monday.

Last December, the country’s Shoura council had voted to ban alcohol, an official of the advisory body said, a move that, if approved by the cabinet, would have affected plans to expand tourism.

“The members voted for generalizing the punishment on anyone practice alcohol-related activities including production, dealing, or trading,” the official had told Reuters news agency.

“But, of course, this is still a recommendation, not a law by itself.”

More recently, government official Humaid Al Nasri has told Gulf News that there were no plans to impose a ban at the moment as there had been no response had been received so far from the cabinet.

“In case there is no response, the council will look into other alternatives to constrain the trade and consumption of alcohol in Oman”, said Al Nasri.

However, a tourism ministry official said the ministry may instead impose restrictive regulations over the consumption and trade of alcohol, the newspaper reported.

Oman, a small non-OPEC oil exporter, has smaller energy reserves than its wealthy Gulf neighbors and is trying to diversify its economy, in part by expanding its tourism sector. It seeks to become a major destination for cruise tourism.

[With Reuters]

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