Qatar to fine shops not closing for Friday prayers

Qatar has passed a law forcing all shops, cafes, restaurants, malls, offices and even clinics to shut down for 90 minutes during Friday prayers, or face of a fine of QR 10,000 (2,746 USD).

According to Qatari English daily, The Peninsula, the new decree was announced yesterday and it came directly from Qatari Emir, Sheikh Tamim Al-Thani. It makes shop closure mandatory from the first call for Friday prayers (azan) each week.

The newspaper added that the legislation (Law No. 5 of 2015) is to be published in the official gazette after which it will be effective, reports QNA.

Qatar is due to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, when hundreds of thousands of football fans will descend on the small gulf state - sparking a heated debate over whether fans will be able to consume alcohol.

In late 2011 the Qatari government suspended alcohol licenses at restaurants and cafes on the Pearl – a manmade island which is home to many of its expatriate population. An outdoor weekly party with loud music and free-flowing alcohol was also stopped.

No official reason has even been given for the decision.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45