Can Qatar End Alcohol Use?

The recent ban on alcohol on Qatar's resort and restaurant-filled Pearl Island is a sign of a deeper conflict unfolding in the wealthy and influential Persian Gulf nation, The Wall Street Journal reports. The government recently shuttered sales of booze, leading to a drop in business for the hotspots that caters to the expatriate community in Qatar. The reason, apparently, is increasingly discomfort among Qatar's devout Muslim population, with public consumption of alcohol in violation of religious teachings.

The ban comes as the country is preparing for an influx of an estimated 500,000 soccer fans for the 2022 World Cup -- an event for which officials are already planning to make significant allowances for drinking -- but also as the nation is trying to grow its status as a major international crossroads for business, without losing its national identity.

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