Fans hope Qatar beer cost will drop after bars ‘overestimated surge pricing’

Fans hope Qatar beer cost will drop after bars ‘overestimated surge pricing’

Beer prices in Qatar could fall after some bars “overestimated what they can get away with” charging during the World Cup, according to a fans’ group.

Supporters visiting the Gulf state say they have faced prices of up to £15 for a pint during the tournament, although many have found it cheaper and venues have offered deals.

Free Lions, the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) team that provides travel and logistical advice to England fans, said expats they have spoken to believe some hotels may have overestimated their surge pricing for the tournament.

Qatar’s alcohol laws mean it is available only at licensed hotel restaurants and bars, and expatriates living in the country can obtain alcohol on a permit system.

The sale of alcohol to fans at World Cup stadiums was banned two days before the tournament kicked off, with an exception made for corporate spectators, although Budweiser is available at the main fan park at around £12 a pint.

Supporters from England and Wales say they have found places to enjoy a drink, but many added that the restrictions have not been an issue and the tournament has had a more relaxed atmosphere as a result.

The latest edition of the Free Lions fanzine, released ahead of the England v Wales game on Tuesday, said: “Exchange rate permitting, our experience is that in normal times a pint is going to set you back £12-15, clearly not sustainable for those planning to spend a large portion of their trip drinking.

(PA Graphics)

“We are aware of some bars which have a cover charge to get in, but most if not all of these offer the money back in the way of food and/or drinks tokens.

“Sadly, many of the bars have stopped their happy hours for the World Cup and most of those that remain are not great value.

“Speaking to some of the expats who live locally they believe some have overestimated what they can get away with in terms of surge pricing and prices may fall as the tournament continues. Let’s hope so!”

Earlier in the tournament the group said fans “might be lucky enough” to get a beer for £7 to £8 during happy hours at venues.