Beer is conquering the Middle East
An Iranian non-alcoholic beer. © -
Beer is conquering the Middle East
Your Middle East
Last updated: October 10, 2013

Beer is conquering the Middle East

Banner Icon Beer drinking is exploding in the Middle East, with Iranians drinking four times as much in 2012 as in 2007. Surprised? Well, we’re talking about the non-alcoholic variety.

Although people in the Middle East still drink more beer with than without alcohol, consumers in countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have a growing appetite for the halal version of the beverage, which is the world’s third-most popular drink overall after water and tea.

According to The Economist, 2.2 billion litres of non-alcoholic beer was sold globally, an increase of 80% in five years. The Middle East accounted for more than a third of the total consumption.

“More recent sales growth is the result of growing consumer aspirations,” Maii Abdul-Rahmen, an analyst at the research firm Euromonitor told The Economist.

Guilda Saber, brand manager of Laziza, a Lebanese non-alcoholic beer, told the British news magazine that drinking beer, even if it is non-alcoholic, “taps into a popular desire for a globalised lifestyle that neither fruit juice nor even Coca-Cola can offer”.

Fatwas from leading clerics in Egypt and Saudi Arabia have declared it allowed for Muslims to drink non-alcoholic beer.

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