In case anybody didn’t know, Alcohol is forbidden in Saudi Arabia. Punishments are draconic, up to 500 lashes, (this could kill you) prison (from a few days to many weeks) and in case of foreigners of course deportation. You better make sure not bring in any kind of alcohol when visiting the kingdom, as it is sure to be found! This doesn’t mean alcohol is completely unavailable, Diplomats can import it in the diplomatic baggage, and princes bring it in by plane loads! Any other kind of alcohol will be home brewed. there is a lot of home brewing going in inside foreign compounds. Outside of the compounds the most available is a white lightning called ”siddiqi”, or ”sadeeki” or in short ”sid”. Sid is made from fermeted palm juice and retails at about $15,- per bottle. This stuff can be up to 90% and be contaminated with impurities.
Homebrewing operations vary from small time to industrial, last week Asir police raided a valley in the mountains of Uhud Rufaida in the Asir province where liquor dealers were brewing more than 65 barrels of Araq, an anise-based spirit common in parts of the Middle East. Police used a tractor to dig up and destroy the barrels that held a combined capacity of 200 liters.
In Jeddah different nationalities have their own specialities. Filipinos brew the illicit alcohol, Yemenis and Indians sell it. The prostitutes tend to be from Nigeria and Ethiopia, the drug peddlars are from Pakistan.
As punishment is extremely harsh, especially for selling alcohol to a Saudi citizen, profits must be worthwhile.