- Zanzibar has suspended the importation, sales and consumption of alcoholic beverages
- The sale of beers, wines and spirits will only be confined to hotels serving foreign visitors
- Zanzibar’s economy mostly depends on tourism and international trade
The Indian Ocean tourist island of Zanzibar has suspended the importation, sales and consumption of alcoholic beverages during the Holy Month of Ramadan with stern warning to suppliers and sellers of alcohol on the island.
Zanzibar’s Liquor Board Executive said in its notice this week that the suspension of alcoholic beverage sales would not affect high class tourist hotels and other recreational and accommodation establishments serving foreign visitors.
The Board said the decision to close liquor stores was detailed in section 25 (3) (4) which prohibits the importation and sale of liquor during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
The sale of beers, wines and spirits will only be confined to hotels and other establishments serving foreign visitors touring the island.
The ban of alcoholic beverages has been imposed after the island’s government noticed that some people and establishments, including bars, have been defying the order by continuing to sell and consume alcohol during the Holy Month of Ramadan which is observed in the island.
Zanzibar is predominantly Muslim and all residents are expected to adhere to the Islamic practice of fasting from dawn to dusk during Ramadan. The restaurants remain closed during the day with fewer people on the streets.
With a population of about one 1.6 million people, Zanzibar’s economy mostly depends on tourism and international trade.
Banking on its geographical position in the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar is now positioning itself to compete with other island states in tourism, oil and other marine resources.
International hotel chains have established their business over the past five years, making the island one of the leading hotel investment areas in East Africa.
Zanzibar President Dr. Hussein Mwinyi said his government is now looking to attract more investors in hotel services and tourism with fresh hopes to make this Indian Ocean Island a competitive tourist destination.
The Island has been a target for high-end tourists, competing closely with the Seychelles, Mauritius, Comoro and the Maldives.
Cruise tourism connects the island with other Indian Ocean ports of Durban (South Africa), Beira (Mozambique) and Mombasa on the Kenyan coast.