WHO SAID EXPATS ARE ALCOHOLICS?

Having blogged previously about the approach to alcohol in the UAE I was interested to stumble (credit to www.vox.com) on an interactive chart which compares the amount of alcohol consumed per person in a week for each country around the world.

I'm a little hesitant about continuing this post as apparently one shouldn't talk about alcohol in an open forum in the UAE as it is disrespectful (or it may even be illegal). Indeed Jo was chastised by someone on Facebook the other day for asking openly about the price of alcohol in Thailand. Certainly on the radio they are very coy about these things, adverts for restaurants refer to “the grape and cheese option”, or “the bubbles package”, and one of the nearby hotels had a “brew” festival last weekend (PG Tips anyone?).

Anyway, not many people read this blog so I shall be daring and plough on.

Given the perception that expats are permanently drunk, when I first looked at the data I felt quite smug to see just how far ahead of the UAE the UK is. Each person in the UK gets through more than two litres of alcohol a week, mainly consisting of beer (or should I say “brew”?). But in the UAE we each manage well under half a litre a week, with spirits (locally known as the “top shelf option”) slightly in the lead in terms of volume drunk.

Then I sat back and realised that these statistics probably don't take into account the religious make up of each country, and that if non drinkers for religious reasons are excluded, then I suspect the UAE is much closer to the UK. And if the figure was just for expats, well I dread to think.

Credit to www.vox.com for the article, and www.ghostinthedata.com who developed the original interactive graphs from data collected by the World Health Organisation.
Not in the UK or UAE? Go to Ghost in the Data (link above) to see how your country fares.

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