First liquor store in Saudi Arabia opens. Diplomats only!

You can now buy booze in Saudi Arabia, reports CNBC, at the nation's first liquor store—so long as you're in a certain line of work. Alcohol has been banned since 1952 in the putatively religious country, and it remains so for citizens of it: the alcohol shop is exclusively a convenience for non-Muslim diplomats. They bring it in anyway under cover of immunity and feed the black market. But it's also a trial for allowing tourists to do likewise.

No guests or people under the age of 21 are allowed to accompany authorized visitors to the store, photography is strictly prohibited and mobile phones need to be kept in secure "mobile pouches" so as not to be used while in the store. Purchases are also subject to a monthly quota system per registered individual. Rumors have abounded for years that the Gulf kingdom, known for its ultraconservative laws, would eventually allow alcohol outside of foreign embassies as part of its broader campaign to liberalize Saudi society and draw more international tourists and expats. A shop in the diplomatic quarter is a small step in that direction, one Saudi consultant close to the kingdom's royal court told CNBC.

A western diplomat described it as "extremely well stocked," reports CNBC. Saudi Arabia as a crude example of the 21st century state we've all got coming, Death Row with the Disney penalty.