Moscow. June 6. INTERFAX.RU – Qatar is known internationally for its national airline, Qatar Airways international TV channel “al Jazeera”, as well as through sport – the Emirate will host the world championship on football of 2022 and sponsors Barcelona, one of the most famous football clubs in the world.
The severance of diplomatic relations with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Libya and Yemen will have a negative impact on various sectors of the economy. The population of Qatar has only 2.7 million people, but the influence of this country on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula disproportionate to its modest size, says BBC.
Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have decided to stop the flights with Qatar and close its airspace to Qatari planes. Etihad Airways flying from Abu Dhabi, and Dubai-based Emirates, Tuesday morning stop flights to Qatar. Each of them has four daily flights to Doha and back. Also on this route will stop flying budget airline FlyDubai, and it can be followed by the Bahraini Gulf Air and Egyptair Egyptian.
For Qatar Airways air travel halted to face substantial losses. First, she will have to cancel dozens of daily flights to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Cairo. Second, the closure of vast areas of airspace in the region is forcing the airline to change the flight routes. The duration of many flights will increase, and this increases the cost of fuel and may cause dissatisfaction of passengers.
Qatar Airways serves passengers do not travel so much directly to Qatar as an opportunity to fly from Europe to Asia or Australia with a convenient stopover in Doha.
“If a trip to Europe, which previously took six hours, will now continue for eight to nine hours because of the need to change routes, it will be much less attractive for passengers, and they will turn to other carriers,” says the Director of consulting company Cornerstone Global Ghanem nusseibeh.
A significant part of the territory of Qatar is desert. In such a situation it is difficult to produce food, and the only land border is with Saudi Arabia. Every day it is crossed by hundreds of trucks, and one of the main categories of goods food: this route gets 40% of its food. Now Saudi Arabia has decided to close the border, and then to deliver food in Qatar will have to either by sea or by air.
“This will immediately lead to inflation and will directly affect the life of normal people in Qatar, says nusseibeh. – If everything is much more expensive, the Qatari people will start to put pressure on the ruling family, demanding either a change of leadership or change of course”.
Also, according to him, the poor Qataris weekly and even daily travel to Saudi Arabia to purchase the products out there that are cheaper. After the closure of the border it will be impossible. On Monday night, Western media reported that residents of Doha rushed to supermarkets for food, despite the call by the Qatari authorities not to panic. In supermarkets of the capital formed a long queue, the shelves quickly emptied.
At the same time, the government of Qatar released a statement urging residents not to panic and promised to take necessary measures to counter the shortage of food.
Qatar is now implementing a number of large scale projects related to world Cup 2022, in particular, construction of complex medical facilities, the metro and eight stadiums.
The main construction materials are imported by sea, but on land, too – the same Saudi Arabia. Closing the border will lead to delays and higher prices, as in the case of food. The Qatari construction sector experiences a deficit of construction materials, and the overlap of the Saudi route would exacerbate the problem.
If closing air space and land borders last long, schedule of preparations for the 2022 world Cup to be rushed, experts fear the Persian Gulf from the American Institute of Baker Christian Ulrichsen.
The government of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain also banned its citizens to travel to Qatar, living in this country and even transit. Those who are already in Qatar are required to leave the Emirate within 14 days. The same term is given to Qataris in Saudi Arabia, UAE or Bahrain, to leave the territory of these countries.
However, the more serious the consequences will be if the same measures will be taken by Egypt. According to a recent study in Qatar lives about 180 thousand Egyptians. It is not only builders, but also doctors, engineers and lawyers. The loss of such skilled labour will create problems for international companies with offices in Qatar.
Transactions in Qatar’s already broken. Many companies from the Gulf are present in Qatar, including in the sphere of retail trade. Their stores will probably close, at least temporarily, says nusseibeh. The largest Saudi football club “al-Ahly” has refused sponsorship of Qatar Airways.
In addition, the Saudi authorities took the decision to cease activities of the TV company “al-Jazeera” reported the AP on Monday. The broadcasting license of the TV channel was withdrawn in accordance with the decree of the Ministry of culture of Saudi Arabia.