Mohammed Abdul Ghaffar
The Qatari regime has suffered severely from the heavy economic losses the country has incurred since the Arab Quartet – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain – announced a boycott on Doha in July 2017, closing transportation to and from Qatar.
Transportation sector in steady decline
Doha has been focused on supporting terrorist organizations in Arab countries, providing significant financial and logistical support to political Islamist groups, especially following the Arab Spring revolutions, which has led to its increased political isolation.
Qatar’s political isolation reached a climax on June 5, 2017, when the Arab Quartet announced the boycott of Doha, which included preventing Qatar’s various means of transportation, whether air, sea or land, from passing through the four countries’ territories.
Following this decision, Qatar’s transportation sector began to suffer severely, despite Doha’s attempts to reduce the severity and impact of the boycott.
Marine sector loses investors
With the four Arab countries closing their seaports to ships, containers and any other means of marine transportation associated with Qatar, major companies began pulling out of Doha.
Maersk, the most prominent company in the field of maritime transportation, fled from Qatar in June 2017, stopping the transportation of any containers to the country.
In a statement at the time, Maersk announced it would stop all dealings with Qatari ports, considering that it is dependent on the UAE’s Jebel Ali port, so the boycott made it nearly impossible to transport containers to Qatar.
In a related context, Qatari ships and containers are no longer able to make long-term circuits, Qatar Navigation Lines (QNL) announced in early 2017.
QNL explained that its ships were dependent on refueling in the UAE’s port of Fujairah, which is the largest port in the Gulf, so its ships lost an important logistical service following the boycott, which clearly affected the company.
Aviation loses flights
Qatar Airways was no better off than its marine counterpart, as the airline was forced to lay off 200 Filipino workers due to the financial crises it has been experiencing since the Arab boycott started in 2017.
Doha also lost 16 air corridors in 2018, decreasing from 18 to only two. Meanwhile, Qatar Airways lost about 3 million passengers during 2017 due to the extended period it takes the airline to make trips following the boycott, recording only 29.1 million passengers compared to 32 million passengers previously.