In a shocking development, early Monday morning six Arab countries cut ties with the Gulf state of Qatar, bringing great uncertainty to an increasingly global country. News broke early of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain cutting diplomatic ties over allegations of supporting instability in the region (ironic), and in domino form, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Yemen and Libya followed suit shortly. This raises major questions for those traveling to and from the region…

Emirates, Etihad, FlyDubai Cancel Flights To/From Qatar And Block Qatar Airways From Their Aerospace… 

The UAE, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have blocked all Qatar Airways flights from their airspace, resulting in cancellation of many flights to and from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the other participating Gulf nations. Qatar Airways flights to Saudi Arabia are cancelled with immediate effect, while Etihad and Emirates flights to and from Qatar are expected to be suspended as of Tuesday morning. If you’re traveling on Qatar Airways long haul services, you can expect business as usual, though longer flight times are inevitable as the airline must plot new routes around the now restricted airspace. Yes, if you’re flying via Qatar from Europe, Asia, the US, South Pacific or any other part of the world that is not one of these six nations, flights are on. 

14 Days For Citizens Of Qatar To Vacate Gulf States And Vice Versa…

The end of diplomatic ties means that citizens of five of the six Gulf nations, absent Egypt are banned from visiting Qatar, and Qatari citizens are banned from the five Gulf nations, with 14 days to cease all border movements. A mere 14 days creates a world of uncertainty and chaos for citizens living in the opposing countries. Are citizens really expected to disband their lives, houses, possessions and jobs in just 14 days. What about families with multiple nationalities, such as a husband from Qatar and a wife from Abu Dhabi? According to the BBC, more than 180,000 Egyptians live in Qatar, and such a ban would create widespread chaos.

Food And Work Shortages For Qatar During Critical Tourism Boom…

Qatar, thanks in part to it’s booming national airline has seen an influx of tourism into Doha and Hamad International Airport. The airline’s new Qatar+ stopover program allows visitors to stopover in the country for up to two days with complimentary luxury hotel arrangements, amongst other perks. An estimated 40% of food and building supplies into Doha comes from Qatar’s neighboring states, thus this diplomatic row will create a shortage in crucial supplies. The country is currently in the process of building at least 8 stadiums for the 2022 World Cup, and this will create knock on delays. Businesses and citizens operating in Qatar can also expect inflation on food items, goods and services during this standoff. 

Should Travel Plans That Involve Qatar Airways, A Trip To Doha Or The Gulf Region Such As Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Egypt Or Abu Dhabi Be Changed?

Unless travel plans involve connecting between these now diplomatically estranged states, the answer is largely no. Long haul flights on Qatar to destinations around the world will operate without change, as will all services from Emirates, Etihad, Egyptair, Saudia and others. You just won’t be able to go from Qatar to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Libya and the other affected nations, but anywhere else is fine. Life in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt and Bahrain will be virtually unchanged, and thus tourism will be business as usual. In the meantime, Qatar will undoubtedly make every effort to keep life for tourists and citizens as if nothing has changed, despite the rising costs and tensions. 

Watch this space, these tensions are highly unlikely to continue as is…