It’s clear that the blockade will continue indefinitely by the opposing quartet led by Saudi Arabia. The intention initially was to make Qatar comply with their demands but now they have resorted to desperate measures to further impose sanction on Qatar without it escalating to violence.
Although these countries are trying within their limitations to pressure Qatar into submission but all their efforts have already been braved by Qatar the first time itself.
How long can Qatar survive the blockade?
Let’s make it clear that Qatar is past the surviving phase and is in the thriving phase. How did it manage to do that?
All food imports that there were coming through Saudi Arabia, UAE or Bahrain have been redirected from other countries like Iran and Turkey through shipments and air. There has been continuous supply of food that meets Qatari standards coming in without a break which means there is no need to worry about food scarcity.
While there were fears that since construction materials would dry up once the borders closed its now confirmed that Turkey will be providing these instead to Qatar. The FIFA World cup will not be affected by the blockade and workers need not worry about their jobs.
All opposing countries have banned the Qatari Riyal along with some British banks. Qatar’s central bank said on Friday it will guarantee all exchange transactions for customers inside and outside Qatar without delay, adding that all banks and foreign exchange companies are committed to trading the riyal as usual.
The statement came after media reports said some exchange companies have stopped buying the Qatari riyal, which the central bank called “baseless”.
Also Qatar’s Central bank says that it has $40 billion in cash reserves plus gold. In addition, the Qatar Investment Authority has $300 billion in reserves that it could liquidate.
Inside Qatar some tourism related jobs have been slightly affected but other than that the demand for more workers has increased despite the blockade.
Since Qatar’s business is majorly with countries outside the gulf, business has been going on as usual.
There were fears that medicine and the health sector would be in trouble due to the crisis but The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has confirmed that services provided by the health sector to citizens and residents of Qatar will not be affected by the blockade imposed on the country, stating that the ministry has enough potential to sustain health services at the same quality.
Despite the panic that arose from the crisis the expat population in Qatar has performed better than expected by not only choosing to stay in Qatar but also show their support for the country.
Although routes have been changed due to the air space ban imposed by the blockading countries, Qatar has been forced to take a detour that take longer to reach regular destinations but they have managed to do this without increasing prices at Qatar Airways.
With the Turkish military stationed in Qatar borders and the US military having its biggest base in the middle east in Qatar, it’s clear that Qatar along with its allies can face any violence or threat with equal or worse force if needed and hopes that day never comes.
Till date eight countries have severed ties with Qatar but the remaining are still in solidarity with the tiny gas rich country asking for an end to the crisis. A special few have truly stood by Qatar in the time of crisis and helped it come out shining from the blockade.
With regard to the countries that have cut ties, Qatar plans to take them court for legal action. So more than feeling cornered Qatar has come out of the crisis better than those who wished to trample it. Qatar survived but now it will make sure they it does better and prove the aggressors that nothing can stop it.