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Qatar Slowly Cementing Its Place As Middle East’s Trade Hub

Photo: Port Technology

The Saudi-led blockade of Qatar has not deterred the gas-rich nation by any means as it continues to progress and move forward.

Qatar managed to find new trade routes to keep its trade moving and also to be a trade hub in the region. The transport minister, Jassin bin Saif al Sulaiti announced that Hamad port was running at 70% capacity and has secured new shipping routes to Pakistan, Malaysia and Taiwan.

Qatari shipping firm Milaha, one of the largest maritime and logistics companies in the region, also came up with a new stand-alone transhipment hub in Oman.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Qatar Ports Management Company (MWANI Qatar) and Qatar Chemical and Petrochemical Marketing and Distribution Company (Muntajat) further ensures the continuity of trade and strengthens the country.

Muntajat will now be able to export most of its shipments through Hamad Port to destinations around the world. The MoU will also allow Muntajat to export products directly to Sahar and Salalah Ports in Oman, Mundra and Nhava Sheva ports in India, Port of Shanghai at China, and Dier Banji port in Turkey.

Muntajat CEO Abdulrahman Ali Al-Abdulla, said that further destinations will be added in the coming days, until then, the MoU allows the company to ship products directly from Hamad Port to 2000 customers in 135 countries.

HE Minister of Transport and Communications and MWANI’s Board Chairman Jassim Saif Ahmed Al-Sulaiti, said: “Such cooperation is an ideal model for joint work among local institutions to support the local economy and the lofty goals the country seeks to achieve under the wise leadership of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani.”

“Hamad Port has been able to achieve significant achievements at the regional and international levels in a short period of time as it has provided various international maritime transport lines and will continue work towards achieving economic diversification through opening new international lines to improve Qatar’s competitiveness and transfer it into a regional trading hub.”

It’s not just the shipping sector that has witnessed major changes, the country has altered its travel policies too. Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive Officer for state-owned Qatar Airways, recently announced that visas would not be required for over 80 countries around the world.

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