The Qatar crisis struck the heart of the Gulf Cooperation council (GCC). The GCC is made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The GCC is based on the combined effort of all these countries to have a unified policy to govern their countries. This includes economic and geopolitical aspects as well.
With the crisis having four members from the GCC embroiled in conflict it has had many unpleasant implications.
1. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (which includes Abu Dhabi and Dubai) imposed a blockade on Qatar.
2. Qatari citizens were asked to exit UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. Diplomats in 48 hours.
3. The three countries also banned their citizens from visiting Qatar.
4. Expatriates living in Qatar are no longer eligible for an Emirati visa on arrival.
5. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt banned all forms of travel to and from Qatar. Saudi Arabia’s land border with Qatar was closed.
6. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt have banned Qatari carriers from flying in their airspace.
7. Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have denied port access to all vessels flying the Qatari flag.
8. The UAE’s Abu Dhabi Petroleum Ports Authority and Port of Fujairah expanded their ban to all vessels arriving from, or destined to, Qatar regardless of their flag.
9. LNG traffic has also experienced disruptions. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have stopped exporting sugar to Qatar.
10. There have been reports of people stocking up on food supplies in the event of food shortages.
11. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain are limiting financial exposure to Qatar according to people familiar with the matter.
12. Some analysts suggest that the real goal of the current exercise is to bring about a change in the Qatari leadership. Accomplishing that would be complicated and difficult, and it could spur a period of intergovernmental intervention in regional politics (which some might argue the Qataris have already begun).
13. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar are all members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec). Saudi Arabia is the de facto leader of the group as the largest oil producer in the world, while Qatar is one of Opec’s smallest oil producers. The group recently agreed to cut oil production to help prop up prices; some investors were concerned on Monday that the dispute with Qatar could affect that deal. That plan to boost prices has also been undermined by rising oil output in the US.
14. Oil prices, sensitive to geopolitical tensions, was threatened to weaken further. While it is not clear how the dispute would affect supply, traders were quick to push crude prices higher on Monday morning. But the gains were short-lived. Brent crude jumped by about $1 to above $50 a barrel at one point before easing back to $49.64.
15. The row has also fanned concerns about the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market. Qatar is the world’s biggest supplier of LNG and Egypt and UAE are key recipients. Although Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain have all closed transport links with Qatar, the state can still ship out both LNG and oil to other countries by sea.
16. For the past six years, there have been two Arab worlds. One where there is extreme tragedy and violence; and the other of glamour and modernity. Syria, Iraq, Libya and, to a lesser extent, Egypt — have been engulfed by conflict.
17. As a result, the illusion that the wealthy Gulf could remain uncontaminated by the wider conflicts in the Middle East has been crushed.
18. A security crisis there would be felt in boardrooms and finance ministries all over the world.
19. Saudi Arabia also believes Qatar has got far too close to Iran. This fear of rising Iranian influence across the region has already led the Saudis and the Emiratis to go to war in neighbouring Yemen — with ugly consequences for the civilian population. One ironic consequence of the blockade of Qatar is that it could force the country to get closer to Iran.