Oman, a neutral player in the Gulf crisis aimed towards Qatar has come out as a winner from the crisis. Oman, decided to not take sides but has been very helpful to Qatar in a time of severe circumstances. Since the blockade created a travel and transport ban as well, it has now forced Qatar to move its main shipment hub to Oman.
Since the blockade began in June, Qatar has been unable to move goods via the UAE. This in part caused imparts to drop dramatically in June.
Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani Qatar) has launched a new direct service between Hamad Port and Sohar Port in Oman under Milaha’s DMJ service, which will operate three times a week.
Also Qatar Airways has announced that it will use a new airport in Oman to get around the blockade imposed by its neighbouring Arab states led by Saudi Arabia. From August 8, it will transfer three flights a week from Dubai International Airport to Sohar Airport in northern Oman, effectively making it an alternative hub to Hamad International Airport at Doha.
Low-cost carriers Salam Air and Sharjah’s Air Arabia are the only airlines that operate from Sohar airport, which opened in September last year. The sanctions imposed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt ban the use of their airspace, forcing Qatar Airways to fly longer routes north through Iran.
The launch of the new direct service was announced at a press conference held by Mwani Qatar today at Hamad Port.
Ministry of Transport and Communications created these new service as part of the efforts of to build new partnerships to meet the growing needs of the local market and to strengthen Hamad Port as a vital business hub in the region.
In the conference Mwani qatar said: “In light of the recent developments in the region, Mwani Qatar and its partners have ensured the business continuity of its ports and shipping operations in and out of Qatar to mitigate the impact of any action that would affect the imports and exports to and from the country.”
“Mwani Qatar assures that business is progressing at all its ports as before and our partners have added new services from around the world that would boost our regional and global trade,” Captain Abdul Aziz al Yafei, Director of Hamad Port, said in a speech during the press conference.
“The company is keeping an eye on the developments and is well equipped to ensure that the country’s requirements for food supplies, projects cargoes and others are handled efficiently,” he added.
Another major change in Qatar’s shipping and logistics has taken pace that has a shift of its hub from Dubai to Oman’s Sohar port. Qatar-based shipping and logistic company Milaha Maritime made this relocation to make moving cargo easier ever since the blockade on Qatar.
As the Gulf dispute enters its third month, the firm announced the move signaling that it does not expect things to be resolved any time soon.
And Qatar’s transport ministry said three new direct shipping lines are being opened with Malaysia, Pakistan and Taiwan, Al Jazeera reported yesterday.
From the blockade these countries, along with Oman and Kuwait, are expected to benefit financially from doing trade with the countries affected by the boycott.
Blow for Dubai:
Analysts have warned that an economic embargo on Qatar in turn damaging their own economy. The Transport and travel ban is forcing Qatar to move its important business ports from Dubai to other more feasible locations like Oman hurting Dubai’s reputation of being a global business hub.
According to Reuters, lender Standard Chartered said the boycott puts global banks in a difficult position, “There is a lot of benefit we get from having a Dubai hub, we are looking to see what the effect of this will be,” the group’s CEO Bill Winters said.
“There is a risk of turning away from the UAE,” he added.