A crisis affecting travel into and out of Qatar from the local region is now over, as Saudi Arabia has officially announced the end of its embargo and the restoration of diplomatic relations.

The move was immediately followed by Egypt while Bahrain and the E.A.U are expected to take a similar decision in the next few days.

The new diplomatic agreement between Qatar on one side, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arabic Emirates on the other side will be a major boon to tourism in the region.

During three years, Qatar was under embargo as its neighbours severed all air, land and sea links with the tiny Emirate. During this time, however, Qatar continued to assure its trading with the rest of the world.

The resumption of air connectivity with its neighbours will greatly benefit Hamad International Airport in Doha and Qatar Airways. With close to 39 million passengers, HIA was already the Gulf’s second busiest airport after Dubaï. The airline used to serve 10 cities in Saudi Arabia while it flew to five destinations in the UAE. Qatar Airways maintained most of its connections to the rest of the world and the resumption of flights to its neighbours will further strengthen Qatar as a global air transport hub.

Photo – top of page: By restoring its air links with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Hamad International Airport in Doha will strenghten its position as a global hub (Photo: Cleverdis/L.Citrinot)

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