Qatar Impact: GCC nationals, expats, travel refunds, oil price…

Status not clear about travel restrictions on Qatari visa holders

UAE airlines banned from flying to Qatar

DUBAI 6 June 2017: The Saudi-led coalition has severed diplomatic ties with the State of Qatar and, as a result, they imposed an entry, residency and transit ban for all Qatari citizens.

Several Middle Eastern countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar and announced a withdrawal of diplomatic staff from Doha within 48 hours. All land and marine borders with Qatar have been closed and the airspace’s closure will come in effect as of 6th June 2017.

Nationals Intra-Travel

Qatari citizens will be denied entry and transit through the territories of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt. Further, all Qatari citizens currently staying in the UAE have been instructed to depart within the next 14 days.

UAE and Bahraini Authorities have announced bans for their citizens from travelling, transiting or residing in Qatar. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Yemen have not yet applied similar restrictions on their citizens.

Expatriates

It is not clear whether holders of the residency visas from Qatar will face restrictions for obtaining visit visas to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt. No such announcements have been made, therefore travellers are advised to prearrange visas where possible, rather than relying on visas on-arrival (if applicable), according to an immigration specialist Fragoman advisory.

It is also unclear whether there will be any impact on foreign residents of the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain seeking entry to Qatar based on the visitor visa for GCC residents.

The relationship between Kuwait, Oman and Qatar remain unchanged, while the internationally recognised government of Yemen has cut its ties with Qatar.

Air Travel

The UAE airlines, including Etihad Airways, Emirates airline, Flydubai and Air Arabia were to suspend their operations with Qatar at 2:30 am local time last night night.

Most affected airlines have stated they will offer a full refund and free alternate rebooking. But it is not clear if the refund is in cash or credit against other ticket purchases with the same airline.

It is also not yet clear if it is possible for GCC residents to reroute their travel to Qatar via third country airlines.

Geopolitical developments increase crude oil volatility

ABU DHABI: Oil prices reversed gains to trade down Monday on concerns that the ongoing geopolitical developments across the Arab Gulf Region could hamper a global deal to reduce oil production.

The developments had pushed Brent crude prices up as much as 1 percent early Monday, before paring gains to trade down 30 cents at US$49.65 a barrel at 1046 GMT, according to Reuters news agency, said Wam.

Oil prices had advanced earlier on Monday with futures getting higher by 0.5 percent in New York, and Brent for August settlement adding 22 cents to reach $50.17 per barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe Exchange. West Texas Intermediate for July delivery climbed 76 cents to US48.42 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $47.93 on early Monday in London.

In the meantime, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia raised pricing for July sales of all crude grades to Asia, the US and Northwest Europe as it seeks to take advantage of increased demand after suppliers extended output cuts.

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By Eudore R Chand