Qatar Turns to Oman amid Feud with Neighbors

Qatar is launching a new direct line connecting the Port of Hamad with Omani counterpart, the Port of Sohar, the country’s Ministry of Transport and Communications said.

The new service enables the country to bypass the Gulf neighbors that imposed restrictions on Qatari ships following a diplomatic fallout earlier this month, and thus mitigate the potential effect of the ban on the country’s economy.

“The new service will ensure the continuity of business and shipping operations inside and outside the State of Qatar,” the ministry said.

Previously, goods bound for Qatar were shipped to Dubai deep-water port of Jebel Ali or in the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi, from where they would be transshipped to Doha. However, since the cutting of diplomatic ties between the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt with Qatar on June 5, over Qatar’s alleged support of extremists groups and close ties to Iran, this was no longer possible.

According to Captain Abdul Aziz Al Yafei, Director of Hamad Port, the port is monitoring the developments closely, adding that the Port of Hamad is well equipped to ensure that the state requirements for food supplies, project cargo and other goods are met efficiently.

What is more, Yafei stressed that for Qatari ports the business is going as usual, adding “that a number of partners from around the world have added new services that will enhance the foreign trade of the state.

As explained, the new service will run three times a week, and has already been put into operation with the arrival of 1,740 TEU Hansa Neuburg containership at the Hamad port on Monday, June 12.

World Maritime News Staff