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2017-06-05

What You Need to Know About the UAE Qatari Split and How the Changes May Impact You

The Gulf woke up this morning to news that several Middle Eastern countries have severed diplomatic ties with the State of Qatar. Travellers have been left in a state of disarray and immigration borders have been closed, leaving many questioning what exactly is going on and what they can do next? The diplomatic withdrawal is yet to iron out the finer details but the official stance in the UAE, as per the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is that Qatari nationals have 14 days to leave the country. Diplomats have been given 48 hours to leave and Emirati citizens must be prevented from travelling to, staying in or passing through Qatar. 

The Gulf giants such as Etihad Airways, Emirates and Fly Dubai have announced that all flights between the UAE and Qatar will be ‘indefinitely suspended’ as they have been given just 24 hours to have sea and air port links closed. This will see a halt in any exchange of goods and services between the countries with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain adopting similar measures as the day progresses. The decision follows a political disagreement between the countries which appears to have been brewing for many years. With the UAE in full support of the decision by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), it is important to consider the impact on both immigration and business mobility. 

It has not yet been made clear how foreign nationals with Qatari residence will be affected by the decision. Countless individuals travel between Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt on a daily basis. This serves for both leisure and business with many companies having branches operating across the GCC region. Individuals could see a requirement to secure pre-arranged visas from their home country before travelling, due to developing restrictions and obtaining a visa on arrival no longer being an option. If this applies directly to you it would be in your best interests to prepare ahead and avoid any last minute surprises at the airport.

For further information and advice, please contact Murtaza Khan.

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