7 Nations Close Borders with Qatar

A sudden turn of events may adversely affect International Educators planning to, or currently working in Qatar and the surrounding region:

Monday, June 5 – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Yemen and the Maldives collectively cut diplomatic ties with Qatar. Citizens of these countries have been banned from traveling to Qatar, living there, or traveling through the country. Citizens of the aforementioned countries have 14 days to leave. The UAE and Egypt gave Qatari diplomats 48 hours to leave. Middle Eastern airlines are canceling all routes to Qatar. The participating 7 nations have closed their airspace, along with land and sea borders with Qatar.

Qatar has long been accused of backing militant groups, including so-called Islamic State (IS) and Al-Qaeda, which Qatar denies. It is believed that wealthy individuals in Qatar have made donations to terrorists and the government has given money and weapons to hard-line Islamic groups in Syria. Qatar is also accused of having links to a group formerly known as the Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda affiliate. The countries closing their borders with Qatar say they are doing so for security reasons.

While the US, UK and other Western nations have not levied actions against Qatar, the consequences of the 7 participating nations is sure to have an effect on teachers from every nation working in the region.

To discuss the significance of these events in relation to living/teaching in Qatar & the Gulf region in general, please Scroll down to participate.

For more information:
BBC  News
Aljazeera News
The Hill

 

10 Responses to 7 Nations Close Borders with Qatar

  1. Lola says:

    Actually, it is a volatile situation. You never know when everything will blow apart! Anyone who thinks it is ‘business as usual’ is incredibly naive!

    Like

  2. Esther Joseph says:

    Congrats to countries cutting off ties with Qatar! I am so glad something like this has finally happened in the Middle East. This is like sanctions against Qatar and a disconnection by nations. When I think of how many foreign workers and professionals (like teachers) have been so brutally treated and severely abused and exploited – I think of Dorje Gurung, teacher who was imprisoned in Qatar for standing up for himself and what was right and was denied a fairness and justice, Qatar deserves to be isolated from the rest of the world and cut off.And now with their ties with terrorist groups, I can only pray that western countries (and other nations) will also cut Qatar off. However, I do pity the foreign teachers working there at the moment – hopefully they can get flights out and in. I will not be flying Qatar Airways neither do I wish to visit the country.

    Like

  3. jotlaptop says:

    In Qatar we feel little direct effect–yet. Some local students say their relatives in UAE are unfriending them on facebook. The severity and suddenness of this action puts the lie to dubai’s claims to openness and stability and tolerance. It would not be surprising for KSA to close the border; but all surrounding air space? that is stunningly hostile. I will worry if more Turkish troops are announced — that will set up a hair-trigger situation for violence.

    Like

  4. Brit in Qatar says:

    Also living in Qatar…life completely goes on as normal, but I want to add some corrections to the article/posts so far.

    The UAE has banned visa on arrival for Qatar citizens and residents. However, this does not apply to all countries. The UK Foreign Office states that it does not apply to British Nationals. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/qatar

    Admittedly not much of a benefit if yo can’t get a floight to Dubai in the first place. Myself and several fridends have had to change our flights home to direct ones rather than indirect floights through the UAE. This has been the only immediate impact. The other has been the devaluation in the Riyal, so not an ideal time to change money for the summer holidays.

    Oman Air have increased their flights to Doha.

    With regards to the airspace, I have seen the Business Insider map that shows Bahrain having a massive amounts if airspace around Qatar – surprising for a tiny country. But I’ve also seen maps that show the same airspace as belonging to Iran. I’m not sure what source to believe here.

    The reasons for the blockade do not seem entirely clear. If you read statements from the ministers of the blockading countries, they seem to becoming more focused on a dislike of Qatar having diplomatic ties with Iran and that they feel threatened by the reporting of Al Jazeera News in their nations. Given Egypt has jailed Al Jazeera journalists in recent years, this isn’t a shock. Reporters Without Borders have backed their journalists and condemned the forced closing down of Al Jazeera offices in these countries.

    Qatar continues to stand by its foreign policies. It hasn’t retaliated in any way, but continues to call for a diplomatic solution. Unlike the other countries we are not legally banned from being supportive or critical of the other GCC countries; the Communications Ministry has asked residents to take the high ground and not be critical or insult the other countries or people in the dispute.

    The major concern is that this will not be over quick. Turkey and Iran have both offered support, especially with providing shipments for food if needed. A kind gesture, but one that looks to anger the blockading countries further. Especially when the Bahrain Foreign Minister called Iran their “number one enemy”.

    See http://www.aljazeera.com for rolling updates
    And for a perspective from the UAE http://www.thenational.ae seems to be providing wide coverage to the crisis too.
    Sometimes It feels the western media companies like to sensationalize the crisis to attract views.

    Like

  5. UAE Teacher says:

    Our host country (UAE) has criminalized showing sympathy for Qatar (up to 15 years in jail) so post wisely if working in such a country. Websites are now blocked for Qatar Airlines and offices closed. Read that Bahrain has allowed a single flight path out of Qatar. If you actually look up their airspace it’s shocking. They don’t have any! Totally surrounded and have to go through Bahrain’s airspace to get into Iran’s airspace. Also heard the visa on arrival was banned for expats but how does one get a visa then? Usually requires a trip to the Embassy then… which now have severed ties. This is very worrying. One reason we hesitate to buy property in this part of the world. Any one day things can change 180 degrees.

    Like

    • UAE Teacher says:

      Let me clarify that the “visa on arrival comment” was about those expats currently residing in Qatar and seeking to travel to one of the countries in question. UAE for example.

      Like

  6. Elmo says:

    I’m working here and as first poster said, it’s business as usual. Some teachers are worried about flights home as they were originally going through Abu Dhabi or Dubai but school has said they will fly everyone home, so HR are busy trying to rebook flights. Food and water hasn’t run out as initially predicted at the start of the week. Qatar Airways have altered flight routes and continue to fly.

    Like

    • JCM says:

      Yeh, but I’m supposed to leave in July for a new job in Africa and if you are moving and have pets and/or have air shipments it is now a huge hassle. Also people rebooking are not always getting it for free as you cannot do the new convoluted flights assigned by QA and have to buy new ones.

      Like

    • Dave says:

      Iran is flying in food shipments already… so anyone who thinks nothing will change is in for a big surprise.

      Like

  7. Shelley Gibson says:

    This event has not really had any impact on us so far. The major issue is rebooking g flights to go home a different way not through UAE
    Things are calm and pretty much business as usual so far….

    Like

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