Milaha, Qatar’s diverse shipping line, has been drafted in by local authorities to provide an essential link with the outside world, following last week’s severance of ties with nine Arab states. Milaha will launch a direct service between Hamad Port in Doha to Sohar Port in Oman, one of few nearby nations not to cut links with Qatar. The new service will run three times a week.
Other containerlines have had to make contingency plans in the wake of the regional rift that has left Qatar out in the cold. Maersk Line, for instance, has announced a new feeder service connecting Salalah in Oman with Qatar. The feeder route will run every 10 days starting in one week’s time.
“Booking acceptance for cargo to/from Qatar is open for all countries except UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen in compliance with the government guidelines,” Maersk said.
Most Qatari calls were previously done from Jebel Ali in Dubai, but this has now been banned under the United Arab Emirates’ new hardline with its neighbour. The UAE and eight other Arab nations have cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar over the latter’s suspected support of terrorist groups.
Qatari authorities have had to address urgently from where they will ship in daily living essentials.
Most of Qatar’s daily food, water and beverage supplies come from Saudi Arabia, now the most vocal of the anti-Qatar coalition .