ContainersMiddle EastPorts and Logistics

Middle East shipping patterns change as Qatari standoff ends

Middle Eastern shipping patterns are set for change once again with news yesterday that the three-year diplomatic standoff between Qatar and its Arab neighbours has come to an end.

Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman publicly embraced the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit held in Saudi Arabia yesterday, bringing an end to the dispute that had seen Qatar rejig its transport links greatly since 2017.

During the three-year standoff, Qatar’s shipping lines, led by Milaha, forged new routes in the region and built up the country’s merchant fleet and maritime competencies so that the country could continue to function having seen its normal links, such as with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Egypt shut off.

Middle Eastern shipping has seen other surprise changes in recent months, most notably with the thawing of ties between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain, which has subsequently seen Israeli carrier ZIM call at UAE ports for the first time and Dubai terminal operator DP World express an interest to invest in the Israeli port of Haifa.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
Back to top button