Cargo for Qatar is usually shipped to ports in the United Arab Emirates and then loaded onto smaller vessels. But last week the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt severed economic and diplomatic ties with Qatar, alleging it supported terrorist groups and Iran. Qatar has denied the charges and said the restrictions violate international law.
In addition, Dubai’s massive Jebel Ali Port and Abu Dhabi Terminals also said they would not grant access to other vessels travelling to and from Qatar. “In light of the recent developments in the region, Mwani Qatar and its partners have ensured the business continuity of its ports and shipping operations in and out of Qatar to mitigate the impact of any action that would affect the imports and exports to and from the country,” Al Jazeera said.
Oman is not among the Arab states that cut ties to Qatar, and has brokered secret negotiations between Western governments and Iran in the past. Maersk Line immediately said it would accept new bookings for feeder shipments from Oman, with the first vessel scheduled to depart Salalah on 19 June and arrive in Doha on 25 June.