Removal of Saudi-Qatar Airspace Ban Likely to Ease International Travelling

After nearly three-years of blockade, the Saudi-Qatar airspace ban is in the final stages of a breakthrough agreement. Yet to be signed today, this deal is likely to resort travelling issues for many people across the Middle East.

The news has been released following a Doha visit of Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Ahmad Nasser al-Mohammed al-Sabah. Speaking in a televised interview yesterday, Al-Sabah said that Riyadh will be opening Saudi and Qatar airspace borders, along with the reopening of land and sea borders this evening.

Over the years, the UN agency (International Civil Aviation Organisation) has been working to find a consensus-based solution that can solve problems of all flyers who had to travel during Qatar blockade. But severed diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf neighbour implied multiple challenges for those running businesses in and across the GCC countries.

The impending resolve between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will ease travelling for foreign nationals living and working in Qatar. Post the June 2017 blockade, foreign nationals weren’t able to book direct flights to other Middle eastern countries. Hence, this news is especially welcoming for citizens of countries, who were employed in some other GCC country during the blockade and to those families who had intermarried with Qataris. Longer flight schedules and expensive bookings had made it extremely difficult for them to enjoy time with their families staying in another country.

Besides easing business travel, the removal of Qatar airspace ban will allow visitors to explore the country’s tourist places without wasting much time in flights. It will also encourage Qataris to enjoy the pleasure of the Islamic hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

On the other hand, the removal of the blockade will help Qatar’s tourism industry to lure more tourists to witness the 2022 FIFA World Cup live. Since the country is working on making alcohol more accessible to visiting fans, easy entry of cruise ships will now help it to entertain millions of travellers entering the country during the World Cup.

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