Border closure hits Qataris hard

newsimageAL-AHSA — Many Qataris who own land and property in Al-Ahsa will be negatively affected by the Kingdom’s decision to close borders with Qatar, Al-Riyadh reported. Saudi-Qatari Businesses Council member Othman Al-Qanna said commercial relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar have ancient and deep roots. “Saudi Arabia has been trading with Qatar in various sectors for decades including transportation, real estate and agriculture. Blocking the borders between the two countries will have devastating effect on Qatar as it does not have any other terrestrial exit than its border with the Kingdom,” said Al-Qanna. He added the Kingdom used to facilitate trade for Qataris. “Qataris had the same rights as Saudis when it came to trade and economic dealings. The markets in Al-Ahsa used to be filled with Qatari shoppers all year round as it is the closest governorate to the Qatari borders,” said Al-Qanna. He added Qataris used to buy food products and construction material from Al-Ahsa and transport the items back to Qatar without any limit or custom taxes. Many Qataris have million riyals investment in Al-Ahsa. There are Qatari investors in hotels, farms, real estate and other sectors. Ibrahim Al-Dowsary said the Kingdom is the only terrestrial exit for Qatar. “All of Qatar’s imports and exports come through the Kingdom’s border. Millions of trucks and car commute between the two countries on a daily basis. Blocking the borders is greatly damaging to Qatar. Saudi businessmen are also great contributors to the Qatari economy,” said Al-Dowsary. He added Saudi businessmen own millions of riyals of investments in the Qatari stock market. “Saudis are in fact the biggest investors in the Qatari stock market. Saudis also have big investments in the Qatari transportation sector. Moreover, Al-Ahsa is considered the number one shopping destination for Qataris. They mostly come for Al-Qaysariyah Market, Al-Hadadid Street, Al-Majid Street, Al-Aitham Mall. Al-Ahsa used to have more Qatari shoppers than Saudis. But that will all change over the next few days,” said Al-Dowsary.