Five countries sever ties with Qatar over 'terrorism'

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Yemen have all cut diplomatic ties with Qatar yesterday, over Qatar’s alleged support for Islamist groups.

What does this mean?

  • Qatari diplomats must leave the UAE in 48 hours.
  • Qatari nationals banned from entering the UAE and Qatari residents in the UAE have been given two weeks to leave the country.
  • UAE airlines have suspended all flights to and from Doha.
  • Gulf allies have closed their airspace to Qatar.
  • All states listed above plan to cut air and sea traffic to Qatar.

Going forward

The Foreign Ministry have reported the decision to sever ties with Qatar would “not affect the normal lives of citizens and residents”. However, one of the likely knock-on effects is on food stability. Every day, hundreds of lorries cross the Saudi-Qatari border, and food is one of the main supplies, about 40% of Qatar’s food is believed to come via this route. Suppliers should monitor this situation closely and review their trading and supply terms.

Specific to the insurance industry and healthcare operations, any providers and health insurance services providers that procure their services from the UAE for members in Qatar should monitor the situation closely as there may be future prohibitions of providing these services to Qatar businesses and residents. For example, this may impact on the services that third party medical claims administrators are procuring from the UAE for Insured members resident in Qatar.

Currently we are not aware and we have not seen any publications or resolutions from the UAE federal government stating that UAE businesses/entities cannot deal with Qatar businesses and residents although we suspect that something of this nature might be pending.