For the Gulf region, the year 2021 started on a positive note.
On January 5, during the 41st GCC Summit held at Saudi Arabia’s ancient city of AlUla, the kingdom – along with the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt – signed an agreement to restore ties with Qatar, ending the dispute within the region. The four countries had sealed all land, sea and air borders with Qatar in June 2017, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism. Qatar denied the allegations.
The signing of the AlUla Declaration to restore relations “will be a strong and important foundation to the future of the region and its stability” Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan told reporters at the time.
The move was hailed as a significant step for the region. The restoration of ties between Qatar and the four Arab countries will “improve political and economic cooperation” within the GCC region, S&P Global Ratings said in a note. “We expect that the resolution of the boycott will support improvement in the region’s broader business and investment environment,” it said.
During the embargo against Qatar, businesses operating throughout the Gulf faced disruptions to supply routes, transportation, recruitment, and scheduling obligations, law firm Wasel and Wasel’s Susan Bastress and Mahmoud Abuwasel said in a note.
“Parties have sought to accommodate the impacts of these disruptions through contractual provisions aimed at providing relief to harmed parties. These “workaround” provisions have resulted in increased costs to business operations, development projects, and ultimately the public at large, throughout the Gulf,” they wrote.
With the agreement now in place, businesses should consider reviewing current contract obligations and how they would be affected by the elimination of embargo related disruptions.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
The big picture
The Journey of Humanity is the world’s largest canvas painting. Dubai-based artist Sacha Jafri raised $62m from the sale of it, all of which will now be given to charity. Here’s what it took to create one of the biggest artistic, social and philanthropic projects of its kind to date
Navigating the Experience Age
We have an opportunity to transform and redefine travel by exploring how virtual and real experiences might complement one another
Explainer: Have workplace savings plans taken off in the GCC?
Having a pension solution ensures that the employer sets aside a defined amount on a periodic basis for end of service benefits
Calling the right numbers
Standing apart and making a mark in the regional telecom industry has been challenging and yet rewarding, states Mountasser Hachem, founder and CEO of Monty Mobile
Building a golfing legacy
Indian businessman Sudesh Aggarwal will launch the inaugural Emirates Amateur Golf League – the world’s first franchise-based amateur golf league – this November in Dubai
Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot, took a Swiss watchmaker that was only known among a select few and transformed it into a larger-than-life phenomenon. Here’s how he did it
Phi Trends: Healthy growth for alternative therapies
The market for alternative therapies such as gene-based solutions has garnered investor interest due to advancements in recent months, states entrepreneur and investor Shailesh Dash, who shares his perspective in this monthly column
Primed for growth
Abu Dhabi-based Yas Holding is rapidly expanding its portfolio across key sectors such as healthcare, education and technology. Group CEO Murshed Al Redaini reveals how the company has tackled the Covid crisis and its ambitious plans for the future
Why are we in a digital disarray?
It’s about time all of us seriously reflect on how we break this addiction
Riding the wave
UAE homegrown boat manufacturing business, Gulf Craft, helmed by Mohammed Hussein Alshaali, has built itself into a world-class player – evident in the new Majesty 175 which conducted its first sea trials earlier this year
Anubian Kingdom Rises
Excavations at a city on the Nile reveal the origins of an ancient African power
RUNAWAY ANDREW CAUGHT IN THE ACT!
Lawmen thwart plot to evade extradition by fleeing Britain
Culture, authenticity and hospitality attract global visitors to Doha.
A Smarter Diet
Will the food of the future be based on AI-created recipes?
Capture The Castle
A new conference center, legendary Welsh hospitality and a whole lot of history are driving Cardiff’s transformation into a global meetings venue
Netflix Bows To The Saudis
Even tech giants have to follow the law.
The Exclusive Story Of How The Feds Took FIFA
The exclusive account of how a small band of federal agents and an outsized corrupt official brought down the sports world’s biggest governing body.
FIFA's Falling Apart - And You Think The Fans Give A Damn?
The IAAF's decision to temporarily suspend Russia is welcome, but the organisation, which has been rocked by allegations in recent months, is not out of the woods yet, writes Sean Ingle.
The FIFA Saga - Going...Going...Gone
The net is tightening around the movers and shakers of world football as the FIFA corruption scandal gathers momentum.
HOW TO SEE THE WHALE SHARKS OF QATAR
A new expedition cruise unlocks the secrets of Qatar’s coastline, offering zodiac rides among a rare congregation of whale sharks. In this interview, we discuss some of the tour’s highlights