The path of cooperation, integration and coordination is a strategic Emirati choice towards achieving common Gulf aspirations
By Ghulam Haider
The UAE and Qatar are set to witness a new era of deepening economic relations and a robust development in bilateral trade and investment following the historic visit of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Upon the invitation of Qatar’s Emir, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan had a brief trip to the emirates earlier this month that coincided with the football FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. This allowed the UAE to benefit from an influx of soccer fans under partnerships by Doha for daily shuttle flights with neighbouring cities for the global supports event.
Although this is the UAE president’s first visit since the blockade around three and a half years back, however, analysts say that the ties have been gradually warming which will result in dual listings of the companies, too, as the initial public offering (IPO) pipeline looks strong in the UAE.
The two countries have hosted two major global events this year, Expo 2020 Dubai and Fifa World Cup 2022, which will result in an increase in foreign investments into the two Gulf countries.
Ravi Krishnan, general manager at business consultancy Ascent Partners, said the official visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed to the sisterly State of Qatar is another step towards strengthening solidarity and joint Gulf action.
“The path of cooperation, integration and coordination is a strategic Emirati choice towards achieving common Gulf aspirations,” he said, adding that the visit built on the existing brotherly relations between the two nations and their people.”
Hatem El Safty, CEO of Business Link, said the President’s visit the visit is bound to yield results positive prospects for growing cooperation between UAE and Qatar to boost prosperity in both countries. He said that this will serve common interests of both the emirates to consolidate ties and incentivise economic activities to enhance growth and venture new possibilities for lasting cooperation.
Ata Shobeiry, chief executive of Zoom Property, said Qatar’s hosting of the tournament, the first held in the Middle East, would be dubbed as “a success and honour for all” Gulf states and wider Arab world. And, the beginning of cordial relations between brotherly emirates of UAE and Qatar would herald a new era unmatched cooperation in trade, investment and economics across the GCC region.
“This visit certainly holds great importance, particularly due to the fact that there was political tension among these regions. Things, however, look better now and this visit by the President may pave the way for bilateral trade between the UAE and Qatar and a better GCC economy,” he said.
Daniel Takieddine, CEO, Mena BDSwiss, said that the heads of state explored areas of mutual interest and the strengthening of bilateral ties between the two nations to bring more prosperity to the region as a whole.
“A closer relationship would effectively benefit local economies to a great extent in particular as events like Dubai Expo 2020 and the world cup put a spotlight on the region,” he said, adding that growing relations would pave way for large investment projects in both countries, as well as potential companies’ dual listings in the respective stock markets as the IPO scene continues to boom, particularly in the UAE.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and the UAE’s vice-president Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum all attended the World Cup Opening ceremony in Doha last month.
The first FIFA World Cup on Arab soil is taking place less than two years after the end of the Saudi-led blockade in 2021.