Al-Khobar, Ibrahim Al -Shaiban
Economist and legal expert: Qatar is on the blink of a total economic collapse due to isolation imposed for supporting terrorism in the region

In an interview with “Riyadh Newspaper” two experts in the economy and international law expect that the project of digging the Salwa channel will affect Qatar at the security and economic level because Qatar will turn into an island after it was a "peninsula" and would lose the land border with another state.

Economist Dr. Abdullah Al-Mughlout underscored the most important economic effects on Qatar which include resizing Qatar economically through the difficulty of transporting goods, consequently costs will be very high when Qatar imports goods by sea, pointing out that Qatar is no longer able to use the roads with KSA, thus Qatar will become in a complete isolation. 

Dr. Abdullah Al-Mughlout

This constitutes an economic and financial burden on Qatar, which is surrounded by four maritime sides. This means that Qatar will become in a complete isolation on the world map and turn into an island. In addition, economists believe that investment projects will cost a lot to be carried out.

Security and legal expert Badr bin Sultan al-Hammadi made clear that economy goes hand-in-hand with the policy and the Qatari regime does not take into consideration the disastrous consequences due to insisting on acting outside the consensus of GCC and Arab system. This Qatari insistence will drive into the ground for many reasons including the economic situation of the Qatari people that will fully be affected and the breakdown of the economic side as pillars of development, prosperity and stability.

He also said that digging the Salwa channel being a Saudi sovereign right will result in an economic recession and the flight of funds, projects and foreign investments from Qatar, citing that Qatar was linked by a major artery in Saudi Arabia that stopped after the Quartet boycott and forced it into recession together with withdrawing many external assets and balances to meet large projects a matter which led to a deterioration of the economic situation because of the boycott.

Badr bin Sultan al-Hammadi

Hammadi pointed out that the Doha authorities are in an economic situation fully dominated by stagnation, the decline of development and the fluctuation of projects in addition to that a lot of foreign workers who live under difficult conditions left Qatar. Overall, Qatar faces a state of slowdown in its economic growth and this is contrary to 2020 economic plans before hosting FIFA World Cup 2022 with two years. This caused the current crises faced by Qatar due to practical steps taken by the Arab Quartet against terrorism-sponsoring country. 

He noted that other economic impacts will appear shortly due to digging the Salwa water channel including that Qatar will turn into an island after it was “peninsula”. This will result in significant economic impacts, more economic deterioration and the soaring value of goods and commodities. 

The disastrous impacts will include also the security side in addition to the political and economic ones. A number of projects in Qatar will be subject to losses in addition to capital flight and the withdrawal of the international companies from the Qatari market due to the absence of the security side.

Al-Hammadi pointed out that the isolation of Qatar on the world map will fully harm the Qatari economy and led to the devaluation of its currency. He also said that many financial and economic analysts expected inflation suffered by Qataris. 

The economic market needs openness and good relations with neighboring countries. He wonder: how a country totally depend on external resources and cannot meet the needs of its citizens? He regrets that the Qatari economy is on the blink of collapse due to all current negative indicators.

On the other hand, geopolitical experts stressed that the establishment of a Saudi military base between the Salwa Canal project and the Qatari border will give Saudi Arabia a strategic part of Salwa Island which in turn includes Qatari land. This means that Qatar will not be an independent island after the completion of the project.

The digging of the Salwa canal will start in the region of Salwa to Khor Al-Adeed, along the eastern coast of the Kingdom. It is an economic project that allows the Kingdom to use the entire Gulf Coast. The planned canal expected to cost SR2.8 billion and will be 200 meters wide and 15 to 20 meters deep, allowing ships up to 300 meters long and 33 meters wide to navigate it. The 60 km long canal will be carried out within 12 months. The project is aimed at digging a canal that will represent a navigation line and a regional and international tourist attraction. The canal will also receive cargo ships or passenger ships with a submersible up to 12 meters in addition to building ports on both sides of the canal that will be dedicated to the practice of a number of marine sports. Marinas for yachts and water sports will be built on the two banks of the canal, making it one of the most attractive in the Gulf region.

The canal will be along the border with Qatar, but it will fully be Saudi because it will be carried out within Saudi territory about one kilometer from the official border with Qatar. The plan will be presented to relevant entities, including the Ministry of Defence and the Border Police. A Saudi military base will be established in the one kilometre separating the Salwa waterway from Qatar, while the remainder will be converted into a waste dump for the Saudi nuclear reactor, which Riyadh plans to build according to best practices and global environmental requirements.

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