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Qatar Launches 2 Shipping Routes with Oman | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A ship used for carrying goods is seen at the Hamad Port during a ceremony to mark the partial opening of the port, in Mesaieed, Qatar December 24, 2015. (Reuters)

Dubai – CEO at Qatar Ports Management Company Abdullah al-Khanji said that Qatar has launched two new shipping services to Omani ports after four other Gulf states cut diplomatic ties with Doha last week.

The two new services will each run three times a week between Qatar’s Hamad Port and Omani ports of Sohar in the north and Salalah in the south, Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani) announced on Sunday.

Khanji said that the first container ship loaded down with cargo arrived at Doha’s Hamad Port from Oman’s port of Sohar on Saturday, noting that these two routes will contribute in enhancing the import of food commodities.

He added that many Omani private sector companies have expressed their willingness to provide logistic support to Qatari food-importing companies.

Khanji pointed to the activation of the movement on the direct shipping route between Hamad port and China’s economic capital (Shanghai) within “New Falcon” service, which is affiliated to the Mediterranean Shipping Company «MSC», and the direct route of «Ocean Alliance». The trip lasts between 14 to 20 days, contributing to the enhancement of import movement.

In light of the current situation, Qatar’s ports give food commodities and their inputs the highest priority, while facilitating the procedures for the rapid release of goods, Khanji explained.

He added that cargo for Qatar usually stops at Dubai’s massive deep-water Jebel Ali port or in the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi, then gets put on smaller boats heading to Doha.

However, since June 5, the UAE joined Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt in cutting off sea traffic to Qatar as part of the severing of diplomatic ties over Qatar’s support of extremist groups and close ties to Iran.

Khanji said that Qatar’s cargo will go through Sohar, as well as Oman’s port at Salalah, bypassing the need to dock in any of those countries.