"Revealed: Qatar in new quagmire as an unlikely natural resource runs out"
Joseph Hammond, Special to Al Arabiya EnglishWednesday, 29 November 2017
The future of the diplomatic crisis surrounding Qatar may come to hinge on an unlikely commodity: sand.
An analysis of Qatar’s export and import data conducted by Al Arabiya
suggests that Qatar is facing serious challenges to meet its
construction needs for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
commodity is vital to construction and Qatar's push to build the
infrastructure it needs to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup will require
large sand imports.
Oil was the strategic commodity in the 20th
century and in many regions of the world water resources are
increasingly the center of geopolitical competition. However, the Qatar
crisis has put sand back in the forefront.
The Anti-Terrorism Quartet severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar on June 5 over Doha’s ties to terrorist groups.
Among the Quartet are Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates –
all of which were significant exporters of sand to the country as
recently as last year.
The Observatory of Economic Information at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology (MIT) maintains data related to the trade of important
According to data collected by MIT, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE accounted for 61.4% of Qatar’s sand imports last year.
Saudi Arabia (49% of imports) was the largest supplier of sand to Qatar in 2016 followed by China (19%) and India (14%).
The United Arab Emirates (11%) and Egypt (1.4%) were further down the
list last year but, remained important sources of imports. Either the
UAE or Saudi Arabia have alternated as the top source of Qatari sand
imports since 2013....MORE