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The New Arab

Qatar to officially launch blockade-busting port after Eid

Qatar's biggest port will officially go online in a week [AFP]

Date of publication: 27 August, 2017

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Qatar has announced the official launch of the Hamad Port in the first week of September, which is already being used to circumvent a blockade enforced on the country.
Qatar's Hamad Port will officially launch in the first week of September, after already playing a vital role breaking a blockade on the country.

The $7.1 billion megaport has been operational for ten months, and played a vital role in opening up new sea links to the emirate after a Saudi-led bloc of Arab countries enforced a blockade on Qatar.

Days after Eid al-Fitr celebrations come to an end, Qatar will cheer the official launch of the port, which recently opened new routes to India, Oman, Turkey and Pakistan.

Vital supplies have been shipped to Qatar via the port, including dairy produce from Turkish manufacturers that have helped cut up the slack after Saudi farmers were subject to Riyadh's embargo.

Also welcomed to the emirate this week are 207 racing camels that were shipped to Doha's Hamad Port from Sohar, in northern Oman.

The port holds vital importance to Qatar, which goes beyond the immediate blockade. Qatar's Vision 2030 plan aims to diversify the country's economy which is almost completely reliant on its rich gas reserves.

Qatar - like other resource-rich countries in the Gulf - is looking to use its strategic location to its advantage and make Hamad Port a major regional logistics hub.

It is already one of the region's largest ports and is set to have three terminals by 2020, capable of handling 7.5 million containers a year.  

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