The UAE, Saudi Arabia and others have severed ties with Qatar, and are shutting air, land and sea access to the country
5 June 2017| Last updated on 5 June 2017
In an unprecedented move that has left residents feeling unsettled this week, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt have all broken their diplomatic ties to Qatar. By doing so, they've cut off air, land and sea access to the country.
By severing all ties, the four countries aim to "protect their own national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism", the Saudi state news agency SPA shared.
How does this affect movement in the region?
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have already closed their vital land border, which Qatar uses to import much of its food and other items, and air and sea travel from the Kingdom has also been suspended.
Abu Dhabi's national airline, Etihad Airways, will suspend all flights to and from Qatar starting on Tuesday 6th June, 2017, following a recent announcement on their website here.
Announcements have now been made by two other popular UAE airlines, Emirates and flydubai, who have joined Etihad Airways in suspending flights to the country. You can read Emirates' announcement here, and flydubai's here.
It's unsurprising that many residents who have booked flights that travel through or over Qatar are now worrying about the change in travel arrangements.
If you have flights booked with any of the airlines in the region that will travel to or transit through Qatar, our advice would be to contact them to gain clarity on how this will affect your future travels.
How does this affect Qataris living in these countries?
The three GCC countries, Saudi, UAE and Bahrain, have given Qatari nationals 14 days to leave their respective countries, and diplomats only have 48 hours to exit.
Qatar nationals will no longer be able to enter or transit through the UAE for the forseeable future, and Emiratis from the UAE have also been blocked from travelling to or through Qatar, the UAE state news agency WAM has shared.
Why are these countries cutting ties with Qatar?
There have been tensions between Abu Dhabi and Doha over Qatar's ties with a range of terrorist organisations since 2014, but the issue erupted again recently after a statement made by a Qatar's emir Sheikh Tamim criticised Riyadh's relationship with US President Donald Trump and positions on Iran and Islamist groups, The National reported.
Qatar is yet to make any public comments over the latest news.
UPDATE: Both Libya and Yemen have followed their regional allies following today's earlier announcement.