Qatar tourism squeezed
The severing of diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt are squeezing the country’s tourism sector and Doha’s hotels, which would normally be full in the Eid Al Fitr holiday, have had steep falls in their occupancy rates.
A survey of five major hotels found occupancy was about 57 per cent at the start of Eid.
“We’re usually packed with Saudis and Bahrainis but not this year,” a staff member at a five-star hotel said.
The aviation analyst Will Horton estimated Hamad International Airport, one of the Middle East’s busiest, would handle 76 per cent as many flights in early July compared with last year, a loss of about 27,000 passengers a day.
“Doha in early July, assuming the restrictions remain, will have less capacity than a year ago – a confronting figure for a region where every month sets year-on-year records,” said Mr Horton, senior analyst at Australia’s CAPA Center for Aviation.