WATCH: 500 Days Under Blockade
500 days has passed since the illegal blockade was imposed on Qatar. In these 18 months, and despite all the odds, Qatar was able to stand high and turn the feelings of uncertainty into a brighter future.
In the first few days of the blockade uncertainty engulfed Qatar. Scores of people rushed to supermarkets to stock up on basic needs, as news of milk shortage spread. However, within those first few days, the panic calmed as Qatar was able to swiftly re-stock the aisles
National carrier Qatar Airways deployed its fleet to help import goods from all over the world. And as the initial shock of the blockade died down, it was business as usual for Qatar’s stock market.
The period of uncertainty positively eased into a period of solidarity. The people of Qatar stood together and showed their unwavering support for the Amir, through art installations and messages of unity across the country.
Around a year into the blockade, Normality became the dominant theme. Qatar became a self-sufficient state by producing many of its products. Baladna farm, for example, was able to effectively supply the demands of the nation.
On top that, all goods originating from the blockading countries removed from shops, and Qatar’s mega projects continued its course.
The last few months has indicated a brighter future for the country, as Qatar became more open to the world. Qatar also passed a permanent residency law which grants 100 expatriates every year to become permanent residents. That means that they would have same security, free healthcare and education and same job priority as Qatari citizens. For instance, in appreciation for standing and protecting Qatar, non-Qataris on the Qatari armed forces will also be able to become permanent residents in Qatar.
The economic impact of the blockade has also been brought down to a minimum. According to the International Monetary Fund, Qatar's real gross domestic product (GDP) will accelerate from 2.6 percent in 2018 to 2.7 percent in 2019 with both hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon sectors contributing more to the growth.
Giant effort from the leadership of Qatar in guiding the country through this tough period has, so far, proven to have worked great.