The Blockade and Cost-of-Living in Qatar

    Oct 31, 2017 @ 03:11 PM / by Morgan Grenier

    Doha Grocery Pano2-711520-edited.jpg

    Qatar Diplomatic Crisis

    More than a hundred days have passed since the beginning of the Qatar diplomatic crisis

    , when fellow Gulf Cooperation Council member states Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, along with several other countries, cut diplomatic ties with the nation of Qatar. Initially there were worries that the crisis would spark widespread food shortages or rampant inflation, since Qatar produces only one percent of its food and an estimated eighty percent of the remainder comes from blockading countries. Pictures of empty shelves at grocery stores flooded Qatari social media, but Qatar was quickly able to secure imports from Turkey and Iran and stores were restocked almost immediately.

    Cost-of-Living Inflation in Qatar

    Our comprehensive survey of Doha in late August showed that despite a steady flow of goods and no significant food shortages, prices for certain foods had been impacted, such as dairy and chicken. While many of Qatar’s food imports simply had to find new transit routes, Saudi Arabia was the source of much of Qatar’s fresh dairy and chicken, and prices for these products increased. They were also more likely to be unfamiliar brands, sometimes labeled with Turkish script that was translated on placards in the store. These products were standouts in the category of grocery items, however, and most food prices did not change. Over 50,000 common food items are subsidized by the government, which has used its sizeable sovereign wealth fund to cover added import costs and control price increases for the past three months. Whole categories saw either negligible changes or price reductions over the six month period between our surveys. Overall inflation was low in Qatar despite the embargo.

    AIRINC's Data Points: Your Global Mobility News

    Want to learn more?  The above excerpt is taken from Data Points, AIRINC's quarterly newsletter.  More mobility data highlights are now available on our website at

    Data Points brings you the latest updates from our Housing, Goods & Services, and Tax departments based on our expert international surveys, which are conducted by our global data collection team on-location.

    This quarter's cost-of-living surveys were conducted primarily in North America, Central and South America, the Middle East, Africa, and maritime Southeast Asia-Pacific.

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    Topics: Goods & Services, ALERT, Data Points, Data and Infographics, Qatar, Doha

    Morgan Grenier

    Written by Morgan Grenier

    Morgan graduated with a BA in Communications and Journalism from Simmons College, where she received a Gold Medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. She joined AIRINC in 2016 as a Goods and Services Analyst. In this role, she aids in the quarterly analysis of survey data and evaluates hardship for AIRINC’s Hardship Database.