Last January 9, Qatar and Saudi Arabia reopened their land borders in addition to announcing that as of Monday, January 11, flights between the two countries would resume. The announcements came after on January 5, Qatar and five other countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman) signed a historic agreement with which they resumed diplomatic relations that end three and a half years without diplomatic relations.

For the first time since June 2017, some Qataris were able to cross the borders of Abu Samrah, 120 kilometers south of Doha, to cross into Saudi territory, an important advance since many Qataris have families in Saudi Arabia and vice versa. Although Qatar has imposed strict control measures for the Covid-19 pandemic (test with a negative result, undergo a new test at the border and quarantine in a hotel), this was not an impediment for several vehicles to cross the border.

Furthermore, the reopening of the airspace represents a notable advance between the two countries. Shortly after the news broke, Qatar Airways and Saudi Airlines announced that they would resume flights between Doha and Riyadh, and a few days later, flights to Jeddah and Dammam.

Kuwait’s mediation has been key to the reopening of diplomatic relations and borders, which also includes maritime relations, with what is expected to be three and a half years of gap.