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Via @halawala

Pro-Qatar ad in London

Khaleeji visitors to the UK this summer will either be pleased or incensed to see that the Gulf dispute is spilling onto the streets of London.

Several London black cabs branded with messages supporting Qatar have been spotted around town this week.

In addition to the taxis, which often carry advertisements, tuk tuks with the Emir’s face and moving billboards urging an end to the blockade against Qatar have also been seen.

Many of the photos appear to have been taken in the Edgware Road area, a part of London popular among Gulf tourists.

No resolution

Most of the messages seem to be paid advertisements. However, some people have mistaken them as a show of Qatar solidarity from the UK.

It remains unclear who is footing the bill for the ads.

But they come at a time when the Gulf crisis remains at an impasse. This is despite intense mediation efforts by the US and Kuwait.

Thoughts?

Paul Gillet

Photo of Manchester Arena for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar has “strongly condemned and denounced” an explosion which killed nearly two dozen people at an Ariana Grande concert in the UK last night.

The state’s foreign minister also issued a short statement on Twitter expressing “sincere condolences and thoughts” to the victims and their families.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on QNA this morning that it “reiterated Qatar’s firm stance on rejecting violence and terrorism regardless of its source and whatever its motives and reasons.”

Qatar rejects “all criminal attacks that terrorize the innocent people and contradict with humanitarian values and principles,” the ministry added.

It said the Gulf state stood in “full solidarity” with the UK government and expressed condolences to the families of the victims and the UK government, wishing the injured a quick recovery.

With 22 people dead, this is one of the deadliest attacks the UK has seen in recent years, and officials are treating it as terrorism-related for now.

The explosion took place in the foyer of Manchester Arena around 10:30pm, according to police.

Also, more than 50 people have suffered “shrapnel-like injuries,” the BBC reports.

Grande is a 23-year-old American pop singer, and many in the audience were teenagers and their mothers.

Following the attack, the artist, who was unharmed, tweeted:

Qatar reactions

In Qatar, people waking up to news of the tragedy reacted with similar horror:

Qatar and the UK are close allies, and the attack comes days after the government reaffirmed its stance against regional extremist groups.

Thoughts?

Pixabay

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar will spend some £5 billion on the UK’s economy over the next three to five years, its prime minister has announced.

The pledge to further invest in the UK’s infrastructure, real estate and technology comes at a critical time for the country, which is preparing to leave the European Union.

PM Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani made the announcement during a business and investment forum in London yesterday.

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Canary Wharf

The two countries already have a strong relationship, with Bloomberg reporting that Qatar has previously injected some £35 billion in the nation.

Much of this comes in the form of UK real estate, as Qatar owns the Shard, the Olympic Village and Canary Wharf, among other properties.

Qatari students and tourists also frequently visit the country.

Cushioning Brexit

According to Bloomberg, all of this helps explain why Qatar has a “big stake” in keeping the UK’s economy strong once it exits the EU.

Bloomberg

Qatar’s investments in the UK

Over the next few years, the UK will be taking the investment through the Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, which remains very interested in the nation:

During this week’s forum, the CEO of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani said:

“There is a pressure from my board to diversify in terms of geography and asset class, but we are still looking, even after Brexit, for opportunities (in Britain).”

Beyond Europe

Qatar is also hoping to attract investment to its own country, which is struggling with falling revenue from lower oil prices.

It has been doing so in part by expanding its relationships in Asia and the US.

Pixabay

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

According to Reuters, the QIA announced plans this week to open an office in San Francisco.

The moves comes after Qatar committed to spending $35 billion in the US by 2020.

Thoughts?

Note: This article has been corrected to reflect that Qatar does not supply the majority of the UK’s imported fuel.