Browsing 'uk' News

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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.

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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.

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Qatar’s foreign ministry has denounced a deadly attack in London yesterday that left four people dead and 29 others injured.

In what British officials are calling a terrorist act, an assailant mowed down several people while driving an SUV on Westminster Bridge.

He then stabbed and killed a police officer outside of Parliament before being shot to death by other officers.

An investigation is now underway about the attack.

Rejecting violence

In a statement, MOFA said Qatar rejects violence in “all its forms regardless of its motives as well as all criminal acts that contradict with humanitarian principles and international law.”

It added that Qatar supports the UK government in whatever actions it takes to maintain the country’s security.

On Twitter, Qatar’s foreign minister also weighed in, saying:

Following a meeting about ISIS in the US yesterday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani also commented on terrorism:

The UK is a key ally of Qatar, whose sovereign wealth fund owns a great deal of property in and around London.

Earlier this week, it announced a ban on most electronics onboard aircraft headed to the country from the Middle East over concerns of a terrorist threat.

The ban mirrored one imposed by the US hours earlier, but exempts Qatar and the UAE.

Thoughts?

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A British Airways Boeing 787-800

Passengers flying from several cities in the Middle East to the UK have also been prohibited from carrying most electronic devices onboard, officials have announced.

The move follows in the footsteps of a new rule issued by the US today that requires passengers coming from eight countries (including Qatar) to pack any device larger than a cell phone into their checked luggage.

However, the UK ban affects fewer nations.

Mobile Internet Device

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In a statement, the Department of Transport said “Phones, laptops and tablets larger than 16.0cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm not allowed in the cabin on flights to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia.”

This means passengers flying through Qatar and the UAE have escaped the new requirements if they’re heading to London or other UK cities.

According to Sky News, some UK airlines will also be affected by the ban:

Safety concerns

US officials cited the possibility of a terrorist attack as a reason for instituting its indefinite electronics ban.

The UK transport department said that it understood the new measures would cause “frustration,” but it was also concerned about safety.

“The House will recognize that we face a constantly evolving threat from terrorism and must respond accordingly to ensure the protection of the public against those who would do us harm,” it said.

However, officials added, “we remain open for business. People should continue to fly and comply with security procedures.”

Thoughts?