CAIRO – 3 September 2018: The Qatari opposition website (Qatari Leaks) released a clip claiming that Qataris started to leave their country, fleeing repression, detention and torture by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad's regime.
According to the report, the Qataris began to search for a safe place to protect themselves from the imminent collapse of Doha.
Qatari Leaks said that the Dubai-based AAA Associates, a leading advisory specialised in the Citizenship-By Investment (CBI) programmes, has said, their Middle Eastern applicants data showed that the high net worth individuals contributed to record 51 per cent increase in demand for Caribbean citizenship in 2017-18 as compared to the previous years.
The top nationalities that contributed to this increase in demand are Syrians and Yemenis, followed by Qataris, Bahrainis, Omanis, Kuwaitis, Indians and Pakistanis.
The Citizenship-by-investment programs are increasingly becoming popular among wealthy residents in the Middle Eastern citizens. It allows access to visa-free entry into over 120 countries, including Schengen Zone for either for investment, business or educational purposes.
Qatar’s relations with several Arab states have been strained since May 24, 2017 over a leaked statement attributed to Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, criticizing Gulf foreign policy with Iran, describing it as “unwise”.
On June 5, 2017, Qatar was hit by its biggest diplomatic crisis after multiple Arab nations, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilizing the region with its support for Islamist groups.
The Arab quartet halted all land, air and sea traffic with Qatar, and withdrew their diplomats and ambassadors from the Qatari peninsula. The Arab quartet issued 13 demands to Doha – then shortened to six principles - including closing Al Jazeera television, curbing relations with Iran and shutting down a Turkish military base.
The four Arab countries severed relations with Doha over what they say was its close links to Iran, which has been accused of interfering in Arab countries’ affairs and being behind terrorist plots. Doha restored full diplomatic relations with Tehran amid the crisis.
One major disagreement between Qatar and its neighbors has been the former’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been outlawed as a terrorist group by the boycotting countries.
Since the eruption of the crisis, Qatar showed no intention of solving the strife. However, Qatar placed several people and entities on its terrorism list in March, including several Qatari nationals already blacklisted by the Arab quartet that accused Doha of supporting militants. Qatar’s issuance of a terror list of 19 individuals and eight entities has done little to impress decision-makers in the four Arab countries.