Travel News

Why Qatar May Become an Island

Written by Charlie

It is not often that the geography of countries change so significantly but it may be soon that the country of Qatar would become an island. This will not be cheap at all and it could begin soon.

For those familiar with geography in the Middle East, you know that the little country of Qatar is actually a peninsula attached to Saudi Arabia. However, this may not stay this way for all the much longer as plans are being discussed to turn Qatar into an island.

Why Qatar May Become an Island

Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been at odds for a while but things escalated last year over various regional issues (which include accusations of terrorism). As part of this escalation, Saudi Arabia (along with UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt) had cut transportation and trade with the tiny nation of Qatar.

This has meant that flights with Qatar Airways often will take longer to arrive to some destinations than they used to (or they block more time than they used to) since they need to fly outside the airspace of Saudi Arabia. I experienced this myself earlier this year when I flew from Athens to Doha. We went way up and around instead of the more direct route due to the transportation block.

The current geography of the area around Qatar. It may soon be turned into an island

Saudia Arabia May Dig a 37 Mile Canal That Would Make Qatar an Island

Now, it appears that Saudi Arabia wants to take another step that would have a canal dug to turn Qatar into an island. According to unconfirmed reports earlier this year, the kingdom also had plans to build a military base and nuclear waste dump that would border this 600 foot wide canal (the length would be about 37 miles). The estimated cost for this project is $727 million.

According to reports back in July, the winning contractor would be announced this month (September).

This all came back into the news this week when a Saudi official seemed to confirm these reports on Twitter that such a project was moving ahead. In the scheme of things, it will not have an impact on most people since people are not allowed to go back and forth between the two nations right now anyway. But, such a move will change things more permanently, no matter what type of agreement the two countries may come to in the future.

Source: The Guardian

Featured image courtesy of Francisco Anzola (Doha skyline in the morning) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • What does this have you do with flights and frequent flyer points? You truly are scraping the barrel now. This is probably one of the worst travel blogs (and there are a lot of bad ones!). Consider me unsubscribed!

    • Ha, bye! You have no idea what you are talking about and this kind of reader is definitely not the one I like to have or write for anyway. Go find some other place to troll. You won’t be missed here!

  • Reading this post a second time has me laughing just as hard. Such a crazy, spiteful decision of one nation against another. Locating a nuclear waste dump at the border just adds insult to injury.

    • When you have as much money as Saudi Arabia does, I guess this is how you choose to make a point! The dump site is pretty ridiculous as well.

  • And they can take their [edited] airline and their lies and fraud against their most frequent flyers with them. I never thought I would agree with Saudia, Egypt, Bahrain, UAE and Yemen but I do when it comes to blockading these frauds at Qatar Airways from the top down. The biggest fraud of an airline FF program in airline history, done on May 27th, without notice, in the darkness of night, in a dishonest and clandestine way, doubled the points need for award flights, reduced the earning capacity for flights, charge per sector for award tickets even to Platinums and have continually lied about their profitability for years. Thieving mongrels is what they are and Saudia, Egypt, Bahrain, UAE and Yemen are right to blockade these people and so should all their frequent fliers who have had points stolen from under them by QR, without notice. Thieves!