Cooperation Time in Qatar

Cooperation Time in Qatar 7 April, 2018

Arms race observed in Gulf countries is now accompanied by indigenous production models. Following Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Qatar also started pursuing the same path. As tension between Qatar and other Gulf members escalates, the former makes efforts to prevent isolation. International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX) organised in Doha is a reflection of this purpose. Launched around a decade ago in the area of naval affairs, the Exhibition set the stage for numerous cooperation and procurement deals in land, air, naval platforms as well as training. 

Two years ago at DIMDEX 2016, Qatar signed an approximately $7bn contract for 24 French Rafale. This deal was later repeated for US and UK aircraft. Having concluded a major deal with the Italian Fincantieri on naval platforms, the country has once again agreed with Russia on the off-the-shelf option for air platforms. These supplies are indicative of Qatar’s efforts to find new supply lines as a response to its isolation in the region. The hint as to where Doha is looking for solutions is that four contracting parties are members of the United Nations Security Council. 

In this Exhibition, Qatar adopted the means preferred by other member countries of the Gulf with which it locked horns with: technology and know-how transfer. This situation demonstrates a radical move from the traditional off-the-shelf policy. It is a development, portraying Qatar’s ambition to become powerful by its own means. In this framework, Qatar’s first act was to establish a structure called Barzan Holdings. 

Issue 86