Qatar announced earlier this month that it plans to buy $500mn worth of bonds from debt-ridden Lebanon. The move will not go down well in Riyadh which sees Lebanon as firmly within its sphere of influence and Qatar as an upstart rival. It highlights the lack of pressure Qatar feels to repair its relationship with Saudi Arabia and is indicative of the robustness of the economy despite the continuing embargo.

The Saudi-led embargo was imposed in June 2017 (MEES, 9 June 2017) and so 2018 was its first full calendar-year in force. Economic data shows that Qatar is comfortably weathering the storm, having rejigged a few trade routes to adjust to the new situation. Critical exports of LNG and oil have continued largely without hiccup. With prices at multi-year highs last year, Doha raked in bumper revenues. (CONTINUED - 929 WORDS)