The ongoing diplomatic crisis in the Gulf region has resulted in a shortage of US dollars in money exchange houses of Qatar, making it problematic for expats to send money back home. The foreign banks have also scaled back business with Qatari institutions because of the crisis.
Foreigners constitute about 90 per cent of Qatar’s population of about 2.6 million. Out of this, there are about 650,000 Indian expats working in this country.
A dealer at the Qatar-UAE Exchange House in Doha’s City Centre Mall said, “We have no dollars because there is no shipment or transportation from the UAE. There is no stock. The shipment is blocked from the UAE.”
The story was same at other exchange houses which too reported a shortage of dollars. At Qatar-UAE Exchange, many people were standing quietly in queues waiting for their turn to change money or send remittances back to their country.
A worried expat John Vincent said, “I spoke with my wife this morning. She said, 'Send your savings to me now.' I am not panicked but my family is scared.”
He added, “I sent 2,000 riyals (USD550) home but I have some more savings left here in Qatar. I will see what the situation is in coming days before I decide what to do."
The dollar shortages show how the diplomatic crisis is disrupting parts of the financial system of a country, which is one of the richest states in the world when measured per capita.