Qataris on Monday rushed to supermarkets all around the country to buy food products after Saudi Arabia closed Qatar’s only land border.
Customers could be seen piling their carts high with supplies of milk, water, rice and eggs at several popular grocery stores today, which were even busier than is usual for Ramadan.
Photographs of empty chiller shelves have already been circulating on social media sites, as residents reportedly cleared out stores of chicken and other fresh and frozen meat in some shops, according to Doha News.
80% of Qatar’s food imports are via a Persian Gulf Cooperation Council food trade supply chain, and unless the crisis resolved immediately, there will be shortages, according to industry sources.
Qatar’s foreign affairs ministry, however, insisted in a statement that the border closing would not impact normal life in the country for citizens and residents.
It added that the Qatari government will “take all the necessary measures to make certain of that and to thwart attempts to negatively affect Qatari society and economy.”
The grocery rush follows an escalating rift between Qatar and its neighboring Gulf states.
Earlier this morning, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain announced that they would close all land, air and sea borders with Qatar within 24 hours. Yemen and Libya also joined them later.