x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Qatar residents rush to stock up food supplies as border closes

Qatar imports up to 90 per cent of its food, much of it through its only land border crossing at Abu Samra which will be closed as neighbouring Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Doha.

People rushing to buy food supplies at a supermarket in Doha, Qatar on June 5, 2017. Arab nations including the UAE and Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, further deepening a rift between Gulf Arab nations over Doha's support for Islamist groups. @shalome05 via AP
People rushing to buy food supplies at a supermarket in Doha, Qatar on June 5, 2017. Arab nations including the UAE and Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, further deepening a rift between Gulf Arab nations over Doha's support for Islamist groups. @shalome05 via AP

ABU DHABI // Qatar residents rushed to stock up food supplies on Monday following news that Saudi Arabia would close the country’s only land border, leaving some supermarkets with rows of empty shelves.

By late afternoon, strawberry milk was the only item left in the dairy aisle of one Doha supermarket, while the poultry section was also sparse.

“It has potential to get very serious ... as the shops are emptying out,” said one British expat shopper. “Milk and chicken are disappearing as these are imported from Saudi [Arabia].”

“If Nutella runs out, this place will go mad,” the shopper added jokingly.

Images shared on social media showed crowds of shoppers pushing trolleys piled high with food, water and other drinks.