Is Qatar Near Saudi Arabia

Qatar-Saudi Arabia Geography

Qatar and Saudi Arabia are two Arab countries located in the Middle East. Seperated by a border of several kilometers, Qatar is a small Arab State, while Saudi Arabia is the largest in the region with many mineral and energy reserves. Qatar is located in the Arabian Desert, bordered by the Persian Gulf, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia is located in the Arabian Peninsula, with Iraq to the north, Jordan to the northwest, Qatar to the southeast and the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the west. Both countries are situated in an area of high significance in regards to geopolitics.

Qatar is known for its multicultural atmosphere, with the majority of people being Sunni and Shi’a Muslims. Its capital, Doha, is a leading economic and cultural center in the region. Qatar has the highest per capita income in the world, making it the second-wealthiest nation in the world, behind the United States. Qatar also has large natural gas reserves and is a major exporter of liquefied natural gas. Qatar is actively working to build infrastructure and diversify its economy by investing in industries such as finance, media, tourism, real estate and construction.

Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is a major player in regional and international affairs. It is a strong economic force in the Middle East. The majority of the population are Sunni Muslims and its capital, Riyadh, is also a major economic and cultural center. Saudi Arabia is home to two of the holiest sites in Islam, Mecca and Medina. Saudi Arabia has also been the largest producer of oil in the world, with the country’s economy heavily reliant on oil exports. The country has been actively diversifying its economy, investing in other industries such as IT, mining and gas.


Qatar and Saudi Arabia are not connected by land, but are connected by the seas. Qatar is entirely surrounded by the Persian Gulf, while Saudi Arabia is to the southwest of Qatar and is connected by the Gulf of Aqaba. Saudi Arabia also has a maritime border with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, with a maritime exclusive economic zone (EEZ) extending beyond 200 nautical miles. It is important to note that the maritime EEZ is subject to some overlapping EEZ claims between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

The Qatar-Saudi Arabia border is the longest land border in the Middle East. The border, which is 2,000 kilometers long, runs along the Gulf of Aqaba, from the city of Jubail on the Saudi side to the town of Khawr al Udayd on the Qatari side. Additionally, there are two disputed islands in the Gulf of Aqaba, Tiran and Sanafir, which are disputed between Qatar and Saudi Arabia but are under the control of the Saudi government.

The two countries have had a history of tensions spanning over the past several decades due to disagreements over the governance of the islands. In 2016, Qatar and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement recognizing the full sovereignty of Qatar over the two islands. However, the agreement has yet to be implemented.

Economic Relationships

In terms of economic relationships, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are linked by a number of factors. For instance, both countries are members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Additionally, both countries are significant trading partners, with Qatar having a large percentage of exports to Saudi Arabia, particularly in the oil and gas sector.

Since 2012, Qatar has been one of Saudi Arabia’s top sources of imports. The two countries have also been working on a number of joint investments, such as the $7 billion Qatar-Saudi strategic investments fund. The two countries have also been working on a range of projects related to infrastructure and energy.

In terms of tourism, both countries welcome millions of tourists from around the world, particularly for religious pilgrimages. In 2019, Qatar reported more than 5 million overnight stays from international tourists, while Saudi Arabia reported a record 22 million visitors from around the world, mainly for religious tourism.

Political Relationships

The political relationship between Qatar and Saudi Arabia has been mired with tensions in the past decade. In 2017, Saudi Arabia and other regional countries, including Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates, severed diplomatic ties with Qatar over allegations of Qatar’s support for terrorism in the region and interference in other countries’ domestic affairs. The rift between the two countries escalated in 2018 with the blockading of Qatar by the other countries, leading to a shortage of goods, food, and essential items in Qatar.

Despite these tensions, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been actively renewing diplomatic ties since 2019. In December 2019, Qatar and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement on the re-establishment of diplomatic ties. The agreement was hailed by many in the region as a positive step towards restoring diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Qatar-Saudi Arabia Relations on the International Scene

Qatar and Saudi Arabia have had different approaches to international policies in the past few years. Qatar has been an active member of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and has cooperated with regional powers in order to further its influence in the region. Qatar has also engaged in a number of diplomatic initiatives with its neighbors and worked to raise its international profile.

Saudi Arabia has also been an active international actor in its own right. The country has adopted a more aggressive stance towards certain regional actors, particularly Iran, and taken a hardline stance on issues such as human rights. Saudi Arabia has also been a significant international player in terms of energy, defense and politics.


In conclusion, Qatar and Saudi Arabia share a rich history of relationships both at the economic and political level. Despite some tensions in the past decade, the two countries have managed to bridge gaps through mutual understanding and dialogue. The two countries are situated in an area of high industrial, geopolitical and religious significance, and have been active international actors in their own right.

Joseph Gamez

Joseph R. Gamez is a freelance journalist and writer who specializes in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia. His articles focus on regional politics, human rights, and religious and cultural issues. He is passionate about bringing the stories of the Middle East to the public in an engaging and thought provoking way.

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