International banks with regional offices in Dubai are now serving Qatari clients from London and New York to overcome the current diplomatic dispute in the Gulf, according to reports.
Bloomberg cited people familiar with the matter as confirming lenders operating out of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) with clients like Qatar Investment Authority and wealthy Qatari family offices are now serving them from other locations.
The shift is in part to avoid damaging relations with the UAE and Saudi Arabia and also due to requests from Qatari clients to work with bankers outside of the Gulf region, according to the publication.
DIFC is used as a regional base by many international lenders due to its lack of taxes and extensive transport links.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar on June 5, resulting in the closure of the country’s only land border and halting of flights between Doha and other regional cities.
Representatives from the four nations are meeting in the Bahraini capital Manama today and could impose new economic sanctions on Qatari, according to reports.
Foreign ministers “are expected to impose sanctions that will gradually affect the Qatari economy”, al-Hayat newspaper reported, citing unidentified Gulf sources, without giving any further details.