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Will Avios redemptions to Dubai on Qatar Airways restart?

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You will probably have seen in the national media that Qatar has reached an agreement with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates to end the three year blockade of Doha.

I will focus on the aviation benefits of the detente rather than the political elements.

Qatar Airways A350 Doha

Qatar Airways will now be allowed to fly over Saudi Arabia again. As the only country sharing a land border with Qatar, the removal of flying rights meant that many Qatar Airways routes involved a lenghty detour. The detour involved flying over Iran – for a substantial fee – which ironically strengthened the regime that Saudi Arabia and the UAE wanted to weaken.

More practically, we should soon see Qatar Airways resuming flights to the UAE and the other countries involved.

It will reopen a route to Abu Dhabi on Avios, as British Airways has now dropped the route, as well as increasing Avios options to Dubai. We may even see the Doha to Ras Al Khaimah route coming back, which I reviewed a few years ago.

It will be especially useful to readers outside London who may find a Qatar Airways redemption to the UAE more convenient than flying British Airways with a connection in Heathrow.

Comments (47)

  • babyg says:

    Oh this would be great (QR to DXB/AUG), especially with BA dropping AUH, hopefully QR will have some reward availability by the end of the year to either AUH/DXB, any crystal prediction on dates?

    • Blenz101 says:

      Assuming Qatar reopens its borders (post Eid would be my guess) I would be fairly confident flights will be back around the time of the rescheduled Expo2020 in October in DXB.

      EK/EY (i.e. the UAE Gov) don’t have a great incentive to encourage QR to compete with them as an extra hub delivering passengers to AUH/DXB meanwhile whilst Doha itself remains closed.

      Also the UAE was far more keen on keeping the blockade vs KSA.

      • babyg says:

        Thanks for the input Blenz101.. that could work out nicely for the Abu Dhabi F1 in December. I would much rather fly QR to AUH vs BA to DXB (plus the QR cabin/service benefits)

      • Aston100 says:

        Which Eid? The one in May after Ramadan, or the one in July after the Hajj?

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