Flying Cows to Qatar Is One Man’s Way to Beat the Saudis
With 4,000 animals arriving on 60 flights, a Doha businessman is creating a local dairy industry.
Call it the biggest bovine airlift in history.
The showdown between Qatar and its neighbors has disrupted trade, split families and threatened to alter long-standing geopolitical alliances. It’s also prompted one Qatari businessman to fly 4,000 cows to the Gulf desert in an act of resistance and opportunity to fill the void left by a collapse in the supply of fresh milk.
It will take as many as 60 flights for Qatar Airways to deliver the 590-kilogram beasts that Moutaz Al Khayyat, chairman of Power International Holding, bought in Australia and the U.S. “This is the time to work for Qatar,” he said.
Led by Saudi Arabia, Qatar stands accused of supporting Islamic militants, charges the sheikhdom has repeatedly denied. The isolation that started on June 5 has forced the world’s richest country by capita to open new trade routes to import food, building materials and equipment for its natural gas industry. The central bank said domestic and international transactions were running normally.
Turkish dairy goods have been flown in, and Iranian fruit and vegetables are on the way. There’s also a campaign to buy home-grown produce. Signs with colors of the Qatari flag have been placed next to dairy products in stores. One sign dangling from the ceiling said: “Together for the support of local products.”