Traders in Qatar are growing alarmed at what they called a move by Saudi Arabia to stop exporting bottled water to other GCC countries, local media has reported.
Qatar, which imports about 30 percent of its bottled water from the Kingdom, has not received any shipments in the past week for unknown reasons, importers said, prompting fears of a shortage in the market and a subsequent price rise.
Saudi brands include Safa, Nova, Al Helwa and Sihatak.
Some managers of local hypermarkets say they are not concerned, because their stocks consist mainly of locally bottled water. But some traders say that is not enough to ward off a shortage.
The Peninsula reports:
Importers say that any disruption in the Saudi imports will force the traders to rely more on local brands and those imported from the UAE. While the local products are not sufficient to meet the demand, an increased dependence on the UAE brands could result in high import costs, and ultimately a hike in the prices…
Despite the fact that desalinated tap water in Qatar has been rated high in quality by the World Health Organisation, a large number of nationals and residents rely on bottled water on a regular basis.
So, who’s up for trying their tap water?