Analyzing the Effect of Geo-economics in Saudi-Qatar Rivalries

Document Type : Original Article


Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Extended Abstract
The rivalries and tensions between Saudi Arabia and Qatar during the past recent years is a deep-rooted issue the reasons behind which should not be investigated merely in identity, ideological and political issues. The most important aspect of their rivalries arises from the geopolitical motivations arising out of geo-economic dynamics. The first signs of such rivalries emerged back in 1995 as a consequence of long-running disputes over natural gas resources. Since then, natural gas has become a bone of contention and has been regarded as the most important propeller of the rivalries between the two states.
This article seeks to analyze the rivalries between Qatar and Saudi Arabia from the perspective of political economy in the direction of regional hegemony.
By drawing on the descriptive-analytical method, relying on library sources, and surveying the entire information available, the present article aims to provide geo-economic explanations on the Saudi-Qatar rivalries from the political economy perspective as one of the major pillars of analyzing geopolitical relations.
The various dimensions of the Qatari-Saudi Arabia geo-economic competition can be categorized into the following issues: regional actions Saudi-Qatar gas competition, international Qatari-Saudi gas competition international action, international investment competition, airline competition and tourism economy, competition in the field of media and sports competitions.
Analyses and Conclusion
The findings of the present study show that the analysis of countries' relations in the world cannot be considered separately from political economy and consequently economic policies. In the same framework and in the form of geopolitical analysis, more accurate analyzes can be achieved by using political economy and geo-economics. In this article, more effort has been made to highlight the analytical framework of political economy during the competitions of different actors at different scales. Thus, the focus was on the competition between Saudi Arabia and Qatar as two rivals in the Arabian Peninsula from a geo-economics perspective


  1. Ahmadi, S.; Hafeznia, M.; Badiee Azondahi, M.; Heidari Mosello, T. (2018). Theoretical Explanation of the Foundations Forming Geopolitical Competition. Human Geography Research, 50(1), 199-216. doi: 10.22059/jhgr.2017.61888.[In Persian]
  2. Ahmadipor, Z., Ghaderi Hajat, M., Mollahossiani Ardakany, R. (2013). Modeling of Place Rivalries Due to Place Amour in Cultural Congruent Vicinal (Case Study: Ardakn and Meybod in Yazd Province). Human Geography Research, 45(1), 147-168. doi: 10.22059/jhgr.2013.30043.[In Persian]
  3. Al-Jazeera News Agency (05/23/2019).“The Wall Street Journal: The North Field behind a Saudi plan to invade Qatar,” available at the following link:[In Arabic]
  4. Al-Jazeera News Agency (6/17/2017). “An agreement to supply Shell with Qatari gas for five years”,available at the following link:[In Arabic]
  5. Al-Jazeera News Agency (6/20/2017). “India is seeking a gas agreement with Qatar to operate power stations,”, available at the following link:[In Arabic]
  6. Al-Jazeera News Agency (7/21/2017). “Increasing Qatar’s Gas Production Curbing the Growth of America’s Exports”, [In Arabic], available at the following link:
  7. Al-Jazeera News Agency (9/26/2017). “Despite the blockade ... an agreement to export Qatari gas to Bangladesh”, available at the following link:[In Arabic]
  8. Al-Salem, A (2019). “The Real Causes of the Blockade of Qatar”, Wasam website, available at the following link:[In Arabic]
  9. Anyotina, N (06.06.2017). “Bloomberg reveals the cause of the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar,” Russia Today [In Arabic], available at the following link:
  10. Clark, T.N; Harvey, R, (2010). Urban Politics. in K.T. leicht & J.C.Jenkins (eds), Hand Book of politics and State and Society in Global Perspective. New York: springer publications
  11. Cox, J (2019). "Saudi Arabia and Japan’s Softbank to create world’s biggest solar power project", The Independent, available at:
  12. Edel, M (2013). Urban and regional economics: Marxist perspectives (Vol. 3). Taylor & Francis.
  13. Fank (2020). Economy in Qatar, , available at the following link:[In Arabic]
  14. French News Agency (07/11/2017). “Total and Qatar Petroleum establish a company to develop Al Shaheen offshore field,” available at the following link:[In Arabic]
  15. Gallaher, C.; Dahlman, C. T.; Gilmartin, M.; Mountz, A.; Shirlow, P, (2009). Key concepts in political geography. Sage.
  16. Ghafari,A; Taklif, A (2015). The Application of Rational Model in Strategic Decision-making for Maximum Efficient Recovery from “South Pars-North Dome” Joint Field: A Conceptual Model with Emphasis on Legal Requirements,. 10.22054/jiee.2016.1896.[In Persian]
  17. Hafeznia, M. R (2007). Principles and Concepts of Geopolitics (new edition with revision), Mashhad, Publications: Papli.[In Persian]
  18. Iranian Diplomacy News Analytical Database (2012). "Arabic Sky News Network, Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya's New Rival", Code: 1900946, available at: .[In Persian]
  19. Khodadad Kashi, F. (2009). Competing Views of Competition and the Condition of Rivalry in Iranian Economy. qjerp., 17 (51):25-40.[In Persian]
  20. Klamar, J (18/01.2019). "The Saudi Arabia will become the largest gas exporter in cooperation with Russia", Sputnik News, available at:
  21. Mahmoud, Sh (2019). Urban Sociology, 11 Edition, Samat Publications.[In Persian]
  22. Marzouq, A (2017). “From the Berlin Siege to the Siege of Qatar”, The Gulf House website, available at the following link: 2231/.[In Arabic]
  23. Moazami, M; Jokar, S (2013). Qatar Oil and Gas Report, Institute of International Energy Studies, Ministry of Oil of the Islamic Republic of Iran, National Energy Report, No. 5, pp. 13-1.[In Persian]
  24. Moemeni, F; Zamani, R (2014). An Analysis of Pattern of Development in Iran between Two Revolutions Based on Political Economy and Social Order. Strategy, 22(4), 7-39.[In Persian]
  25. Mohammadifar, Y., Ahmadian, G., Heshmati, A. (2019). The Concequence of National Branding for Iran with Emphasis on Political and Economic Dimensions. International Political Economy Studies, 2(1), 25-56. doi: 10.22126/ipes.2019.4452.1167.[In Persian]
  26. Mokhtari Hashi, H. (2018). Explaining the Concept of Geoeconomics and ‌Recommendations for Iran. Geopolitics Quarterly, 14(50), 56-82.[In Persian]
  27. Mosalanejad, A. (2014). Extending geopolitical rivalries to identity conflicts in the Middle East. World Politics, 3(3), 7-34.[In Persian]
  28. Mosallanejad, A (2014), Economic Policy, Model, Method and Process, Third Edition, Tehran, Publications: New Occurrence.[In Persian]
  29. Mosallanejad, A (2019), Political Economy Basics, Function and Process, Fifth Edition, Tehran, Publications: University of Tehran.[In Persian]
  30. Mossalanejad, A. (2012, A). Explanation Shiite Identity Seeking and the Middle East's New Geopolitics. Geopolitics Quarterly, 8(25), 135-171.[In Persian]
  31. Mossalanejad, A. (2012, B). Effects of the Security Instability on the Balance of Power in the Middle East. Geopolitics Quarterly, 8(27), 35-59.[In Persian]
  32. Newspaper statement (4 Fawry 2020).“Gas discovery in the Jebel Ali field with reserves of 80 trillion cubic feet”, Dubai, available at the following link: 406.[In Arabic]
  33. Pashang, M (2018). "Consequences of Qatar's Exit from OPEC and the International Energy Market", Center for Strategic Research in the Middle East, available at:[In Persian]
  34. Porter, M.E, (1979)."How Competitive Forces Shape Strategy", Harvard Business Review, May 1979 (Vol. 57, No. 2), pp. 137-145.
  35. Qatar News Agency (QNA) (12/06/2017). “Annual profits of Qatar Airways rise by 22%,” available on Al-Jazeera website, at the following link:[In Arabic]
  36. Rasouli, N (2011). "Gas Power Exposure", Etemad Newspaper, No. 2310, p. 4. Available at:[In Persian]
  37. Soilen, K.S (2010). the Shift from Geopolitics to Geo-economics and the Failure of Our Modern Social Sciences,” Electronic Research Archive, Blekinge Institute of Technology, 2010.

Zieleniec, A (2007). Space and social theory, SAGE Publications Ltd.38

Volume 17, Issue 62
June 2021
Pages 1-26
  • Receive Date: 29 September 2020
  • Revise Date: 05 December 2020
  • Accept Date: 06 December 2020
  • First Publish Date: 08 December 2020