In May last year, the Qatari leader visited the United Arab Emirates for the first time since the crisis was resolved.
Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani landed in the UAE on Wednesday for a “brotherly consultative meeting” with President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ), the Amiri Diwan announced.
“The amir leaves the homeland, heading to the sister country of the United Arab Emirates, to participate in the brotherly consultative meeting, in response to the invitation of his brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the brotherly United Arab Emirates,” the Diwan said in a statement.
Sheikh Tamim’s latest trip is the second such visit since the restoration of ties between Doha and Abu Dhabi in 2021 under the Al-Ula Declaration, which brough to an end the region’s worst diplomatic rift.
Last month, MBZ paid his first visit to Qatar since the resumption of ties to attend the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where he discussed with Amir Tamim joint cooperation and ways to enhance them.
In May last year, the Qatari leader visited the UAE for the first time since the crisis was resolved to offer his condolences to Sheikh Mohammed following the death of former ruler Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.
The mutual visits along with phone conversations between Qatar and the UAE comes amid a thawing of ties, though they have come at a gradual pace in comparison to other countries involved in the rift, namely Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The regional crisis was triggered in 2017 when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar while imposing an illegal air, land and sea blockade on the country.
The quartet had cited Qatar’s alleged sponsoring of terrorism as the reason behind their decision and waged what has been widely seen as a media war against Doha.
Qatar has repeatedly denied the “baseless” allegations.
Signed in Saudi Arabia, the Al-Ula accord came after a long period of Kuwaiti mediation under the leadership of its late ruler Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
Since then, Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s ties immediately picked up pace, with regular visits and exchanges between officials from both countries.
Meanwhile, remnants of the crisis appeared to linger between Qatar and the UAE, with analysts pointing to competitiveness “below the surface”.
Notably, there have been various disinformation campaigns that have emerged in the last year, many of which have been blamed by digital analysts on the UAE.
On such example was QLeaks, a dubious platform at the forefront of a major disinformation campaign against Qatar that was exposed by Eekad in an investigation last year.
A separate probe by Emirates Leaks revealed that the UAE and Israel reportedly established a secret unit in an attempt to “sabotage” the GCC reconciliation, citing its threats to their interests.
While the smear campaigns increased in the lead up to the World Cup, the UAE was also widely perceived as the biggest benefiter of the tournament. At the time, flights and hotel bookings to the UAE spiked significantly.