Progress was seen late last year with a surprise visit by the Emirati president to Doha during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The United Arab Emirates has withdrawn its bid to host the 2026 World Bank International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in favour of Qatar, Doha’s state news agency (QNA) reported on Sunday.
The announcement came in a phone call between Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, also known as MbZ.
QNA, along with Abu Dhabi’s news agency, reported that the UAE president expressed his country’s support for Qatar’s candidacy file to host the IMF and World Bank meetings.
“And accordingly, the UAE will withdraw its candidacy file, wishing the State of Qatar all the success in hosting that international gathering,” the report added.
The phone call also touched on enhancing Doha and Abu Dhabi’s bilateral ties and “fraternal relations”.
The latest development comes amid the warming of ties between Qatar and UAE following the 2017 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) crisis, the worst that the region has faced.
The crisis was triggered with the hacking of QNA, during which false statements attributed to the amir were aired on UAE and Saudi Arabia networks.
US Intelligence later found that the UAE might have either hacked QNA or contracted hackers to conduct it, at the time.
Shortly after the hack, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt announced the severance of 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 the country.
Qatar had vehemently denied the claims.
While the blockade came to an end in 2021 with the signing of the Al-Ula Declaration, ties between Doha and Abu Dhabi did not immediately thaw in comparison to the former’s relations with Riyadh and Cairo.
Progress was seen late last year with a surprise visit by MbZ to Qatar during the 2022 FIFA World Cup, also his first to the Gulf state since becoming president.
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.
In January, Sheikh Tamim paid another visit to the UAE for a meeting between leaders from the GCC, Jordan and Egypt.
Last week, the UAE reportedly unblocked several Qatari news websites following the GCC crisis as Doha News remains embargoed, as per a report by Al-Monitor.
Some of the websites that the UAE appeared to have unblocked include Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera English, QNA and The New Arab.
Meanwhile, remnants of the crisis appeared to linger between Qatar and the UAE, with analysts pointing to competitiveness “below the surface”.
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.