Emirate threatens consequences: London transport company removes Qatar advertising

Emirate threatens consequences
London transport company cuts Qatar ads

As of this week, buses and underground trains in London no longer show advertising for Qatar. This was already an exception during the World Cup. In Qatar itself, however, the step is not well received – investments are being called into question.

Because of the criticism of human rights standards in the World Cup host country Qatar, London buses and subways no longer advertise the desert state. The urban transport company Transport for London confirmed the “Financial Times”that no more such ads would be shown as of this week, the newspaper reported.

A few years ago, on the instructions of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the transport company banned advertising from countries where homosexuality is punishable – although there was initially a tourism campaign from Qatar on London billboards around the World Cup.

As a reaction to the advertising boycott, Qatar wants to put existing and planned investments in London and other British cities to the test, as the “Financial Times” reported, citing a source involved. The latter told the newspaper that one had the impression that Qatari investments were not welcome in the British capital and accused the British of having double standards.

So far, there has been no official statement from Qatar. Investments from Qatar are currently omnipresent in London: the luxury department store Harrods belongs to Qatari investors, as does the mega high-rise “Shard”. The Qataris also hold shares in the UK’s largest airport, Heathrow, and in several hotel chains. In addition, the desert state is an important supplier for the United Kingdom in the energy sector.

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