Qatar's emir and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi met during the Beijing Winter Olympics, even as the UAE has yet to restore diplomatic ties with Doha.

All countries in the Gulf but Bahrain have restored travel and trade links with Qatar.
All countries in the Gulf but Bahrain have restored travel and trade links with Qatar. (AA)

Qatar's emir has met the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates during an official event at the Beijing Winter Olympics, in the first such interaction between the two Gulf leaders since four Arab states agreed to end a dispute with Doha over a year ago.

Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the sidelines of a lunch hosted by China's president on Saturday.

UAE news websites published a video clip of the two leaders speaking. 

Abu Dhabi has yet to restore diplomatic ties with Doha since Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt agreed in January 2021 to end a row that led them to boycott Qatar in mid-2017, though a senior Emirati official visited Doha last August.

Saudi Arabia and Egypt last year appointed ambassadors to Qatar. All but Bahrain have restored travel and trade links.

READ MORE: Qatar has 'positive vision' in UAE talks to patch up ties

Economic priorities

The dispute erupted over accusations that Doha supported terrorism as well as over its ties with Iran and Turkey. Doha denies the charges.

The UAE, under a more conciliatory foreign policy driven by economic priorities, is engaging with both Tehran and Ankara, with which ties were badly strained following the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

READ MORE: A new dawn: Turkey and the Arab world choose cooperation over conflict

Source: TRTWorld and agencies