As the Eid rush reaches its peak, 29,879 people have exited and 15,677 entered Qatar through the Abu Samra border post between October 10 and 11, a senior official at the Ministry of Interior said yesterday.
The information was shared by Col Nasser bin Abdullah al-Thani, head of the Permanent Committee for the Abu Samra border post, on the ministry’s social networking pages on Facebook and Twitter yesterday .
In response to a question on Facebook, the official said that people “travelling through the border post should make sure that their passports, residence permits, vehicle permits are valid”.
The public was invited to interact with the official and ask questions using the social networking sites.
The Interior Ministry’s Facebook page said the Abu Samra border “has been chosen, given its importance in exit and entry of people and commodities through this post during (Eid) holidays”.
When asked how much time did it take to complete procedures at the border post, the official said they were done within “seven to eight minutes”.
In order to avoid congestion at the border post, he said that all 14 counters were working to provide the services of immigration and customs. “The post is working at
its full potential,” he added.
The official spoke on the importance of the border post. “Abu Samra is the only land border of Qatar and it provides various services for the passengers crossing the border.”
The passengers’ comfort was being ensured by the officials. “Passengers get the required services while they are inside the vehicle. We have also made available all facilities for their comfort.”
Meanwhile, Customs authorities at the airport and Abu Samra border post have taken all necessary steps to meet the Eid al-Adha holiday rush.
The two points witness a huge turnout of travellers during the Eid holidays, especially of those returning from the Haj immediately after Eid.
Mohamed Abdulla al-Khulaifi, assistant director of the Land Customs Department, said there was a permanent committee at the Abu Samra border post that includes entities such as the Ministries of Interior, Health and Environment and others that co-ordinate with the Haj committee of the Awqaf Ministry. They also hold regular meetings to ease entry and exit procedures of pilgrims.
“The committee asks entrepreneurs involved in Haj campaigns to send the passports of pilgrims with representatives so that all procedures are finalised prior to their scheduled arrival. When they are there, passports are only compared against persons and things take around five minutes to finalise,” said al-Khulaifi, in a statement issued by the department.
Further, the department provides special tracks for the exit and entry of Haj buses and there is active communication with the Salwa border post in Saudi Arabia in this regard.
Regarding preparations at the airport, Khalid Hamad al-Kaabi, acting director of Air Customs, said the number of staffers working at the airport would be considerably increased with intensive, round-the-clock operations to cater to the rising demand during the holidays and when the pilgrims returned.
“Around six batches arrive or leave for Saudi Arabia a day by Qatar Airways, besides a similar number by Saudi Airlines. Besides, there are private jets that carry pilgrims. We have made special arrangements to ease things for them and finalise the process as quickly as possible,” he said.
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