HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani conducted an inspection tour of the Abu Samra border crossing to follow up on the expansion and development process there, and its readiness to receive FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 fans.

He began the tour at the border crossing by inspecting its reception halls, facilities and equipment, which have been designed and built based on the latest technologies in order to facilitate the process of receiving the tournament’s fans, the country’s guests and visitors, the official Qatar News Agency reported.

HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior also listened to an explanation on the border crossing’s absorptive capacity and its work mechanism, in addition to the advanced services and protection systems used there. During the inspection tour, he was also briefed on security and safety procedures, and equipment to facilitate the arrival of fans attending the World Cup.

He was accompanied by a number of senior officials in the security sector and those implementing the Abu Samra border crossing expansion project. The Abu Samra Border Crossing Project is being implemented by the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) in co-operation with the Ministry of Interior and Permanent Committee for the Management of Abu Samra Border Port with the aim of increasing the port’s capacity before the start of the World Cup in November.

Works implemented as part of the Abu Samra Border Crossing Project include developing the passports buildings to serve arrivals and departures, as the capacity of each of them has been increased from nine to 24 vehicles at the same time, in addition to developing the Customs building for arrivals with a rise in its capacity from 28 to 36 vehicles.

With regard to the World Cup, a passenger hall has been constructed with a total area of 10,000sqm and a capacity to serve 2,000 visitors per hour for arrivals and 2,000 visitors per hour for departures, in addition to 44 passport and 22 Customs inspection platforms to serve fans coming to Qatar and provide them with all means of comfort and safety, Ashghal said in a press statement

Temporary parking lots have also been provided to raise the capacity of parking spaces for fans from 1,400 to 4,500, along with the installation of a parking reservation system.

The project’s scope of works included 48 tourist tracks, which have been provided with a capacity to serve 12,000 cars entering Qatar and 12,000 cars leaving the country, in addition to road development works with a length of 4.5km.

The infrastructure development works included the development of sewage networks with a length of 1.3km and rainwater drainage networks over 2.5km. Further, the project includes the implementation of 2sq km of green spaces and beautification works for four roundabouts. As for security systems, the works included the installation of security systems based on the latest technologies and the highest international standards at the port. They also included renovating and adding a new security fence.

The needs of trucks and heavy vehicles drivers have also been considered, as three separate lanes will be allocated for trucks only, in addition to providing truck parking lots serving 500 vehicles with a total area covering 150,000sq m. Commercial truck inspection platforms have been sealed and air-conditioned.

Some of the remaining works on the project are currently being completed, including the Customs building and the final audit building, as well as truck inspection platforms and some finishing works, which are scheduled to be completed at the end of this month to be ready to serve the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

After the end of the World Cup, the rest of the works will be completed, including the new car inspection building and the second electricity substation. On the occasion, Ashghal president Dr Saad bin Ahmad al- Muhannadi said: “The port expansion works will serve travellers to and from Qatar with more than double the previous capacity by increasing the number of passenger vehicle service lanes from nine to 24 lanes.”

Ahmed Abdullah al-Jamal, Chairman of the General Authority of Customs (GAC), said the development of the Abu Samra border crossing not only serves preparations for the World Cup, but will also contribute to enhancing Qatar’s commercial and industrial activity by facilitating the movement of goods, materials and people to and from the country through its land port.

He noted that as part of the port’s development and upgrade, internal air-conditioning systems have been added to the buildings of Customs inspection platforms for trucks coming to and departing from Qatar, in addition to external air-conditioning for the Customs inspection buildings for vehicles coming to Qatar.

In turn, Yasir al-Jamal, director-general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, said: “The development of the Abu Samra border crossing is integrated with the rest of the projects implemented by the various authorities concerned in the country to serve the World Cup and provide fans coming through the land port a smooth and distinguished experience from the moment they arrive in Qatar.”

Lt-Col Mohamed Sultan al- Mannai, vice-chairman of the Permanent Committee for the Management of Abu Samra Border Port, said the development of the Abu Samra border crossing will greatly contribute to facilitating travellers’ procedures and completing them smoothly and in a shorter time. The capacity of the passports and Customs buildings will be doubled, and tourist tracks will be provided with a capacity to accommodate 12,000 cars entering Qatar and 12,000 cars leaving the country. As part of Ashghal’s keenness to encourage local products and Qatari manufacturers when implementing all its projects, many locally manufactured materials have been used in the works of the Abu Samra Border Crossing Project, with the local component accounting for more than 70% of the total materials used in the project.These include lighting poles, lamps, sign boards, infrastructure pipes, asphalt, prefabricated manholes, as well as concrete and steel reinforcement