The Abu Samra border will be expanded to facilitate traffic to and from Qatar, according to Director of the Land Customs Department Ahmed Al Sahel in a General Authority of Customs (GAC) monthly newsletter.
The expansion of Qatar’s only land port would include a new special area that will specifically receive spectators for the FIFA 2022 World Cup to be held in the Gulf state next year.
The global sporting event, the first to be held in the Middle East, is predicted to attract 1.2 million travellers to Qatar.
“The Abu Samra border port expansion includes inspection platforms for tourists’ vehicles, a special area to receive fans, sports teams, and delegations,” said Al Sahel.
Qatar has its eyes on becoming a tourism and hospitality hub even after the 2022 World Cup.
The hotel sector has already witnessed a 7% growth in occupancy rates during the first half of 2021 compared with the same period last year.
Head of communications at the SC Fatma Al Nuaimi told AFP that the event will be drawing in tourists from all over the world, all of whom will be hosted in an array of traditional and innovative accommodation options, including hotels, cruise liners, fan villages, and vacation rentals.
The border expansion will only further facilitate travel for more fans to enjoy the global event.
“This expansion is expected to facilitate the process of inspection of goods and tourists’ vehicles to support the flow of commercial traffic in and out of the country and contributing to reviving Qatar’s tourism,” said Al Sahel.
Al Sahel also said the land Customs Department has ramped up its security measures and updated its devices at the crossing with a radiology team deployed to use X-ray devices at the port.
“We have three devices for trucks and containers and five to examine parcels and personal luggage,” he added.
Meanwhile, the GAC has announced that customs has been quite busy lately with 315,463 declarations released in October, a significant increase from August and September, which recorded 261,811 and 253,692, respectively.
97% of customs declarations were released within an hour of processing submission. The GAC also transferred 26,343 declarations to other government agencies.
The GAC inspectors have also boasted their impressive record of thwarting illegal smuggling efforts of drugs and illicit substances into Qatar.
It recorded 443 seizure reports, with 33kg of hashish being the largest bust in October.