The General Authority of Customs (GAC) reported last year that during the Eid Al Fitr celebrations, it handled 62,628 vehicles entering and leaving Qatar through Abu Samra.
Travellers crossing the Saudi-Qatari land border now have the option of pre-registering their vehicles to access the newly opened lane, authorities confirmed, just weeks after mass complaints over congestion at the start of Ramadan.
Days before the Eid Al Fitr celebrations, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) announced it would reserve a lane for pre-registered vehicles crossing the Abu Samra border.
In a tweet, the MoI stated that registration through Metrash2 is optional for citizens and residents though advised pre-registration reduces wait times and helps avoids queues.
“Qatari citizens and residents can take advantage of Pre-Registration Service for Abu Samra Border Crossing in #Metrash2 to complete departure and arrival procedures at Abu Samra border through a fast lane exclusive for pre-registered vehicles,” the tweet read.
“Pre-Registration Service for Abu Samra Border Crossing in Metrash2 is an optional service that allows citizens and residents to complete departure and arrival procedures at Abu Samra border through a dedicated fast lane, while other lanes will serve as usual,” it also added.
Users can access this service by logging into the Metrash2 app, choosing “Travel Services,” and then “Pre-Registration for Abu Samra Border Crossing,” and filling out the necessary information, including information about their vehicle, driver, and passengers. The beneficiary will receive an SMS from the ministry to confirm the request.
It comes as officials also recently announced the expansion of the Hayya platform for visa services within the nation, allowing more tourists into the country.
Visitors can pre-register and take advantage of the same service through the Hayya platform on the website or application.
Before entering the designated lane at the Abu Samra border, users must prepare and fill out the necessary data and receive confirmation that the pre-registration process has been finished.
The regular border crossing, which consists of 36 checkpoints and 24 passport offices, will continue to function as usual and a special “Eidya” gift package will be given to visitors arriving at the Abu Samra border and Hamad International Airport during Eid Al-Fitr 2023, according to a statement from Qatar Tourism.
At the start of Ramadan, hundreds of travellers crossing into Saudi Arabia found themselves trapped at the border for hours due to long congestions.
One Qatar resident who had travelled by car for the umrah pilgrimage said they were left to wait for more than 10 hours before finally crossing into the Saudi kingdom.