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4.5m crossed Qatar-Saudi Arabia border in 2011: report

A surge in the number calls for improving the border has also been reported

Gulf News

Manama: Around 4.5 million people crossed through the Abu Samra border post between Saudi Arabia and Qatar in 2011, a Qatari daily said.

The figure is higher than the 3,851,214 people who went through the post in 2010, according to Al Arab.

Citing sources it did not identify, the newspaper said that there has been a surge in the number calls for improving the facility to deal adequately with the increasing number of people who use it to cross into Qatar or into Saudi Arabia.

In January, Qatar's Permanent Committee for the Abu Samra Border Post set up 20 counters to deal with the rush of land tourists visiting Qatar to watch the Asian Cup 2011 finals.

The border post is regularly used by travelers set to perform pilgrimage or Umrah in Makkah.

According to the sources, foreigners legally working in any of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries can easily obtain visit visas at the post to enter Qatar.

Abu Samra is about 110 kilometres south of the Qatari capital, Doha.

Qatar in November had a total population of 1,723,018, made up of 1,277,186 men and 445,832 women, Qatar Statistics Authority said. The figures include the large community of foreigners, mainly Asians, who work in the Qatar.