A line of trucks waiting to cross the UAE-Saudi border on Tuesday stretched to 20km past Al Sila highway toward Abu Dhabi. The line keeps getting longer, with at least three trucks joining per minute. An estimated 5,000 trucks are stuck at the border while waiting to complete Saudi customs procedures. There has been no movement for truck drivers who have waited at Al Ghuwaifat since Monday. It now takes at least six days to cross the border after passing through customs.
Anticipating processing delays, drivers have stocked up on provisions while waiting to cross border. Truck drivers told Gulf News that they also have to endure a one-hour wait to use the washroom. There are only six in the area.
The current backlog of trucks has been slowing cross-border traffic between the UAE and the rest of its neighbours along the Arabian Gulf for the past six weeks.
Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are members of the Gulf Co-operation Council which has ambitious aims to create a unified economic zone and even a common currency. There are however significant differences in the way the two countries deal with a raft of issues from foreign policy to trade and social issues. Saudi Arabia has on previous occasions showed its displeasure at its smaller neighbour by slowing down the movement of people and goods across the border. Similar situations occurred in 2009 and 2010.
source: LINKS Analysis with Gulf News