Muscat: With a long weekend coming up, travelling by road to the UAE is one of the preferred options for many. Smooth roads along the expressway ensures a better flow of traffic as one reaches border crossings with ease.
However, the lack of proper road sign boards to guide the drivers to the right border outpost is causing inconvenience, allege many drivers who recently travelled through the border.
Social media was abuzz as Twitterati complained about the lack of signboards at the Oman border outpost.
Despite the modern infrastructure developed to upgrade the border posts, the lack of sign boards signalling the closure of Al Wajaja Border Post is creating confusion among drivers.
When the Hatta border centralized building was opened, talks were there to compare it with the likes of an airport. However, drivers find great difficulty in locating the concerned department once they reach the border outpost.
Saeed Al Balushi, who was returning to Oman from the UAE, said there were no signs where to go when I reached the border.
“Imagine arriving at an airport where there are no signs to guide you to the immigration or baggage collection section. Though they have spent millions, lack of these basic sign boards are creating chaos at the post.”
“It’s full of confusion these days at the border. People don’t know where to go for stamping their visas and customs clearance. I have a make several rounds to figure out where exactly to go,” he added.
Moath al Saeedi, a resident of Al Khabourah, shared his experience at the now closed Al Wajaja Border Post, said: “Proper signboards on the route to the UAE are needed at the Al Wajaja border outpost. It will help reduce the confusion as the border post is closed now. All the necessary services to facilitate the border crossing are handled at the Hatta Border Post in Oman.
There is no circular or a notice at the old Al Wajaja post informing the shifting to Hatta post on the Oman side.
“With no staff on duty at the old post, drivers like me are a confused lot. No proper instructions are given to proceed to the new integrated building at Hatta. In fact, the old post is abandoned.”
Moath added: “Another concern is the name of Hatta Border Post, the common border crossing between Oman and the UAE. A quick Google search finds Hatta Border Post located in Oman as well as on the UAE side. The area where the two posts are located are in Hatta area. It is confusing to know which border post one is looking for.?
Moath said: “I think it would be nice to have a different name to the Oman border to avoid confusion for tourists from abroad or at least to install signs boards along the road to let people know that this Hatta border post belongs to Oman and the other to the UAE.”
Another motorist, Hilal al Omrani from Sohar, said: “The speed breakers are still there at the abandoned Al Wajaja port. I wonder why there are speed breakers when there is no one at that old building.”
Al Omrani said: “The presence of these breakers force us to slow down speed and lead to traffic snarls. Lot of drivers even now stop at the old office hoping that a policeman will stop them for checking their papers. It is surprising not to see any notice or sign boards to inform that they need to proceed to the new building at Hatta.”
A Pakistani expatriate, Zahid, shared a similar experience. “Whenever I pass through Al Wajaja Port, I stop to check if there is any security official. I don’t want to risk any traffic violations. But there is no policeman at the post. There is no notice or a sign board to inform that it has been moved to Hatta border, which is just a few kilometres ahead. It would be useful if a proper sign board informs that the post has been closed and moved to another location.”
A government official on condition of anonymity told Times of Oman: “Wadi Al Jizzi Border Post, Wadi Sa’a Border Post and Al Wajaja Border Post were about four kilometres to the border of the UAE. They had been all shifted to Hatta on Oman side to offer better services.”
He also said that the speed breakers at the Al Wajaja Border Post will be removed soon to ensure a smooth flow of traffic.