Abu Samra

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Abu Samra

أبو سمرة
Abu Samra is located in Qatar
Abu Samra
Abu Samra
Coordinates: 24°44′17″N 50°53′43″E / 24.73806°N 50.89528°E / 24.73806; 50.89528Coordinates: 24°44′17″N 50°53′43″E / 24.73806°N 50.89528°E / 24.73806; 50.89528
Country Qatar
MunicipalityAl Rayyan
ZoneZone 96
District no.726
 • Total24.6 km2 (9.5 sq mi)
Rocks on a beach in Abu Samra near Salwa Road.

Abu Samra (Arabic: أبو سمرة‎, romanizedAbū Samrah) is a settlement in Qatar, located in the municipality of Al Rayyan (90 km away from Doha).[3] It used to be part of the Jariyan al Batnah municipality before the municipality was incorporated into Al Rayyan.[4]

Notable features of the area are a border post separating the southern part of the municipality from Saudi Arabia, and a well.[5] It was previously Qatar's only land border crossing to Saudi Arabia,[6][7] until its closure in June 2017 over the Qatar diplomatic crisis.[8]


The settlement derived its name from a local Samr tree. Because the area contained one of the few Samr trees in the entire region, it was named Abu Samra, meaning 'father of the Samr tree'. The tree has local significance as it is used as fodder for camels.[5]


It is located in Zone 96, a largely undeveloped zone, consisting mainly of desert plains. Of the zone's 801.7 square km area, only 43 square km of land is under use. Commercial and industrial establishments occupy 2% of its land, government offices occupy 4%, farmland takes up 11% and the remainder of developed land is categorized as "other", which includes under-construction developments.[9]

Qatar's capital, Doha, is located at a distance of 97 km to the north-east. Other distances include Sawda Natheel – 47.2 km away, Umm Salal Ali – 124 km away, Al Khor – 154 km away, Madinat ash Shamal – 204 km away, Al Wakrah – 112 km away, and Dukhan – 127 km away.[10]

According to the Qatar Meteorology Department, the lowest temperature in Qatar's recorded history is 1.5 degrees celsius in Abu Samra in February 2017.[11]


Immigrations and Customs offices in Abu Samra.
Spring of Qulmat Al Maszhabiya in Al Mashabiya Reserve, next to Abu Samra.

In 2015, the government announced the upcoming construction of an extensive tourist complex in Abu Samra.[12] It was intended to cater towards Saudi tourists, who would commonly enter Qatar through the Abu Samra border crossing on the weekends.[8]

Aside from the border crossing leading into Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Interior has an Immigrations Department office and Customs Department office in the settlement.[13] Saudi Arabia's Salwa border crossing is more than 8 km from the Abu Samra border crossing.[14] On 5 June 2017, when a quartet composed of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar, the border crossing was shut down. Prior to its closure, it was the main route into Qatar of building supplies for 2022 World Cup projects as well as fresh produce.[8]

A military base of the Qatar Armed Forces and a helipad are found here.[15]


Sand ripples on a beach in Abu Samra.

The Qatari government established a large sheep farm here in the early 1980s in a bid to improve food self sufficiency. In 1982, the farm was producing 13,000 sheep annually, of which 4,000 were reserved exclusively for breeding.[16]

A major desalination plant in Abu Samra was announced in 2010. At a cost of QAR 27 million, the plant was stated to have a potable water production capacity of 2,000 cubic meters per day, and had a projected completion date in 2011.[17]


  1. ^ "District Area Map". Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  2. ^ "2015 Population census" (PDF). Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics. April 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  3. ^ "2010 population census" (PDF). Qatar Statistics Authority. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  4. ^ "2004 population census". Qatar Statistics Authority. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  5. ^ a b Jacques LeBlanc (March 2008). "A fossil hunting guide to the tertiary formations of Qatar, Middle East".
  6. ^ Hugh Naylor (18 April 2014). "Qatar's single border crossing exposes its vulnerability". The National. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  7. ^ Salman Siddiqui (13 October 2013). "Abu Samra border post gears up to meet Eid rush". Gulf Times. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  8. ^ a b c Tom Finn, Ibrahim Saber (12 June 2017). "Qatar-Saudi land border deserted after frontier shut". Reuters. Retrieved 7 July 2018.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Broad Land Use Categories by Zone 2015". Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Qatar in Figures" (PDF). Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics. 2015. p. 9. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  11. ^ Irfan Bukhari (7 February 2017). "It's cool! Stay safe". The Peninsula. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Survey urges more efforts to boost tourism". Gulf Times. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  13. ^ "District map". Geographic Information System. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Qatar/Saudi Arabia: Allow Man Trapped at Border to Enter". Human Rights Watch. 1 July 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  15. ^ "As Salwa Border Post helipad". pilotnav.com. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  16. ^ Qatar Year Book: 1982. Doha: Press and Publications Department, Ministry of Information. 1982. p. 21.
  17. ^ "TEDAGUA is to build the new Abu Samra desalination plant in Qatar". Tedagua. 17 September 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2017.