Near Al Sila: Tempers of truckers delayed near the Saudi border are beginning to fray after days of waiting in the desert heat.

Some drivers are attempting to edge into the few precious metres of space between the trucks, thereby jumping the queue and avoiding days of frustrating wait.

"See, look at him," gestures Bibi, an Indian driver who is hauling structural steel from Sharjah to Doha. Two vehicles ahead, a shouting match erupts as a driver carrying coils of cable attempted to edge his truck into a vacant spot.

Immediately, more than 10 drivers from nearby trucks gather, banging on the truck, shouting in a mixture of languages and waving the driver away. After several moments, the interloper departs, restoring peace to the queue.

The 35-kilometre tailback is caused by strict new security and inspections ordered by Saudi officials. Each truck has to be unloaded and reloaded while each driver's papers are checked and fingerprints taken.

The measures have resulted in chaos on the UAE side, with drivers moving painfully slowly to the border, one painful metre at a time.

Abu Dhabi Police vehicles constantly patrol the lineup, officers keeping a close eye out for trucks that attempt to jump the queue.

Bibi shouts at the interloper, emitting a string of verbal abuse.

After three days of waiting and moving two kilometres, Bibi's mood is foul. "Why can't the authorities do something to end this?" he asks. "Why are we being treated like desert rats? This is no good. For three days I have been waiting. Nothing. We are being treated like animals. No one else would take this."

GCC officials have scheduled talks on the crisis for tomorrow.

Other drivers, like Zarmahmad from Pakistan's Punjab, wait patiently and with dignity. Accompanied by his son, Assam Khan, the pair are hauling a load of Imperial Leather soap to Saudi Arabia from Sharjah. They joined the end of the 32-kilometre queue at 2pm on Friday, They wait at the side of the road, brewing tea, telling tales, and making the most of the extra time father and son can spend together. Mugheer, a Pakistani from Peshawar, left Jebel Ali on Thursday morning with a load of Japanese vehicles bound for Doha. He sees little sense in the increased border checks.

"I have new cars," he says. "No need to unload or reload - easy to check. Why can't I get through quickly?" he wonders.

If the delays continue, trade across the GCC region will be affected as its lifeblood is cut to a mere dribble at the Al Ghuwaifat border crossing. The trucks carry everything from basic essentials to luxury goods, products that will slowly strangle GCC projects and economies through attrition.

"We bring everything," Ziad, another Syrian driver says.

His trailer is one of several together carrying fabricated components from Sharjah to a new plant being built in Qatar.

"We were to be in Doha on Friday," he says. "Don't they see that by keeping us here, everything will slowly come to a stop? This can't go on. When someone in Bahrain wants to buy a fridge and there's none there, what will they do then? Tell the woman to go to the UAE border and pick out a fridge?"