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Hamad International Airport

18 March 2019

The Doha International Airport was Qatar’s commercial airport, until the opening of the new ‘Hamad International Airport’ (HIA) on 30th April 2014. Doha International Airport suffered from overutilization and was expanded several times, before the opening of the new Hamad International Airport.

The Doha International Airport featured 60 check-in counters, 42 parking bays for aircraft and 8 baggage claim belts with capacity to accommodate 12 million passengers a year. Its runway was the longest at a civil airport. The airport attracted both holiday makers and transit travellers.

All airlines serving the Doha Airport have been moved to Hamad International Airport since 27th May 2014. The new Hamad International Airport is located 4kms east of Doha International Airport. It spans 2,200 hectares of land, and can handle 30 million passengers annually.

hamad international airport doha qatar

Soon, the old airport would be demolished and redeveloped into a new urban project, namely, Al Sahan City.

Hamad International Airport is currently the international airport for Doha, the capital city of Qatar. It replaces the former Doha International Airport as Qatar’s airport. The new airport has been designed to cater for a projected increase in traffic volume. On further expansion, it is estimated to be the second largest airport after Dubai, with capacity to handle upto 93 million passengers a year. It is expected to handle 360,000 aircraft movements and 2 million tonnes of cargo, while its check-in and retail areas are likely to be 12 times larger than New Doha International Airport.

The airport is built over 22 square kilometres of land, half of which is on reclaimed land. The airport is expected to be two-thirds the size of Doha City, and has an oasis theme. Several of the buildings have a water motif, with wave-styled roofs and desert plants growing in recycled water.

Airport Infrastructure

Every hour 100 landings and take-offs are possible. The check-in hall is 25,000sqm and has 138 check-in counters. This is the first airport ever designed particularly for the A380.

The Departures Area includes Concourses A, B, C, D and E. Concourses A and B have 10 passenger gates linked to jet bridges and is located on west and east of the check-in-area. Concourse B includes coffee shop, smoking rooms, family areas, and express duty-free store. Concourse C has 13 passenger gates that are linked to jet bridges. Two of these are built specifically for the Airbus A380. There are several remote gates without a fixed jet bridge link connected to Concourse C.

The Terminal 1 includes First and Business Class lounges. Concourse D and E have only gates 1 to 4 open, and are not yet fully operational.

Qatar also plans to build a second terminal (Terminal 2) in Hamad International Airport, if the present passenger growth outnumbers the projected figures.

The airport has two parallel runways located 2kms away from each other, that have been designed for simultaneous take-offs and landings. Among these, the western one is the eighth longest in the world.

Airport Facilities

Although you are travelling through one of the world’s busiest hubs, there are several enjoyable ways for you to relax and unwind at the HIA. The Airport Hotel is a four-star hotel located conveniently within the passenger terminal. There are service desks representing variety of hotels in a dedicated area of the passenger terminal.

HIA offers endless shopping, dining and relaxations. Located at the heart of HIA, is Qatar Duty Free, the airport’s award-winning shopping emporium which spans more than 40,000 sqm of retail and dining, and comprise 70 boutiques and 30 cafes and restaurants.

There are spacious prayer rooms throughout the passenger terminal, offering separate areas for men and women, and they include dedicated ablution facilities. There is a Public Mosque located just outside the passenger terminal, within walking distance from the Departures Hall.

Another noteworthy space in the airport is the ‘Art Exhibition’, with colours, textures and perspectives from around the world. The exhibition at the passenger terminal displays a fascinating selection of art, curated in partnership with Qatar Museum Authority. Among the artworks at HIA are a mix of acquired pieces and others created particularly for spaces, and works by local artists, apart from some international installations.

There is the Vitality Wellbeing and Fitness Centre which is open 24 hours a day, and offers a choice of recreational spaces like indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, squash courts, hydrotherapy tub etc. All classic spa treatments are available here, designed specifically to meet the needs of today’s traveller.

Another facility not to be missed by travellers is the ‘Oryx Lounge’ at HIA, which offers a comfortable atmosphere for travellers to sit, relax and enjoy the hospitality offered by the lounge staff. Apart from food and beverage services, facilities include a smoking room, lockers, business centre, a quiet zone, internet facility and gaming room for kids. The quiet room has dedicated spaces meant for passengers to rest, read or take a nap.

The airport offers free wireless internet, and you can enjoy free wireless internet access all through the passenger terminal, using ‘Free Internet by HIA’ on your smartphone or laptop. There are also free internet kiosks and desks with screens and keyboards offering free web browsing. Moreover, there are free telephone booths located throughout the passenger terminals, and you can call anywhere in the world by purchasing a prepaid calling card from Qatar Duty Free.

For travellers with children/infants, the airport provides interactive play areas and dedicated family-oriented facilities. The ‘Activity Nodes’ in the airport can keep them entertained with lot of fun things to do, as it includes televisions, internet browsing, mini-rides, toys and climbing frames. Activity nodes are available in Concourse A, B and C. Also, there are ‘parent’s rooms’ that allow you to attend to your infant in privacy and comfort which also has facilities like water/milk warmers and diaper changing stations. ‘Family toilets’ in the airport can be of help for families travelling with little ones.

Arrivals/Departure Amenities

At the arrivals, you can enjoy duty-free shopping which is perfect for last-minute shopping. As a visitor, you can purchase a map of Doha city and guidebooks from the baggage claim area. There are two ATMs and Travelex branches located across the passenger terminal for currency conversion and money transfer services. Moreover, the cafes and vending machines offer quick snacks and beverages. The departures hall also includes a food court

The fully-equipped and well-staffed medical centres in the airport are operational 24 hours a day, and they respond when required. There are two medical centres serving the passenger terminal. While one is located in the arrivals hall just before the Passport Control area, the other is in the departures hall near the check-in area. In case of emergencies, call +974 4010 9222 for access to medical team.

Special Assistance for Travellers

HIA offers complete access and dedicated amenities to ensure smooth travelling for passengers with special assistance. It ensures their wellbeing, and special assistance travellers are usually boarded first and off-boarded last from their aircraft. Generally, for people with special needs, their airline can arrange a personal helper to accompany them at all times, and assist with check-in, passport control, security checks, baggage claim and customs.

HIA completes one year of successful operations (June 2014 - May 2015)

Hamad International Airport (HIA), Qatar’s gateway to the world, has now completed one year of operations, having served a total of 28million passengers from June 2014 to May 2015.

During the second quarter of the current year, HIA witnessed arrival, departure and transfer of 7.28mn passengers, from April to June with 2,495,191 passengers in the month of April, and 2,419,783 passengers in May and 2,367,230 passengers in June.

HIA seamlessly transitioned from its previous hub, Doha International Airport (DIA) to its current state-of-the-art facilities and complete commercial operations of the airport began on 27th May 2014.

Last year, a total of 28,047,750 passengers arrived, departed and moved through the airport. This marks 23.6 percent year-on-year increase, having served 22.6mn passengers in its previous hub at Doha International Airport (DIA).

The airport has handled more than one million metric tonnes of cargo in total in its first year, marking 12 percent growth in comparison to the previous hub.

HIA now accommodates 36 airlines, and has handled 193,173 aircraft movements in the past year, which is 11.4 percent more per annum, than that handled in the previous airport.

HIA, the hub of Qatar Airways, the world’s fastest growing airline, has helped facilitate better growth of the airline, which now operates 157 aircraft to 146 destinations across the world.

During the past year of commencing operations, HIA has already bagged the Skytrax 2015 awards at the Skytrax Airport Award Ceremony, held at Passenger Terminal Expo 2015 in Paris.

The survey feedback on HIA conducted by Airport Service Quality has always been good. This includes being ranked first in the Middle East for Cleanliness of Airport Terminal, Speedy Baggage Delivery and Comfort of Waiting Areas.

Website: https://dohahamadairport.com.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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