Browsing 'hamad international airport' News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Sanjiban Ghosh/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

If you’re planning to fly out of Doha in the coming week, be sure to pack some patience.

With the school year drawing to a close and Eid Al Fitr just around the corner, this is one of the busiest travel periods during the year in Qatar.

Those heading to Hamad International Airport (HIA) should expect longer lines at check-in and immigration, and busier traffic at drop-off zones and parking areas.

To try to make people’s journeys more pleasant amid the crowds, airport officials have issued some advice for passengers flying out of Doha from Friday onwards.

Travel advisory

As passenger traffic at HIA grows in leaps and bounds, travelers have complained of long lines at the airport’s immigration desks.

HIA advises that people flying over the busy period should check-in online, and aim to arrive at the airport three hours before departure.

Officials also suggested that passengers use their E-gates to avoid immigration queues – although it’s worth noting that E-gate holders traveling with kids are usually not able to use the service.

For illustrative purposes only.

Peter Kovessy / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Regarding car parking arrangements, HIA said:

  • Anyone dropping off or collecting passengers should use the short-term car park instead of dropping passengers off outside the terminal. The short term car park provides free parking for the first 30 minutes, and costs QR5 per hour after the 30 minutes is up.
  • Passengers who need to park their car for longer periods should use the airport’s long-term car park. HIA operates a shuttle service to the terminal every 15-20 minutes. The car park costs QR45 per day.

Currently, there’s a lengthy diversion in place between the terminal and the long-term car park, so allow plenty of time if you plan to leave your car there.

More details about both the short and long-term parking options can be found here.

Qatar Duty Free discount

This year, passengers flying out of Doha for Eid are being offered an incentive to check in online and arrive early.

Those traveling with Qatar Airways are eligible for a 10 percent discount voucher at Qatar Duty Free.

Qatar Duty Free at Hamad International Airport

Qatar Airways / Flickr

Qatar Duty Free at Hamad International Airport

The voucher will be available for passengers to download upon completion of online check-in via Qatar Airways’ website.

Are you traveling soon? Thoughts?

Hamad International Airport

Sanjiban Ghosh/Flickr

Hamad International Airport

Doha’s Hamad International Airport (HIA) has been dubbed the “coolest” in the world, according to a list drawn up for the Huffington Post.

The ranking, produced by deals website Travelzoo, lists seven airports around the world that it says help make global travel more pleasurable.

Explaining why it ranked HIA so highly, Travelzoo stated that the airport “screams luxury.”

The post mentions that the HIA boasts its own swimming pool and free quiet rooms for passengers to rest in.

However, it reserved its biggest praise for the airport’s imposing art installations:

“Did I mention they also have a giant dinosaur robot and a 23-foot-tall Urs Fischer sculpture of a yellow teddy bear? Sounds like the perfect opportunity for a brag-worthy Instagram pic. Hashtag, love Qatar.”

In a statement responding to the list, Badr Mohammed Al Meer, HIA’s chief operating officer, said that honor “mirrored” the airport’s ambition to position itself as “a major player.”

HIA also got favorable marks from Skytrax in March, joining its list of top 10 best airports in the world.

That same month, HIA was also ranked among the best airports in the Middle East by the Airport Service Quality Awards (ASQ), which are based on passenger surveys.

The other six

Airports on four different continents are listed in the “cool” index.

Singapore’s Changi placed second, apparently due to its retail options and “butterfly garden,” while Hong Kong International, which has its own Aviation Discovery Center, is at three.

The Butterfly Garden at Singapore's Changi Airport

Simon Wright / Flickr

The Butterfly Garden at Singapore’s Changi Airport

Finland’s Helsinki airport is number four, and one of Hamad International’s neighbors, Dubai International, also made the list, at fifth.

Spain’s Madrid-Barajas and New Zealand’s Wellington airport take the two final spots.

Expansion plans

Although the airport won praise for its facilities, passengers traveling through HIA at busy times might beg to differ.

The airport is already exceeding its planned annual capacity, leading to lengthy queues during peak travel periods.

@RoryWSJ / Twitter

@RoryWSJ / Twitter

@RoryWSJ / Twitter

However, plans to expand HIA are already afoot.

When building work is completed by 2020, the size of the passenger terminal will increase to more than 1 million square meters, the number of contact gates will nearly double to 61 and capacity should reach some 53 million passengers a year.

Earlier this month, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said building work on the project should begin by the end of this year.

Do you think HIA is “cool?” Thoughts?

Report: Qatar’s Hamad Airport expansion to begin by year-end

Hamad International Airport will begin its expansion by the end of this year, Gulf Times reports Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker as saying. The airport, which open in 2014 and is operated by the national carrier, has already seen passenger figures jump 20 percent from last year, exceeding its annual capacity of 30 million.

The planned expansion is currently in the design phase. When completed by 2020, the size of the passenger terminal will increase to more than 1 million square meters, number of contact gates will nearly double to 61 and capacity should reach some 53 million passengers a year.