Officially opened in 2014, Doha Hamad International Airport had an initial capacity of 29 million passengers per annum, but plans were already in place to substantially increase capacity over time. The massive expansion plans came in 2019, and the biggest phase of this expansion has been completed as of November 10th. Let’s take a look at the changes.
During a press conference that unveiled the airport’s expansion plans, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, said:
“This expansion marks a significant step in the advancement of tourism in Qatar and global activity and connectivity through this fine airport. Through the expansion, we have upgraded our facilities and offerings – creating the ultimate destination for passengers. From world-class services to endless F&B and retail offerings, the expansion further strengthens our ambition as we look towards maintaining our status as the best airport in the world.”
Ready for the FIFA World Cup
The recently completed phase is the first of two phases in the Doha Hamad International Airport expansion plan. With the new changes, the airport’s capacity was significantly increased to approximately 58 million passengers per annum, right in time for the FIFA World Cup 2022, whereby Qatar is expecting more than 1.7 million visitors during the tournament period alone.
Passengers traveling via Doha Hamad International Airport can anticipate witnessing a new indoor tropical garden with an indoor water feature. There are also approximately 11,720 square meters of additional retail and food and beverage outlets for passengers, including about 90 brands in one area with world-class art collections alongside the indoor tropical garden.
The airport has also recently been boasting several new Qatar Airways lounges for passengers to be spoilt with. So it should be no surprise that there is another new lounge opening, known as the new temporary Al Mourhan Lounge North, which will eventually become the Platinum Lounge North.
Photo: Getty Images
Exploring the Orchard
The new indoor tropical garden in Doha Hamad International Airport is known as the Orchard, spanning approximately 10,000 square meters with a 268 square meter waterfall feature. The Orchard was designed to be a focal point for all passengers traveling through the airport. The unique design allows trees and plants to adapt quickly to internal conditions and continuously grow throughout the life of the airport, as it benefits from copious natural lighting.
Boasting an extensive flora with over 300 trees and more than 25,000 plants and shrubs sourced from sustainable global forests from countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, the Orchard was also designed to create a calming ambiance and promote a sense of well-being. As mentioned, the expanded retail space is alongside the Orchard, as the tropical garden boasts a commercial offering of 65 stores and 35 food and beverage outlets.
Relaxing at the new Al Mourjan Lounge
Suppose passengers aren’t so keen to enjoy the relaxing greenery. In that case, they can choose to relax and enjoy the facilities in the Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge, which recently opened earlier this year as part of the airport’s expansion plan. However, the lounge can get crowded during peak periods, so Qatar Airways has decided to open another lounge.
Known temporarily as the Al Mourjan Lounge North, the new lounge area spans 100,000 square feet and is situated above the retail space. Once all constructions of the lounges are completed, the new lounge is expected to include a spa, gym, restaurants, and a business center and be renamed into the Qatar Airways Platinum Lounge North, and will also be open to oneworld Emerald members.
With the most prominent phase of its expansion plan now completed, Doha Hamad International Airport is more than ready for the World Cup as its capacity doubled from the previous 29 million passengers per annum. Passengers can now enjoy new facilities, retails, and dining outlets as they travel through one of the Middle East’s busiest airports. The airport will also be undergoing the final phase of its expansion plan, which is expected to be ready by 2025 at the earliest, and should further increase the airport’s capacity to approximately 70 million passengers per annum.
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Akbar Al Baker
- Passenger Count :
- 17,702,635 (2021)
- Runways :
- 16R/34L – 4,250m (13,945ft) |16L/34R – 4,850m (15,910ft)
- Qatar Airways
- Terminal 1
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Doha Hamad International Airport
- Year Founded:
- Akbar Al Baker