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Hamad International Airport (مطار حمد الدولي‎) is an international airport in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

Hamad International Airport will be officially launched to the world on 27 May 2014 next week when Qatar’s national carrier, Qatar Airways move in from the current airport.

Qatar Airways HQ in Doha, Qatar

Qatar Airways HQ in Doha, Qatar

Awards won by Qatar Airways, displayed at their office

Two Skytrax awards won by Qatar Airways, displayed at their office

When I visited Qatar earlier this year with Qatar Airways, I had the rare opportunity to go on a tour of the nearly completed airport. Here is a sneak peek of what to expect in this new international airport:

Drop-off point

Drop-off point

Entrance

Entrance

A minaret in the distant

A minaret in the distant

View of the different floors

View of the different floors

Inside the airport

Inside the airport

Wave-styled roofs

Wave-styled roofs

More waves

More waves

Full glass walls

Full glass walls

Stairs, escalators

Stairs, escalators

Check-in gates

Check-in gates

More waves design

More waves design

Arches

Arches

Web check-in

Web check-in

Custom clearance

Custom clearance

Security checks

Security checks

Security counters

Security counters

Departure hall

Departure hall

Duty free

Duty free

A F&B store in the transit area

A F&B store in the transit area

The airport has an oasis theme. Many of the buildings will have a water motif, with wave-styled roofs and desert plants growing in recycled water:

There are many interesting, gigantic sculptures in the airport, donated by the ruling Al Thani family. These adds a little fun and modern spunk to the airport, in addition to many spiffy tech features and facilities:

What's this big yellow thing?

What’s this big yellow thing?

It's a giant yellow teddy bear with a lamp shade!

It’s a giant yellow teddy bear with a lamp shade!

It matches with the working guys in neon-yellow vests

It matches with the working guys in neon-yellow vests

Tall metal clown

Tall metal clown

Thinking metal man

Thinking metal man

Futuristic looking television area

Futuristic looking television area

They use Macs in their Internet area

They use Macs in their Internet area

Love the curves and light underneath the tables

Love the curves and light underneath the tables

Sky train

Sky train

Close-up of the train

Close-up of the train

Stunning?

How I would describe the rapid grown and expansion of Qatar, Hamad International Airport and Qatar Airways would be like Singapore, Changi Airport and Singapore Airlines on steroid. Imagine if Singapore had the natural resources which Qatar have. This is what can be achieved.

Planning for the new airport took place in 2003 and construction began in 2005. Hamad International Airport was designed to deal with the growing volume of traffic at the existing airport. The airport will be able to handle 29 million annual passengers at its opening, three times the capacity of the current airport. Upon completion, it will be able to handle 50 million passengers per year, although some estimates suggest the airport could handle up to 93 million per year, making it the second largest airport in the region after Dubai.It is also expected to handle 320,000 aircraft movements and 2 million tonnes of cargo annually. The check-in and retail areas are expected to be 12 times larger than those at the current airport.

The airport will be two-thirds the size of Doha city. It has been built 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) east of the current airport and is spread over an area of 9,000 acres (3,600 ha).

Check-in rows

Check-in rows

More check-in rows

More check-in rows

Hamand International Airport’s soft launch took place on 30 April 2014 with a few smaller airlines operating. From 22 May 2014 this Thursday, Lufthansa, Air France KLM, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Oman Air will move operations to Qatar’s new Hamad International Airport.

The first arriving and departing flights will be:

  • Oman Air: Flight WY667 from Seeb International Airport in Muscat, arriving to HIA at 03:00, and flight WY668 to Seeb International Airport in Muscat, departing from HIA at 04:35
  • Saudi Arabian Airline: Flight SV542 from King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, arriving to HIA at 13:10, and flight SV543 to King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, departing from HIA at 14:10
  • Air France KLM: Flight KL441 from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, arriving to HIA at 18:00, and continuing onto Seeb International Airport in Muscat, departing from HIA at 18:45
  • Lufthansa: Flight LH620 from Frankfurt Airport arriving to HIA at 20:10, and continuing onto Bahrain International Airport, departing from HIA at 21:10

Why are other airlines moving in before the national carrier?

The scale is vastly different!

There will be exclusive Qatar Airways check-in rows, with premium services for First and Business Class passengers to travel in style and comfort:

Premium Check-in at Hamad International AIrport

Premium Check-in at Hamad International AIrport

Exclusive for Qatar Airways passengers

Exclusive for Qatar Airways passengers

The premium check-in experience

The premium check-in experience

Check-in counters with armchairs for passengers

Check-in counters with armchairs for passengers

Conveyor belt for the premium check-in

Conveyor belt for the premium check-in

Close-up of the belt

Close-up of the belt

Check-in desk

Check-in desk

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways

Sofa seats for passengers waiting for check-in

Sofa seats for passengers waiting for check-in

Like what you see?

Check out my previous post on the flight and service experience with Qatar Airways 787 Dreamliner Business Class for long haul. If you fly with Qatar Airways on First or Business Class for your next trip with a stopover or transit at Doha, go experience the new Hamad International Airport Premium check-in for yourself. 🙂