A Middle-East Adventure: Dubai & Abu Dhabi
Hamad International Airport is more often than not a transit airport with Qatar Airways using it as their main hub for flights in and out of destinations such as the Maldives, Auckland and many more. Lucky for you, I missed my connecting flight to Singapore so I had over 10 hours to explore all the things Hamad International Airport had to offer.
#HIAQatar Sign at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar
The food hall at Hamad International Airport has a variety of dining options to suit everyone, from noodles to pasta to burgers, with the odd coffee shop or two. If you want to get some authentic food, the best place would be Qataf Café. They offer mezze-style platters of Arabic foods. If authentic Arabic food doesn’t appeal to you then you can always grab a burger from Burger King.
If you are stuck inside the airport why not take advantage of the duty-free stores and tax-free designer shops. Hamad International Airport is full of shops including luxury brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Bvlgari, Harrods, Giorgio Armani, Michael Kors and Rolex. You’ve also got some WHSmiths if you wanted to grab a book and the bazaar to get some Arabic souvenirs from your stop over.
Shopping at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar
Qatar Airways and Qatar Tourism Authority have paired up to offer passengers with layovers of over five hours a complimentary three-hour tour of the city. The tour visits highlights such as Katara Cultural Village, Souq Waqif, Pearl-Qatar and the Museum of Islamic Art. The tour takes place four times a day, 8am, 11am, 4pm and again at 8pm, it is on a first come first serve basis so be sure to register your interest as soon as you arrive.
View of the city of Doha, Qatar
The Vitality Wellbeing & Fitness Centre at Hamad International Airport offers a 25-metre indoor swimming pool, fully equipped gym, hydrotherapy tub and shower room with the entrance fee starting from 175 QAR. The spa also offers a selection of relaxing massages, facials and body treatments.
Hamad International Airport has The Airport Hotel, a great place to recharge and refresh. This four-star onsite hotel allows you to book a stay for as little as five hours. Choose from a Superior Room to the Presidential Suite. Whilst in your room you can order from the delicious room service menu or perhaps hit the gym for a workout.
The copper playgrounds designed by American artist Tom Otterness provide a much-needed play area for kids especially after being confined to an aircraft for a long period of time. They will also have fun discovering all the different sculptures dotted around Hamad International Airport. There are numerous copper playgrounds, animatronic dinosaurs and the giant Lamp Bear designed by Urs Fischer.
Lamp Bear by Urs Fischer at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar
The lounges at Hamad International Airport offer a luxurious experience that rivals five-star boutique hotels. Al Maha lounges are spread across the terminal and offer premium lounge services for transiting passengers. Freshen up with shower facilities plus you’ll find complimentary refreshments including wine and beer. The Al Mourjan Business Lounge redefines the standard airport lounge. From the moment you arrive you are welcomed by a la carte and buffet dining along with Qatar Airways’ signature hospitality. Al Mourjan lounge access is for Qatar Airways First and Business Class passengers. The Al Safwa First Lounge is designed to provide the most luxurious lounge experience ever, focusing on meticulous details and the finer things in life.
Exterior of Al Maha Lounge at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar
Al Mourjan Lounge at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar
There we go, transiting through Qatar isn’t too bad. Hamad International Airport has plenty to keep you entertained from shopping to napping and everything in between.
Flying Business Class with Qatar Airways? Why not have a read of our review… Qatar Airways Business Class, onboard the A330.