November 21 2022  |  Airlines & Airports

Hamad International Airport unveils impressive expansion

By Jane Hobson

A view of the recently-opened HIA expansion

Hamad International Airport (HIA) has officially unveiled its impressive airport expansion project which aims to enrich passenger experiences and transform HIA into an "extraordinary destination where any journey is worthwhile."

H.E Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, said, "We are very pleased to be launching the expansion of Hamad International Airport, an airport that has truly grown to become the ultimate example of a successful, sustainable global facility. HIA continues to impress with its innovative planning, execution and investment – enhancing its position as the preferred hub for global travelers and reinforcing HIA’s position amongst the top leaders of this industry. The opening of our newly expanded terminal further connects the growing number of travelers to all corners of the world, enriching people’s experiences and proudly representing the State of Qatar’s rich culture and prestige."

Commenting on the expansion, Chief Operating Officer at HIA Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, said, "We are immensely proud to officially launch our airport expansion. Our growth plan will see us welcome over 58 million passengers annually – offering global travelers the best services the industry has to offer. 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."

The ORCHARD: A tropical masterpiece
HIA’s ambitions and futuristic vision can be witnessed within the newly announced ORCHARD – a tropical garden located at the center of the terminal expansion. Set to truly elevate passenger’s experiences and redefine airport travel, the ORCHARD is an indoor tropical garden with a beautiful water feature that will be the focal point for visitors at HIA. With a host of different flora – the ORCHARD includes over 300 trees and over 25,000 plants sourced from sustainable forests from around the world.

The unique design of the area allows trees and plants to easily adapt to the internal conditions and grow throughout the life of the airport – with natural light to create calming ambiance and promote a sense of wellbeing to all who venture inside.

A true masterpiece at a truly world-class facility, the ORCHARD is an excellent destination for HIA passengers seeking relaxation and tranquility as part of their journey.

A look at the retail offering

An expansive terminal like no other
Consisting of one expansive terminal, the two-time world’s best airport will welcome passengers with facilities and services curated for all ages. The expansion now enables travelers to seamlessly transfer from one area to another, exploring the wonders that HIA has to offer with its infused warmth and hospitality. From discovering new flavors with exquisite fine dining to exploring the depths of the art collections and luxurious shops – the airport continues to actively enrich travelers’ experiences with tranquility and profound culture.

The airport’s expanded operations will greatly reduce waiting time, thanks to the new transfer hall on concourse C (Transfer Hall C) – the level of security, customer service and efficiency will allow passengers to smoothly arrive and depart the award-winning airport.

Exquisite F&B and Retail options
Qatar Duty Free unveils a brand new, unparalleled luxury offer at HIA’s expansion with world-class retail and F&B options with more than 65 retail and dining outlets spread across its three levels. F&B options at the HIA expansion includes over 20 cafes and restaurants offering delicious local and global cuisines for an ultimate dining experience.

The retail and F&B offer at the expansion features many world firsts and exclusives, including a Fendi Boutique with the first Fendi Café in an airport, and the first Ralph’s Coffee Shop in an airport. The North node also houses the world’s first Oreo Café in an airport.

The enhanced retail offer also includes an unrivaled selection of luxury boutiques, including the first Dior Boutique at HIA, only FIFA shop in the world, Thom Brown only store in an airport, largest Ray Ban store in an airport, and a lineup of prestigious brands such as flagship Louis Vuitton Boutique, Gucci, Burberry, Tiffany, and Co. Bvlgari, and many more world-class brands.

The retail offering at HIA

Passengers traveling through HIA will be able to explore hundreds of curated experiences all under one roof, surrounded by a true architectural and tropical masterpiece.

A second airport hotel and multiple new lounges
As part of the overall expansion, HIA has launched the second airport hotel within its transfer area, the Oryx Garden Hotel. Located in the north plaza, the 100-room hotel focuses on sustainability, with rooms ranging from king to twin, as well as suites strategically located moments away from the boarding gates.

To enhance the overall experience at the Oryx Garden Hotel, guests can use the passenger train to visit the near-by Oryx Airport Hotel in the south plaza should they want to use its Vitality Wellbeing Spa and Fitness Centre. The centre features a breath-taking 25-metre swimming pool, gym, spa and squash court.

As part of the expansion project, HIA has four brand-new lounges for passengers to relax and unwind, namely the Al Mourjan Business Lounge – The Garden; Gold and Platinum lounge; Oryx Lounge and Al Maha Lounge.

A sustainable destination
With sustainability at the core of HIA’s plans, the airport has managed to have four of the expansion projects achieve a 4-star rating under the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) from Gulf Organization for Research & Development (GORD). This includes the ORCHARD, Oryx Garden Hotel & north plaza lounges, Al Mourjan Business lounge- the Garden and the Remote Transfer Baggage Facility.

With the Phase A of HIA’s expansion plans now up and ready in time for the much-anticipated FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, Phase B of the expansion – set to commence in early 2023 – will further increase the capacity of the airport to well over 70 million passengers and construct two new concourses within the existing terminal.

As HIA continues to transform the industry with innovative experiences and breath-taking features, the award-winning airport looks to a bright, sustainable future where possibilities are endless.

REGION Gulf Africa

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