Back in 2019, Qatar’s Hamad International Airport revealed its plan of expanding the current airport to facilitate passenger traffic before the FIFA World Cup 2022. And as of today, there was a ceremony at the airport for the official opening of the new area with a garden.
Hamad International Airport Expansions
Hamad International Airport’s newly inaugurated area features:
- A 6,000 square meter (64,500 square feet) indoor tropical garden and water feature
- 11,720 square meters (126,000 square feet) of duty-free and restaurants
- A new Qatar Airways Silver, Gold, Platinum and Al Mourjan Lounge
The new area will boost the airport capacity from the current 29 million to 58 million passengers. Furthermore, the next phase will commence in early 2023 which will further increase the capacity of 75 million with two new concourses.
In a press conference held in Doha today, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said:
“This expansion marks a major step in terms of advancement of tourism in Qatar through the Hamad International Airport, especially given the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. For years Hamad International Airport has continuously delivered on its promise to define elegance, style and sustainability as befitting the leading airport of the world.”
Out of all, the most noticeable facility more than anything else is the indoor garden called The Orchard. The Orchard has over 300 trees and more than 25,000 plants from all over the world. It also has a 575 square meter (6,200 square feet) water feature, where aquatic plants are installed in a sustainable bio pond.
The orchard itself looks really nice and creates a vibrant atmosphere inside the airport. Here are more photos of the new extensions.
If these were the features for passengers, there are also new facilities for airport operations such as:
- Remote transfer baggage facility
- A virtual air traffic control tower
- Western taxiway and stand with 34 additional aircraft stands and 5 new aircraft stands located on Victor taxiway. This will be in addition to the 140 aircraft stands that the airport has.
- Western and Midfield fuel farms
- Cargo bridging
So not only the airport inaugurate for passenger benefits, but it also upgraded its operational fields.
The Controversy With The Orchard’s Design
As you can see in the photos of the Orchard, it resembles the Jewel at Singapore’s Changi International Airport. Qatar Airways CEO continuously claimed that Singapore stole the idea:
“Somebody copied our design, which was already on the table six years ago. We had individuals from that country, I will not name it, who took that and did it (themselves).”
I visited the Jewel a few months ago and in terms of design, both airports have similar outlines. It is hard to figure out who copied who, but to be honest, the Jewel has an unbeatable design.
Lounges At The New North Node
There will be four brand-new lounges around the Orchard:
- Qatar Airways Silver Lounge – North
- Qatar Airways Gold Lounge – North
- Qatar Airways Platinum Lounge – North
- Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge – North
The new lounges will open once the interior workings are finished. But as of November 4, 2022, a temporary Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge – North is currently operating. This lounge will eventually be Qatar Airways Platinum Lounge – North once the original business class lounge opens.
I will write more about the details of the lounge once they are open.
Hamad International Airport has been expanding its airport for the past three years and the second phase of the project has finally opened to the public today.
With the opening of the North node, this area features an enormous indoor garden called Orchard, many other shops and restaurants and new lounges to accommodate a large number of passengers ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022.
The airport is now undergoing the process of the final phase of the expansion which will be completed in 2025, boosting the capacity further from 58 million to 75 million passengers.