Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH) has announced plans for a huge expansion which will feature a 10,000 square metre indoor tropical garden and 263 square metre ‘water feature’ as its centrepieces – this is all sounding very similar to Singapore Changi.
The announcement was made earlier today in the Qatari capital where Akbar Al Baker, the chief executive of State-owned Qatar Airways said the plan had been approved to cope with an influx of passengers ahead of the Fifa World Cup in 2022. Along with the tropical gardens, the expansion will include room for over 11,00 square metres of retail and dining space, as well as a massive new Business Class lounge.
The Al Mourjan lounge will overlook the tropical gardens and will feature a gymnasium and spa, along with typical lounge amenities including multiple restaurants and business centres.
Around 60 per cent of Hamad International Airport was built on land reclaimed from the sea and at present, the airport can accommodate 30 million passengers annually. Once the expansion is complete, that passenger capacity is set to double to 60 million passengers a year. An expanded cargo terminal is also on the cards.
A CGI video of what the newly expanded terminal will look like has been released by the airport authorities:
While Qatar is clearly planning for the future, the present hasn’t been so kind to the small Persian Gulf country’s ambitious aviation strategy. Last year, Qatar Airways lost $639 million which is put down to the loss of mature routes, higher fuel costs and foreign exchange fluctuations.
A Saudi-led blockade on Qatar since June 2017 has put pressure on the country and its national airline. The dispute currently shows no sign of ending anytime soon.