Qatar Airways opened the world’s only dedicated first and business class terminal at Doha International Airport in time for the 15th Asian Games being held there, for which the carrier is the official airline and prestige partner.
The new premium terminal is part of a 200-million-dollar expansion at Doha International Airport. Built in just nine months at a cost of 90 million dollars, the 10,000-square-meter terminal features exclusive check-in, duty-free shopping, conference rooms, nursery and play area to spa treatment rooms, sauna, jacuzzi and fine dining restaurants. An integral part of the design is an atrium and water elements that provide tranquil and serene surroundings.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Akbar Al Baker, the carrier’s chief executive officer, described the new terminal, “It’s innovative, it’s unique, and it’s truly one of a kind. The terminal is designed to create an inviting ambience – one of allowing passengers to unwind and enjoy the excellent facilities available such as a spa, jacuzzi, sauna and wonderful duty-free shopping, all in the surroundings of fantastic water features.
“For business travelers, we have a conference room with audio visual facilities and meeting rooms together with secretarial services, all available free on a first-come, first-served basis. There are also numerous computers with free Internet access. With the introduction of dedicated e-gates, these ensure passengers registered with e-cards are processed through immigration smoothly and efficiently.”
The new terminal, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is setting a benchmark for the region and the rest of the world. The airline recruited more than 150 specially trained staff members, from the hospitality industry around the world, to work at the new facility. UK-based spa specialist Elemis provides all the treatments, including massages, facials and manicures. The facility offers the airline’s most loyal customers the best levels of comfort and hospitality before catching their flights.
Premium passengers flying on code-share flights operated by Qatar Airways are eligible to use the premium terminal. Children and nannies traveling economy class with first and business class passengers can check-in at the terminal and use selected areas.
Mr. Al Baker added, “As some of our passengers will also be traveling with their families, we haven’t forgotten the needs of children who have a special play area, as well as a dedicated nursery. There is also a doctor and nurse on duty in a fully manned medical center round-the-clock.”
The new terminal development is part of a raft of improvements currently taking place at Doha International Airport, where the arrival and departure halls have been expanded to cope with the increase in passengers flying in and out of the airport. An additional 21,000-square-meters have already been added to the existing airport terminal. The number of boarding gates has increased from ten to 16; there are two additional immigration counters; new e-gates in arrival and departure to speed up processing of passengers; and a sharp increase in the number of aircraft parking bays to cope with the huge expansion of Qatar Airways’ fleet.