The interior Orchard at the new Hamad International Airport.
Photo Credit: Hamad International Airport

Hamad International Airport announces expansion project

LONDON – Qatar’s major airport, located in Doha, Hamad International Airport (HIA), has officially announced its expansion project, which will enhance the passenger’s experience and transform HIA into an extraordinary destination.

Hamad Airport expansion


H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, stated: “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.”

Sustainable construction


The new terminal will include more than 300 trees and over 25,000 plants that have been sourced from sustainable forests around the world. The new terminal will also include more food, beverages, and retail outlets for the passengers to enjoy.  

The new trees and plants will be part of their new project, ORCHARD, which will be a new tropical garden located at the center of the terminal expansion. ORCHARD will also have a beautiful water feature that will be the focal point for visitors.

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

The terminal’s expansion will also come with a new terminal hotel, the Oryx Garden Hotel. Located in the north plaza, the 100-room hotel focuses on sustainability, with rooms ranging from king to twin and suites strategically located moments away from the boarding gates.

Part of the expansion project is four brand-new lounges for passengers to relax and unwind.

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).

With Phase A of HIA’s expansion plans now up and ready, Phase B of the expansion – set to commence in early 2023 – will further increase the capacity to well over 70 million passengers.

As Hamad International Airport 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.

Controversial


This expansion is in my opinion quite controversial, as Qatar has shown in the previous months that they absolutely did not care about worker’s conditions while building the new FIFA World Cup football stadium, where thousands of workers have died because of poor working conditions.

Knowing this, and knowing what other tactics have been used, it can be said with quite a confidence that they will do the same here, as they are trying to keep a good PR with the rest of the world. Another reason I am saying this is the Qatari government has a relatively short time frame as the World Cup is about to start on November 20th.

This means that the workers have less than 3 weeks the time to finish the entire expansion project, meaning that they will be put under a lot of pressure by both the government and the outside world who will be looking at them and hoping it will be done before they arrive.

The government has recently denied any of the accusations many have thrown at them, which makes this expansion just a piece of a cover-up to shift the focus from the World Cup to the new airport, as they all stare to this “impressive” expansion.

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