What makes Hamad International the world's coolest airport?
Airports can often be the dullest places to hang out with long queues at check-in and security, and then a just few shops and restaurants when you finally get through. However, many airports are now striving to offer passengers more when they travel, and Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar has been named as the "coolest" airport in the world by the deals website Travelzoo.
Long check-in and security queues, finding ways to entertain tired children, and waiting for delayed flights makes airports a place where travellers prefer to spend the least amount of time possible.
But, one airport in the Middle East has made sure travellers aren’t in such a rush to leave: Hamad International Airport (HIA). Located in Doha has been named as the “coolest” airport in the world according to a list compiled by Travelzoo for the Huffington Post. Here are some of the reasons why HIA is such a cool airport for international travellers:
Bursting with duty-free shops, passengers will feel like they are walking through an upscale mall. The airport hosted a Giorgio Armani fashion show, and with designer brands including Armani, Rolex, and Hermes, it’s the perfect place to pick up a gift, or just spend hours window-shopping.
Motor enthusiasts will love the ever-changing displays of the world’s most expensive cars, from Porsches and Mercedes, to a McLaren 650S. Even if you can’t afford one, you can grab a quick photo standing next to one to show off to your friends.
Spa relaxation and swimming
There’s no better way to unwind during a long trip than taking a dip in a pool, or enjoying a soothing massage. HIA boasts the Vitality Spa, with a 25-metre swimming pool, modern fitness centre, two squash courts, a hydrotherapy bath, three spa treatment rooms, and showers. Any passengers in transit can pay $150 QAR to access unlimited use of the facilities.
For passengers looking for some peace and quiet while they wait for flights, the quiet rooms offer soft lighting, reclining chairs, and the perfect place to enjoy a snooze or read a book. There are separate quiet rooms for males and females throughout the terminal.
There are a variety of luxury lounges at the airport for all passengers and select card holders who want to relax within luxury surroundings and comfort. The Onyx Lounge is complimentary for airline’s premium passengers, and they’ll have access to a business centre, quiet zone, food and drink facilities, a smoking room, a games room for kids, and the internet. Economy passengers can access this lounge for a fee of $200 QAR ($55 US).
The Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge is a lavish facility that showcases the best of Arabian hospitality and heritage, with fine dining outlets, quiet rooms, work stations with personal display screens and complimentary internet access, and shower facilities. The lounge is open to First and Business Class passengers.
HIA also offers various dedicated lounges that cater for special assistance travellers and unaccompanied minors. Hamada International Airport is the main airport for Doha, the capital of Qatar and a hub for the country’s national carrier Qatar Airways. The oasis-themed airport took over the original Doha International Airport, and HIA opened in April, 2014. Since then, it has been trying to rich the highest standards.
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