Hamad International Airport - previously known as New Doha International Airport - serves the bustling Middle Eastern city of Doha, capital of oil nation Qatar. Operational from April 2014, the facility reputedly cost a whopping $16 billion and 10 years to build, but the resulting work of art was well worth the effort. With more than 50 retail outlets (many of which harbour high-end brands), 2 hotels, a spa, more than 20 art installations, countless eating spots, exercise courts and a public mosque, Hamad International Airport is a real sight to behold. Free wifi is available throughout the terminal, as are charging stations and usage of desktop computers.
The base of Qatar Airways, Hamad International Airport is also one of few airports in the world to offer direct flights to all 6 of the world’s inhabited continents.
Hamad International Airport is located less than 20 kilometres from Doha City, with many options available for making this commute. Travellers on a tight budget can take a public bus from the Bus Pavilion outside the Arrivals hall of the passenger terminal; 2 bus routes are available from there. Otherwise, taxis can be found at the Taxi Pavilion - but do be sure that you have enough Qatari Riyals for pay for your fare as drivers only accept cash payment in the local currency.
For those after something a bit more luxurious, chauffeur-driven limousines are also available from Hamad Airport; simply head to the Mowasalat Limousine kiosk at the Arrivals hall to make a booking (you can pay by either cash or credit at the kiosk).
What to see and do
One of Qatar’s most iconic attractions, the Doha Corniche is a must-see for tourists in the capital city. A 7-kilometre-long waterfront promenade facing the Persian Gulf, the Corniche is a great spot for an evening stroll and is also lined with some of Qatar’s most important buildings and landmarks. Visit the famous Museum of Islamic Art and/or Qatar’s National Museum and National Theatre, or have a look at the immense Emiri Diwan building, home base of the Qatar Government.
If you’re feeling up to some retail therapy, the Souq Waqif offers a shopping experience like no other. Known as the ‘standing market’, the Souq is famous for hawking traditional Middle Eastern wares such as spices, handicrafts, garments and more at affordable prices. Surrounded by traditional Middle Eastern architecture as well as boutique hotels, shisha lounges and traditional restaurants, few places in the state are as suited for an afternoon whiling away the Middle Eastern heat as the Souq Waqif.