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Doha Airport Mini Guide
First Sight of the Desert
Almost everyone arriving in Qatar passes through Doha Airport, as it is the only commercial airport in the country. The home of Qatar Airways it is now a major Middle Eastern stopover point for flights between Europe and Asia. It's current capacity is around 11 million passengers a year, but this is set to increase when the new Doha International Airport is opened later in 2011 or early 2012, this is certainly expected when Qatar host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Before you Arrive
On all flights arriving into Doha, passengers are given blue, yellow or burgundy boarding pass wallets and matching hand luggage tags when checking in for their flight. If Doha is your final destination you are given blue and you will be taken to the arrivals hall on landing. If you are in transit and transferring to an onward flight you will be given yellow and transferred to the transit and departure terminal. The burgundy are reserved for business and first class passengers in transit who are taken to the Premium transit terminal.
On arrival all passengers need an entry visa into Qatar, this is issued on production of your passport on arrival in the country. One thing to mention – Qatar
is a strictly Islamic country and no alcohol is permitted, should you have purchased duty free before your flight these will be confiscated and a receipt given so you can collect them on your departure from the country.
One you are through into the departure area, you will find that every facility you may want is available to you. If you're travelling with children you will find child care rooms on the ground and first floors, also a children's play area to keep them amused during your wait. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the terminal so you can keep in touch or surf the internet. If you're feeling hungry then there is a food court in the departure hall and also five different Costa Coffee outlets for a quick snack. Despite being in an Islamic country, you will still find a duty free shop there, along with the usual cigarettes, drinks and perfumes you will find regular free raffles for items like luxury cars and free $1 million prize draws – good luck!
The Premium Terminal
Passengers travelling first or business class will have a 5 star luxury experience passing through the Premium terminal. If you are travelling on business maybe you need to hold a meeting or if you are on first class “trip of a lifetime” maybe you would like to take advantage of a luxury spa facility and have a massage to help with the jet lag. If travelling with children, there is a nursery and play area and for children of all ages, a state of the art games room. Every passenger is wined and dined to the highest standard there and should you need anything else, just ask.
- The New Doha International Airport is now not due to open until 2013 increasing pressure further on the airport, especially as Qatar Airlines have announced several new routes into Doha