First passengers take off from the $15 billion Hamad International Airport
Fly Dubai was the first airline to land at the Hamad International Airport today. Nine other airlines will also be beginning operations from today, marking the soft launch of the airport.
The rest of the carriers, including Qatar Airways, is expected to move to the new airport by May 27, 2014.
Addressing the media, H.E. Mr Abdul Aziz Mohamad Al-Noaimi, Chairman of the Steering Committee of the New Doha International Airport project, said that the new airport, once fully operational, will accommodate over 50 million passengers. About 30 million passengers will have already begun using the facility during the soft launch.
- First passengers arrive at the Airport
- Inside the passenger Terminal
- Qatar Duty Free Store
- A section of the Family Area
- Tom Claassen – Oryxs (public art installation)
- Inside the Passenger terminal
- Urs Fischer – Lamp Bear (public art installation)
- Qatar Airways flight receiving a Water Salute
The wait is over
Work on the new airport began 2005, with an approximate cost of $15 billion spent to date. The airport’s opening has faced several delays in the past, to which Akbar Al-Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, commented that international standards had to be met before launching the airport. “Several issues had to be addressed which took a longer time than we expected. The delay disturbed Qatar Airway’s plan of launching new routes. But we need to forget about the past, and look at the future.”
The new airport spans 29 square kilometres, 60% on land reclaimed from the Arabian Gulf. The Passenger Terminal features 16 lounges, 26 art installations, over 100 F&B and retail outlets, a transit hotel, a swimming pool, a luxury spa, squash courts and a four-storey catering facility that is considered to be one of the largest in the world. Read our earlier photo feature of the new airport for more pictures and details.