In this increasingly contracting world, once remote destinations are now a simple flight away. That includes Qatar, a small country that is becoming an important landmark on the Arabian Peninsula.
So it is not surprising that Qatar has a world-class airline to match: Qatar Airways, which took this year’s top awards from Skytrax and is making waves throughout the world as the official airline partner to the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.
Business travelers who traverse the world regularly enroute to meetings and conferences will likely have a chance to familiarize themselves with Qatar Airways and its winning designs for Business Class cabins, services and lounges. The airline currently flies to more than 150 destinations worldwide, connecting through its Doha hub at Hamad International Airport (HIA). And while, premier travelers will find an elevated inflight experience with the airline’s unique Qsuite cabins, all passengers to Qatar will be equally delighted by what they find when they land.
Hamad International Airport: The Art of Connecting
Hamad International Airport in Doha takes the usual airport experience and turns it on its head. The state-of-the-art airport opened in 2014, a gleaming monument to modern technology that brings the history and culture of its surroundings into the sweeping architecture and clean, cathedral-like interiors. It is no wonder that HIA repeatedly wins the Skytrax award for “World’s Best Airport.”
Moving through the spaces toward the lounges, the gates, the exquisite designer shopping, the varied options in dining and even the impressive gym, spa and 75-foot-long pool, passengers will notice the art – some 70 notable works throughout the airport in permanent and changing exhibits make this airport a destination in its own right.
Al Mourjan Business Lounge: Inspired Waiting
For busy travelers who want to relax between flights, Al Mourjan Business Lounge, open 24/7, is the destination for Business Class passengers. For those holding other ticket classes, the lounge is big – some 110,000 square feet of wellbeing – and welcomes travelers who want to pay an admission fee of around $100.
There, find an open layout with plenty of places to sit, lounge, work, rest and renew plus two dining options on two levels for a panoply of international fare. Semi-private sleeping quarters are in plentiful supply, although those with enough time may want to consider a snooze at the Oryx Airport Hotel, bookable by the hour or the day.
For curious passengers with three to eight hours between flights, or even a day or two to spend, Doha is the destination. The capital city of Qatar is a world of wonders with swirling souks, magnificent mosques, top-flight museums, exotic dining and wide-open adventure. A Metro stop at the airport connects to the major tourism attractions of Doha in clean, safe and cool comfort.
Qatar Airways operates Discover Qatar, which provides exclusive transit tour programs that can be reserved at the Discover Qatar kiosk at HIA. These include “Discover Doha,” a 3-hour city tour taking in Dhow Harbor, the Corniche, Katara Cultural Village and Souq Waqif. Four- and five-hour tours are also available.
A visit to Doha, whether on a tour or in solo exploration, should include a sojourn to the National Museum of Qatar – a gypsum formation that resembles a desert rose; the I.M. Pei-designed Museum of Islamic Art; Pearl-Qatar, which is home to a collection of art galleries, street art exhibitions and traditional architectural enclaves; Souq Waqif, a vibrant trading market for local crafts and delicacies; and the Gold Souq for precious treasures at seductive prices.
Finally, look to the desert for a sense of place and adventure. Try a bit of dune bashing in a 4WD, or ride a camel, kite surf, bike or take on the dunes on a wakeboard. Visit the Inland Sea at Khor Al-Adaid, now a UNESCO World Heritage site along the border of Saudi Arabia.
Qatar Airways: 1001 Sights
Qatar Airways makes the going easy with access through 13 North American gateways, including JFK, IAD, BOS, PHL, ATL, MIA, ORD, DFW, IAH, LAX, SEA and SFO in the U.S.
As passengers fly through Hamad International Airport in Doha, they can experience a new Orchard attraction featuring a resplendent waterfall and a veritable orchard of trees and blooming plants linking the D and E concourses. And for those who want to take their magical journey into realm of ancient Arabian tales, a tour is waiting and will not disappoint. Travel to and through Qatar on Qatar Airways is more than a flight to a destination. It is a journey to another place, another time, a World of Awes by any other name.