Qatar has the world’s fastest growing economy and its national carrier is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world.
Apart from its phenomenal growth in the oil gas and petrochemicals industry, Qatar is developing as a major MICE destination and the sports capital of the Gulf. Its leisure and tourism sector is growing and Qatar Airways, with Doha as its hub, will be flying to around 70 destinations by the end of this year. All that indicates that traffic to Doha and onwards through Doha airport will also increase dramatically. It’s hard to believe now that, at the end of the 1970s, the Qatari capital’s airport had just a one-room terminal building serving both arrivals and departures!
On January 11, Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani laid the foundation stone for the $5.5 billion New Doha International Airport (NDIA) to be completed in three phases. The first two are expected to be completed by 2009, and the third phase between 2015 and 2022. On completion, the airport – covering 22.5 sq km – will be able to handle 50 million passengers and 1.5 million to 2 million tonnes of cargo per year. NDIA is being built on reclaimed land east of the existing airport, and the ceremony was held at a point that will be at the end of one of the two new runways.
Forty per cent of the site will be reclaimed land; around 63 million cubic metres of fill is being dredged from the sea.
The airport is being designed on a ‘water’ theme, with a large landscaped lagoon and fountains at the entrance, and a wave design for the roof of the passenger terminal.
The new Emiri Terminal has sails as its theme, to link to the main airport design. NDIA will be the world’s first airport to be designed and built specially for the new Airbus A380-800 double-decker ‘super jumbo’. US engineering giant, Bechtel, has been awarded the contract to design and build the new airport.
Of 20 contracts, three have already been awarded, five are at the qualification stage and seven at the pre-qualification stage.
The first phase will consist of a 130,000 sq m, three-storey, terminal that will have the capacity to handle 12 million passengers per year. It will have with 24 contact gates, two of which will cater to the A380-800, and at least seven remote gates.
An airport hotel will be built adjacent to the terminal, and another 100-room hotel will be constructed within the terminal for transit passengers.
A broad $140 million programme was established in 2003 to increase the annual capacity of the existing airport from 4.2 million to 7.5 million passengers. Other upgrades to the airport include new aircraft stands and covered (paid) parking for 2,000 vehicles which has significantly reduced congestion in the car park as well as avoiding the feeling you’re getting into an oven if your car has been parked for an hour or so at the height of summer!
Qatar Duty Free
Qatar Duty Free (QDF), a subsidiary of Qatar Airways, was involved in a major re-fit of its main Departures shop, in the second half of 2004, significantly altering the retail offer at the Doha International Airport with some innovative and creative product category displays while also maximising the internal space within the retail environment. QDF has an open-plan shop in Arrivals and last year opened a shop in the temporary VIP building where trade has been going well.
QDF officials say that due to obvious space considerations on board the aircraft, in-flight sales focus on key product categories – and within those, on the best selling lines. The advantage of the main shop, they say, is one of space, allowing a far greater product range to be displayed and sold. For example, gold sales are particularly strong within the main Departures shop. A greater number of promotional activities are also possible, allowing the Airport Retailer to offer an excellent range of special offers to their customers.
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.