Class apart


Qatar Airways’ premium-class terminal boasts spa treatments, Jacuzzis and saunas for first and business-class travellers

Opened in November 2006, the premium terminal at Doha International Airport, Qatar, is the first of its kind offering an exclusive service for Qatar Airways’ first and business-class passengers.

Built at a cost of $100 million and completed in just nine months, the 10,000-sq-m premium terminal has expansive water features and offers services ranging from exclusive concierge-style, seated check-in to duty-free shopping with the most upmarket brands, conference rooms, a nursery and play area, spa treatment rooms, saunas, Jacuzzis and fine-dining restaurants. Following its launch the terminal proved so popular that, in 2009, the facilities were expanded to offer around 80 per cent more seating in the business-class section. More than 150 specially-trained staff, chosen from the best of the world’s hospitality industry, are employed to ensure premium terminal passengers have a hassle-free and memorable experience.

Included in the services they can expect are: concierge kerbside meet and greet, shower and wash rooms, ladies’ and men’s prayer rooms, 24-hour medical centre, simulator games and Sony PlayStations, massage treatment rooms and dedicated check-in desks.

Qatar Airways runs the airport and chief executive Akbar Al Baker said: “The premium terminal goes one step further by exceeding passengers’ expectations. It’s innovative, it’s unique and it’s truly one of a kind.

“The terminal is designed to create an inviting ambience – one of allowing passengers to unwind and enjoy the excellent facilities available such as a spa, Jacuzzi and wonderful duty-free shopping, all in the serene surroundings of fantastic water features.”

The facility is exclusive to Qatar Airways’ first- and business-class passengers and those flying code-share with Qatar. Children and nannies travelling economy with first- and business-class flyers can also check-in to the terminal and use selected areas.

Work or play: the terminal’s facilities include a business centre (above) and a nursery area

An airline spokesman added: “What we have found is that people are turning up early for their flights so that they can experience the fantastic facilities on offer. Within 18 months of the terminal opening the business-class facilities were expanded by 80 per cent simply because usage was so high.”

The premium terminal, however, will not be a feature of the New Doha International Airport but there will be lounges including many of its unique features and the new facility will include a swimming pool and spa with an even further upscaling of services.