hamad international airport doha qatar lamp bear

Doha Hamad International Airport travel guide

As one of the busiest airports in the Middle East, Qatar‘s Hamad International Airport offers a wealth of amenities and services to make your travel experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible. From world-class shopping and dining options to luxurious lounges and efficient transportation, there’s no shortage of things to see and do at this airport.

Doha’s Hamad International Airport (HIA) has won a lot of accolades throughout the years since its opening in 2014. This includes Best Airport in the Middle East, one of the top airports in the world, and Global 5-Star Airport rating. It is also Qatar’s main gateway to the world and the hub of the five-star airline Qatar Airways.


Where is Hamad International Airport?

HIA is located in Doha, Qatar. It’s Doha’s only international airport and is known by the IATA airport code: DOH. It opened in April 2014, replacing the old Doha International Airport (IATA: DIA).

HIA is located on the east side of Doha. The airport overlooks the Arabian Gulf and is near Banana Island Resort.

BOOK YOUR FLIGHT TO DOHA:


How to go around Hamad International Airport?

Feeling lost? Take a look at the HIA maps here. Or approach any Information Desk or HIA employee.

And because the airport is quite big, there are plenty of ‘walkalators‘ (moving walkway/autowalk) as well as passenger trains that can take you from the north to the south side of the terminal in 90 seconds.

If you’re departing, you can board the train behind the Lamp Bear (South). The train operates 24 hours a day and is available for both departures and arrival.


How to check flight status (Departures & Arrivals)

You can check your flight status here. Or by checking the large screens in the check-in area. You can also download the iOS or Android app if you’re a regular visitor of HIA.


Is there free Wi-Fi?

Yes, Hamad International Airport offers complimentary wireless internet access. You can connect through your device or the free internet kiosks/desks with screens and keyboards throughout the airport. Free after submitting information through the form.

You can also download the HIA Qatar mobile app to help you navigate the airport. [iOS | Android]

Network: HIAQatar Complimentary WiFi


How to use the E-gates

Source: Ministry of Interior Qatar

E-gates can be used for both departures and arrivals and are available for Qatari citizens and residents. They are faster than the normal immigration queue.

If this is your first time using the E-gates, you have to go through registration/activation first. You can do this in the Enrollment section facing immigration. Ready your passport and QID. Lines can also get long for registration but it does move fast.


Art Installations

Arctic Nurseries of El Dorado by Marq Quinn

What to do inside the airport besides waiting for your flight and shopping/eating? You can go on a DIY tour and look for the art installations placed throughout the airport. These public artworks are made by local and regional artists as well as international artists and placed in the airport in collaboration with Qatar Museums.

If you’re departing, you will see a big pot of orchids in bronze coated in white before getting into passport control. It is called Arctic Nurseries of El Dorado by Marq Quinn.

Flying Man by Dia al-Azzawi

Near the Economy class entrances, you can see the Flying Man by Dia al-Azzawi, an Iraqi artist. They are installed in the Arrivals Meet and Greet Hall.

The most popular of course is the giant yellow teddy bear with a lamp in the middle of the Concourse area (South Node). Lamp Bear was created by Urs Fischer and has a height of 23 feet. It’s made out of cast bronze and weighs more than 20 tons. It is said that Untitled Lamp Bear was bought by the royal family for $6.8 million dollars.

Other Worlds by Tom Otterness

Along the C gates, you will see eight bronze sculptures called Other Worlds by Tom Otterness. These gigantic figures are interactive and both adults and kids can enjoy playing with them.

The newest one is by KAWS called Small Lie which stands 32 feet tall. You can find it in Concourse E.

Also located in the Arrivals Meet and Greet Hall are 8 bronze Oryxes by Dutch Artist Tom Claasen. The Oryx is the national animal of Qatar.

You can find more art installations in HIA and read about them here.

Other Worlds by Tom Otterness

If you’re on a transit or layover, you can check out this Transit Tour of HIA Qatar’s Art offered by Discover Qatar.


Restaurants

  • Asia Street Cooking
  • Baladna & Baladna Express
  • Burger King
  • Chac’Late
  • Chapati & Karak
  • Coffeeshop Company
  • Comptoir Libanais
  • Costa Coffee
  • Del Monte
  • Dosa Factory
  • Eatgreek Kouzina
  • Emporio Armani Caffe
  • EnotecaGiardino
  • Evergreen Organics
  • Fendi Caffe
  • Flocafe
  • Giraffe World Kitchen
  • Gordon Ramsay Burger
  • Street Pizza Gordon Ramsay
  • Great Eastern Market
  • Harrods Tea Room
  • Harvest Market
  • illy
  • Jaipur
  • Joe & The Juice
  • Jones the Grocer
  • jwala
  • KFC
  • Brioche Doree
  • Terracotta Italian Kitchen
  • La Vita
  • Le Grand Comptoir
  • Le Petite Belge
  • Levito
  • Maia Coffee & Chocolate
  • Motta
  • Oreo Cafe
  • Ralph’s Coffee
  • Red Grill
  • Remman Cafe
  • Shawarma Station
  • Simit Sarayi
  • Snowflake Ice Cream
  • Spizzico
  • Starbucks and Starbucks Reserve
  • Sweet Stop
  • The Burger Federation
  • Usta
  • Venchi
  • VIT
  • Wagamama
  • Wok to Walk
  • YO! Sushi

HIA Lounges

The following lounges also have shower facilities, smoking areas, a business center, premium food, and seating areas. Available lounges inside the airport are the following:

  • Al Safwa First Lounge – This lounge has a 250 seating capacity restaurant, state-of-the-art facilities, a luxury spa, nap rooms, and interiors inspired by the design of the Museum of Islamic Art. Available for First Class guests of Qatar Airways and Oneworld.
  • Al Mourjan Business Lounge – Like Al Safwa, this lounge also offers world-class dining and facilities (including showers) plus luxurious interiors. Available for Qatar Airways and Oneworld First Class and Business Class. Qatar Airways Economy Class can purchase access.
  • First Class Lounge (Arrivals) – Accessible to Platinum QR Privilege Club Members with First Class ticket or Oneworld Emerald member.
  • Business Class Lounge (Arrivals) – Accessible to Qatar Airways Gold and Silver members as well as oneworld Sapphire frequent flyers.
  • Al Maha Services Lounges – You can avail of their Meet and Assist Services here. If you have a Diners Club, Priority Pass, and/or Lounge Key, you can use the lounge for free for up to 4 hours.
  • Oryx Lounge – This shared lounge used by other airlines departing HIA also offers lockers and gaming facilities. Walk-ins are accepted and access can be purchased for QAR200 (maximum of 6 hours).
  • Platinum Lounge (South)
  • Gold Lounge (South)
  • Silver Lounge (South)
  • Unaccompanied Minors Lounge
  • Muzn Lounge – multi-sensory room for children on the Autism spectrum and those with special needs
  • Special Assistance Travellers’ Lounge
  • Mariner Lounge

Qatar Duty-Free and Shopping

There is no shortage of shopping outlets at Hamad International Airport’s Duty-Free from beauty products, perfumes, electronics & gadgets, fashion, accessories, toys, luggage, jewelry, gourmet food, and other travel-related items.


HIA Qatar The Orchard

One of the sides of HIA Qatar’s The Orchard

As part of the airport’s expansion, an indoor tropical garden inside HIA with a water feature (aquatic plant-filled sustainable bio pond) was unveiled before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The Orchard also features a curved grid shell glass roof that allows natural light in while at the same time providing a beautiful backdrop to the indoor garden.

Surrounding the garden you’ll find new luxury F&B and retail offerings such as a Dior, Fendi Caffe, Louis Vuitton Lounge, Loro Piana, Ralph’s Coffee, Tiffany & Co, Oreo Cafe, Harrods Tea Room and more.

The Orchard has since been compared to Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport mainly because of the indoor garden.

How to get to The Orchard after Lamp Bear:

  • Go up to the train station
  • Ride the SkyTrain to the North Node
  • Head to Gates C
  • Follow the signs to The Orchard

If you’re on transit or layover…

Do you need a visa for a layover in Qatar?

According to Visit Qatar:

Qatar Airways passengers transiting in Hamad International Airport for a minimum of 5 hours are eligible to apply for the Qatar Transit Visa. It is free of charge, valid for up to 96 hours (four days) and open to passengers of all nationalities**.

Where to sleep

sleep ’n fly Sleep Lounges

Located in the transit areas and near Duty-Free, you can make use of the sleeping pods inside sleep ’n fly Sleep Lounges in the North and South Nodes. Available for Priority Pass members.

Hamad International Airport Hotel: Oryx Airport Hotel

If you’re a transit passenger with a valid onward ticket, you can book a stay for as short as 8 hours. They also offer in-house food and beverages.

Aside from 5 kinds of room options, the hotel also offers guests a fully equipped gym, swimming pool, squash court, and golf simulator through the Vitality Wellbeing & Fitness Centre, which they can access free of charge.

Walk-in passengers, meanwhile, can avail of spa treatments (facials and massage), and use of golf simulator and squash court for a fee.

CHECK ORYX AIRPORT HOTEL RATES

Quiet Rooms

Where to sleep for free inside Hamad International Airport? There are dedicated areas inside HIA where you can rest or nap. There are separate quiet rooms for males, females and families. These rooms have lounge/semi-reclined chairs.

  • Departures – Concourse A
  • Departures – Concourse B
  • Departures – Concourse C

Other sleeping options: You can also find some couches in the Concourses in case the Quiet Rooms. I’ve also seen some travelers sleeping on the carpeted floors (do this at your own risk).

Where to take a shower?

  • Vitality Wellbeing & Fitness Centre
  • sleep ‘n fly Sleep Lounge & Showers
  • Be Relax Spa

If you want to take a shower or go for a swim in the pool of Vitality Wellbeing & Fitness Centre (4th floor of Oryx Airport Hotel), you can just walk in and pay QR 175.

This fee also entitles you to use the gym, hydrotherapy tubs (separate for male and female), and shower rooms.

Vitality Spa’s indoor swimming pool is 25 meters long, more than a meter deep, and temperature-controlled.

If you just want to shower and have access to the spa, you need to pay 90 QAR for a 40-minute time limit.

How to get there? Take the elevator behind Lamp Bear to the 4th floor.

Priority Pass members can also access the sleep ‘n fly Sleep Lounge & Showers (North Node).

Be Relax Spa (located in Concourse A) offers shower facilities (aside from other wellness treatments) for walk-in guests. The shower costs QR 70 for 10 minutes and QR 95 for 20 minutes.


Doha City Tour

If you’re on a transit/layover or a stopover in Doha, check out these city tours:


Things to do at Hamad International Airport Doha

Some of the top activities include:

  • Exploring the indoor garden and other offerings at The Orchard
  • Go on a public art tour and spot as many art installations as you can
  • Shop to your heart and wallet’s content at Qatar Duty-Free or the many high-end luxury boutiques throughout HIA Qatar (crowned as World’s Best Airport for Shopping by the SKYTRAX World Airport Awards in 2023)
  • Sample Middle Eastern cuisine and more at the various food and beverage outlets
  • Experience what world-class airport lounges have to offer
  • Ride on the passenger train inside the airport
  • Relax or get active at Vitality Wellbeing and Fitness Centre which offers a swimming pool, gym, spa, golf simulator and a squash court

Smoking Areas

You can only smoke at the designated smoking rooms in the airport. This also applies to e-cigarettes. You can check the maps to see where is the nearest smoking area closest to your location. There are also designated smoking rooms in the lounges.

Smoking rooms near Gate A1, B1, C4, C13, D20, E20, C13, E1, and at Duty Free


Getting out of HIA (to Doha and beyond)

By Train: Just follow the signs to get to the Doha Metro station connected to the airport. Plan your journey here.

By Taxi: You can get a taxi any time of the day by going down to the Arrivals Hall and looking for the Taxi Area. You can get a Karwa, which is the official taxi company here in Qatar. You can also book a cab through Uber, Karwa, or Careem.

The flag rate from the airport is 25 QAR. If you’re not booking through an app, always make sure they will use the meter or tell them you will call the police.

By Bus: You can ride the Mowasalat Buses outside the Arrivals Hall, just follow the sign.


Getting to HIA: How to get to Hamad Airport

By Train: You can easily take the Doha Metro to the airport. Just make sure that you take the specific train that arrives at Hamad International Airport Station. Plan your journey here.

By Bus: You can take a Mowasalat Bus to the airport through bus routes 109, 727, 737, 747, 777. Learn more about bus routes here. Bus fares can be paid only using a Karwa Smartcard which, if you don’t yet have, you can purchase directly from the bus driver. You can also check the bus routes to HIA here.

By Taxi: You can hail any Karwa taxi from the street or book an Uber or Karwa through a mobile app to take you to the airport.

By Car: Easy to get to the airport since Qatar is a small country. Just follow the directions using Google Maps


Hotels near Hamad International Airport

Check here if you want to know the nearest hotels near Doha’s airport.


Travel resources

Before you fly, don’t forget to book the following:

Have you been to Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar? 

Darlene is currently on the road again and traveling full-time after being an expat/overseas Filipino worker in Qatar. She's rediscovering what it means to travel solo and in her 30s while working on her blogs.

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