Qatar Airways has opened the world’s only dedicated First and Business Class terminal at Doha International Airport.
The new Premium Terminal opened to passengers on November 26, a week before the start of the 15th Asian Games taking place in Doha. Qatar Airways is the Official Airline and Prestige Partner of what promises to be the biggest and best ever event in Asian Games history.
Built in just nine months at a cost of US$90million, the 10,000sqm Premium Terminal features facilities ranging from exclusive check-in, duty-free shopping, conference rooms, nursery and play area to spa treatment rooms, sauna, jacuzzi and fine dining restaurants. Water features are evident throughout the Premium Terminal offering tranquil and serene surroundings.
The innovative facilities are designed to provide Qatar Airways’ most loyal customers with the best levels of comfort and hospitality prior to catching their flight. The development is part of a US$200million expansion at Doha International Airport.
The Premium Terminal - open round-the-clock, 24 hours a day, seven days a week - is being seen as a benchmark in the region and, indeed, rest of the world, for Qatar Airways passengers beginning their international journeys in style. First and Business Class passengers flying Qatar Airways from Doha or transiting through the Qatari capital are able to take advantage of the new facilities.
From the moment they step into the Premium Terminal, where they will be met by a concierge, passengers are able to enjoy a hassle-free and memorable experience.
More than 150 specially-trained staff from the hospitality industry around the world have been recruited to work in the new facility. UK-based spa specialist Elemis is providing all the treatments, which include manicures, facials and massages.
Speaking at the official opening, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said: “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, sauna and wonderful duty-free shopping, all in the surroundings of fantastic water features.
“For business travellers, we have a conference room with audio visual facilities and meeting rooms together with secretarial services, all available free on a first-come, first-served basis. There are also numerous computers with free Internet access. With the introduction of dedicated e-gates, these ensure passengers registered with e-cards are processed through immigration smoothly and efficiently.”
Registered e-card passengers have their biometric personal data - name, passport details and fingerprints - embedded in the smart cards which are swiped through the e-gates prior to entering the departing lounge.
Premium passengers flying on codeshare flights operated by Qatar Airways are eligible to use the Premium Terminal. Children and nannies travelling Economy Class with First and Business Class passengers can check-in at the Terminal and use selected areas.
Al Baker said: “As some of our passengers will also be travelling with their families, we haven’t forgotten the needs of children who have a special play area, as well as a dedicated nursery. There is also a doctor and nurse on duty in a fully manned medical centre round-the-clock.”
The new terminal development is part of a raft of improvements currently taking place at Doha International Airport, where the arrival and departure halls have been expanded to cope with the increase in number of passengers flying in and out of the airport.
An additional 21,000sqm of space has been added to the existing airport terminal. The number of boarding gates has increased from 10 to 16; there are two additional immigration counters; new e-gates in arrival and departure to speed up processing of passengers; and a sharp increase in the number of aircraft parking bays to cope with the huge expansion of Qatar Airways’ fleet.
By early 2007, the number of parking bays at Doha International Airport will more than double from 19 to 40. Qatar Airways is the airport’s largest customer, operating at least 90 per cent of flights in and out of Doha.