Yellow teddy, Doha airport

The Best Airport In The World – Why Doha Airport Is My Favourite

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This may come as a bit of a surprise but I’m kinda a travel nerd.

Being on the road as much as I am, I’ve got into knowing about airports, flight routes, airline alliances and lots of other things that most normal people don’t even think about.

I recently had a conversation about how I know all that stuff. Well… it just kind of comes with experience.

Experience of travelling, and a lot of looking at Skyscanner in my spare time.

With all of that, I’ve passed through a lot of airports over the years and I think I’ve found a favourite.

Hamad International also known as Doha airport.

I’ve passed through it countless times now on flights to and from Asia, Europe and the Middle East. And whilst flying direct is normally preferable, I actually enjoy a stopover in Doha airport.

Why?

Well read on…

The 9 Reasons Why Hamad International Airport, Doha is My Favourite

Easy to Transfer

Doha is a massive hub airport that flies to hundreds of destinations around the world. The state owned airline, Qatar Airways represents a majority of these flights.

And most passengers that fly with Qatar and go into Doha airport are transferring onto another flight to another destination.

But transferring at Doha airport is a breeze. You enter into the large airport terminal building and follow signs to transfer. There is then a brief security check (I’ll explain more below) and then you’re on your way again, back into the departure lounge awaiting your flight.

One time, I didn’t even need to go through security. Whether this was a mistake from the airline or a deliberate that they sometimes do, I don’t know but getting off a plane and being back ready in the same terminal building shortly after makes it a pleasure to pass through.

Champagne, Gold and Platinum lounge, Doha, Qatar

Security is Easy

As mentioned before, security to transfer (which most passengers do) is easy. There are rows and rows of well staffed scanners available at all hours of day.

And unlike other airport security checks, at Doha airport there is no need to take laptops or liquids out of your bag! Throw your bag on, take metal out your pockets and walk through! You’re then free to enjoy all the duty free shopping that is available at the airport and you can take it onto the plane to your next destination.

Compare this to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur where you have security at the gate, so the bottle of water you’ve just purchased to take on the plane with you is confiscated….it is one thing that really annoys me about those airports!

When coming into the airport as a non-transfer passenger, I still had to remove liquids from my bag on my last visit but I understand this will be changing soon. But as mentioned, this applies to a tiny number of passengers.

Doha airport, Qatar
Yes, this really is inside an airport!

All in one building

There aren’t different terminals here or needing to take a bus or train to a different part of the terminal (although there is an internal train to take you to different ends of the airport as its that big!) and it just makes everything easy.

Other airports have different terminals and different buildings you may need to move between to get to your flight (I’m looking at you Heathrow Terminal 5 B & C!). But Hamad International Airport is all under one roof of the massive 600,000 sq metre terminal building according to sources.

If you have a long layover you can walk around for hours and still see something new.

Feels super modern

As you would expect with an airport that is just over 10 years old, Doha airport has a modern feel to it. It is big and bright and airy. The high ceilings are a pleasure to walk through.

The floors are shiny, the metal and glass roof gives it contemporary feel. The duty free area has premium shops with new frontage. The new Orchid part of the airport has an abundance of plants inside the terminal area giving the feel that you are walking outside than in an airport.

Concourrse D, E , Doha airport, Qatar

Massive big open space

Some airports have low ceilings as they were build a long time ago and haven’t been updated for the modern age. The tight, narrow corridors as you are shuttled between security and duty free can feel claustrophobic

Has very good airlines and excellent connections

Being inside Doha Airport, you can fly to and from almost anywhere in the world.

There are over 40 airlines operating flights as well as the aforementioned Qatar Airways that flies to over 170 destinations worldwide on all 6 continents. You can fly from pretty much any point on the planet to any other point whilst transiting through Doha.

Excellent internet

Most internets take ages to log in, have a limit, need an email or other.

The internet at Hamad International Airport is quick, is easy to login to and works all over the airport. Even the lounges don’t have their own wifi network but use the same fast internet that is provided for the entire airport.

If you have a quick email to send off before your flight or want to stream a movie on your long layover, the internet will be perfectly suitable for you.

Internet speeds at Doha Airport, Qatar
Internet speeds at Doha Airport

Incredible lounges

OK this may be showing off but I think the Platinum and Gold Lounge North is the best I’ve ever been in.

I have actually booked a flight with a longer layover than necessary just so I can spend more time in the lounge. And that is the only lounge that I have been in regularly.

There is also a pretty good Priority Pass lounge called Al Maha and Oryx which is great for those without status or business class tickets. Access is available through Priority Pass which you can get here.

I’ve heard that the Al Mourjan business lounge is even better and the Al Safwa First Class lounge is one of the best in the world. When I go there I’ll let you know how it is!

2 Champagnes Gold and Platinum lounge, Doha, Qatar

Amazing art work

Most airports are a shopping centre of duty free shops that planes turn up to board from. Bali airport being the worst of this.

But along with the spacious nature of Doha airport, there is also some impressive modern art on display.

The famous Lamp Bear sits in the centre of the departure lounge as soon as you go through security. The bright yellow teddy with a lamp cutting into its head is pretty well known and an amazing centre feature of a public space.

At the other end of the airport, close to concourse D and E, lies more art in the shape of COSMOS from French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel and a giant Mickey Mouse lookalike.

The first lounge also has an abundance of artwork lining the walls making it feel more like a museum.

What other airport can boast that!

Lamp Bear, Doha airport, Qatar

One of my favourite airlines

I have flown a lot of airlines, over 40 at my last count. And Qatar Airways is up there with my favourite, if not at the top.

It’s like flying 20 years ago. Many things are included unlike when flying a budget airline. Even on a short flight in economy a small meal is still offered. On long haul flights, premium alcohol and good meals are serves in all classes. I’ve had some excellent cabin crew. The planes and seat and modern and comfy. And most of the planes have good wifi.

If I’m not flying direct, I will often choose to fly with Qatar Airways for their service and to pass through the airport. I’m sorry but it’s true!

Qatar Airways 777 (probably) , Doha airport, Qatar
Qatar Airways flies to over 170 destinations

Downsides of Doha airport

With anything, there is always room for improvement with any airport and Doha does have some downsides.

There are still bus gates which nobody enjoys. And when the temperature outside is 40+ degrees, queuing up and waiting on a bus to be driving up to 15 minutes to a plane isn’t a great way to start your flight. I’ve also had a friend that flew in from London that took 30 minutes from getting off this flight to getting to the terminal after waiting for a bus. Thankfully it is rare, but it does happen.

Unfortunately, with Doha and Qatar’s massive immigrant population, there is very little Arab or Qatari culture on show at the airport. I don’t think I’ve ever met a Qatari working there except at passport control. It would be nice to have some traditional Qatari influence in the airport as it does feel a little bit too international at times.

Summing Up Why Hamad International Airport, Doha is My Favourite

I’m guessing most people don’t have a favourite airport or can rank the best airports in the world that they travel through. But going through Doha airport is always a favourite of mine and one I’ll be more than happy to keep travelling through in future.

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