Qatar’s main gateway to the world - Hamad International Airport (HIA) - has started seeing a huge influx of passengers, mostly fans for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Qatar Airways said: “It is a busy day at HIA with almost 400 flights arriving today.”
HIA chief operating officer Badr Mohamed al-Meer told a media event in Doha at the weekend that HIA was expecting to receive approximately 44,000 arriving passengers a day and upwards of around 900 aircraft movements daily over the next month.
More than a million visitors are expected to arrive in Doha through HIA and Doha International Airport, which have made elaborate arrangements to receive fans arriving in the country for the “greatest sporting spectacle” on earth.
Curated for all departing passengers, passenger overflow areas at both the airports have commenced operations.
Both the facilities, the first of their kind in the world, will be available to departing passengers round-the clock until December 31.
While the passenger overflow area at HIA has the capacity to accommodate 24,000 passengers a day, Doha International Airport (DIA) will be able to handle 12,000 departing passengers a day.
Set to offer fans “extended memorable experiences and seamless connectivity” throughout both airports, the passenger overflow areas will only be accessible for passengers arriving at HIA and DIA more than four hours and up to eight hours prior to their scheduled departure flight time – regardless of the airlines in which passengers are flying with.
The passenger overflow areas at both HIA and DIA will be operating for 24 hours a day, seven days a week – and will include a variety of food and beverage options, retail stores, gaming areas, football pitches for children, quiet areas, luggage storage, a lost-and-found desk, flight information screen, a free Wi-Fi activation area and more.
Departing passengers can access the overflow area at HIA by taking a shuttle bus from the airport’s metro station.
Similarly, they can go back to the HIA terminal using the shuttle service.
Passengers arriving at HIA can take the Metro Red Line directly into central Doha from HIA T1 metro station.
Passengers can buy a travel card from any station. Until December 23, ticketholders can use their digital Hayya Card and the Hayya to Qatar 2022 app, available for iOS and Android, for free travel on the metro.
Fans arriving at HIA have access to a direct shuttle bus service to and from the fan villages at Barwa Madinatna, Barwa Barahat Al Janoub and the cruise ship hotels at Doha Port.
This 24-hour service runs every 15 minutes, until December 22.
On the other hand, passengers arriving at DIA can take the Metro Gold Line directly into Central Doha. The National Museum Metro Station is located some 800mts from the airport (DIA) arrival terminal.
For return journey, fans from abroad have been advised to take the Red line to Al Matar Al Qadeem Metro Station, which is located close to the airport departures terminal.