The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), Hamad International Airport (HIA) and Qatar Airways have launched an airport football fan zone to mark the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, which starts on Thursday.
The public inauguration of the airport fan zone was officiated in the presence of Qatar Airways’ marketing and corporate communications senior vice president Salam al-Shawa, HIA’s commercial and marketing vice-president Abdulaziz al-Mass and SC’s communications director Fatma al-Nuaimi.
To celebrate the 2018 FIFA World Cup, HIA has been transformed to ensure that the thousands of passengers travelling through it never miss a moment of the excitement. The matches will be broadcast live at the airport in three beautifully themed viewing areas in concourses A, B and C, as well as in Qatar Duty Free’s Marche restaurant, where fans can watch the matches while enjoying a range of dishes.
The viewing areas are strategically spread across the terminal so that viewers are close to their boarding gates.
The Lamp Bear area of HIA has been transformed to resemble a football pitch.
The three viewing areas have been designed to resemble a living room, a stadium and a majlis – a traditional Arabic seating area where guests are received.
The themes have been carefully selected to ensure that passengers feel fully immersed in the viewing experience and get a taste of what to expect when Qatar hosts the world’s biggest sporting event in 2022.
Official 2018 FIFA World Cup memorabilia will also be on sale at QDF’s stores throughout the airport and shoppers will have the opportunity to take selfies alongside the 2018 FIFA World Cup mascot.
The iconic Lamp Bear area of HIA has been transformed to resemble a football pitch, which will feature games and activities for passengers.
The entire terminal will come alive throughout the FIFA World Cup with roaming entertainment such as football freestylers, football jugglers and impromptu football matches around the airport.
Over the next few weeks, it will also have pop-up activations including foosball games and virtual football. Fans can have their faces painted with the flag of the country they are supporting.
“I am truly delighted to be offering our passengers from across the globe a unique opportunity to experience the joyous atmosphere of the FIFA World Cup as they depart or transit through our award-winning home and hub, HIA,” Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar al-Baker said.
He added that passengers from around the world will be able to watch and support their football teams as they travel through HIA, “home to our exclusive football fan zone.”
SC’s assistant secretary general for tournament affairs, Nasser al-Khater, said launching the airport fan zone reflects their aim to transfer the atmosphere of the tournament in Russia to people in Qatar who are passionate about football and keen to watch the matches.
“We also intend to familiarise Qatar’s visitors and passengers in HIA with the Qatari culture and the exceptional experience we will provide for them in 2022,” he noted.
“I’d like to thank our partners in HIA and I look forward to working with them to deliver the first World Cup in the region.”
HIA COO engineer Badr Mohamed al-Meer said they worked hard to ensure that passengers never miss a moment of the World Cup while they are at HIA by bringing such excitement to them.
“The fan zone also showcases the airport as the gateway to the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and we look forward to welcoming all the fans through our gates in four years’ time,” he stressed.
Such initiative marks HIA’s latest steps on the country’s journey towards the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, promoting the country’s passion for football around the world as well as a global destination. To help prepare Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, HIA is set to increase its passenger capacity from 30mn passengers to more than 50mn annually.
HIA is also working with the SC to process the arrival of approximately 96,000 passengers per day during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.