A wide range of summer activities, entertainment, and live performances were launched at the Hamad International Airport (HIA) Wednesday, giving passengers an opportunity to experience Qatar’s rich hospitality and culture throughout the summer season.
Such offerings form part of the biggest ‘Summer in Qatar (SiQ)’ programme, organised in collaboration with Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC), Qatar Airways and Qatar Duty Free (QDF).
The opening salvo, which showcased traditional music and roaming acts by performers dressed in colourful costumes, including stilt walkers and other unique characters, welcomed and greeted departing and arriving passengers.
“We are pleased to collaborate with QNTC, Qatar Airways and QDF to offer our passengers a diverse selection of summer activities across the airport. HIA is the gateway to the State of Qatar and it is important that we give passengers a chance to experience Qatar’s expanding entertainment and culture,” said HIA COO, Badr Mohamed al-Meer in a press statement.
Performers roam around the airport to greet and entertain passengers. PICTURE: Thajudeen
Engr Badr Mohammed al-Meer with other senior officials. supplied picture
“The plethora of SiQ activities at HIA are strategically located across the terminal to ensure all travellers get to enjoy and participate in the activities offered at the airport,” he noted.
Al-Meer added that passengers transferring for more than five hours have the opportunity to visit Qatar and experience more of its SiQ festivities through its stop over programme.
The celebration at the airport aims to promote Qatar’s SiQ offerings, including cultural excursions to world-class entertainment, positioning the country as a year-round global tourist destination.
Qatar’s state-of-the-art hub is expected to serve more than 7mn passengers this summer, between July and August. The second quarter of 2019 has been the busiest Q2 period for the airport so far, which is a testament to its growth, according to HIA.
“Most importantly, we hope it gives everyone transferring through HIA a taste of Qatar’s unparalleled hospitality and authentic experiences,” al-Meer added.
The airport’s Heritage Zone at Concourse B hosts a variety of activities such as calligraphy and henna tattoos for passengers to experience and learn more about the Qatari culture and hospitality.
This section also gathered prayer bead producers, basket weavers, and pearl jewellery makers who are showcasing their craft.
The festivities will also feature live performances such as the Horse Dances, a traditional dance performed in a horse-shaped box decorated with coloured cloth, beads and gold jewellery, as well as Funoon Bahria, Jalsat Tarab and Oud playing.
Meanwhile, children can learn yoga, kite and paper plane-making, among others, at a dedicated ‘Kids Zone’ at Concourse C, in addition to a giant painting wall to showcase their creativity.
QDF, the exclusive retailer at HIA, is offering up to 60% off to travellers when shopping from an extensive range of brands and products.
The summer activities across HIA’s terminal give the airport the opportunity to showcase its five-star facilities, Smart Airport technology, and its world-class shopping, dining and leisure experiences to passengers during this period.
“HIA is the first port of call for the majority of visitors, and is sometimes their sole experience of Qatar. As such, it is an important partner in enhancing the visitor experience, and we are pleased to work together to promote Qatar as a destination this summer and beyond,” QNTC’s chief marketing officer Rashed al-Qurese said.
“Home to a world class airline and award winning airport, there is much to experience in Qatar, and through this partnership we hope that more travellers will venture out and partake in all that Qatar has to offer,” he noted. “Through partnerships with multi-party stakeholders, QNTC works to further develop and enhance the tourism sector in Qatar.”