It took nearly ten years and $16 billion, but Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar is now fully operational. With the country's namesake carrier, Qatar Airways, transitioned from the old, now-defunct Doha International, the massive much-anticipated project finally feels complete.
This week, Hamad International Airport unveiled its enormous shopping emporium, which includes a number of exclusive concepts by Qatar Duty Free. For a decadent layover, Marmalade Market is a purveyor of exotic foods from around the world, while Esquire offers leather goods, apparel, and high-end skincare for the affluent businessman en route.
In addition to the shopping center, highlights include an upscale spa, two boutique hotels, squash courts, and a public mosque capable of accomodating up to 500 worshipers.
The oasis-themed airport is most easily recognized by the passenger terminal’s undulating glass roof—a reflection of the property's extensive blue lagoon—and is a testament to the country's determination to define itself as an international hub.
As the major Persian Gulf carriers Qatar, Emirates, and Etihad become leaders in the global aviation market, Doha is finally able to handle the anticipated influx of visitors and passers-through.
Melanie Lieberman is the Editorial Projects Assistant and a member of the Trip Doctor News Team. You can follow her on twitter at @LittleWordBites.