The airport was built to succeed the earlier Doha International Airport, and is quite new, with more jetbridges and space.
It consists of one big terminal, with 5 concourses - A, B, C, D, and E - and two central plazas in the middle section to connect them. The southern plaza connects A and B to the southern end of C in a T-like fashion, and the northern plaza connects D and E to the northern end of C in a Y-like fashion.
If your departing flight leaves in less that 45 minutes, then you can alert ground staff to speed up transfer formalities.
Flag carrier Qatar Airways operates its hub at the airport, with daily flights to all six continents of the globe. Conversely however, Doha is served by fewer additional carriers than Dubai, the home of Qatar Airways' arch-rival, Emirates. The major European airlines usually provide a single connection to Doha from their main hubs (e.g. Lufthansa from Frankfurt Airport, KLM from Amsterdam Schiphol), but minor ones do not. Most airlines of the Middle East, Turkey included (but not Israel), provide connections to Doha. Relatively few Asian airlines do so, however. The exception is a relatively good choice of connections to India and Pakistan, with Indian airlines such as Air India Express and IndiGo serving several cities.
While the airport is open 24 hours, its busiest times are around midnight, early morning, and early evening, when most flights land and passengers connect to other flights that leave a couple hours later.
The Red Line of the Doha Metro serves the airport at the "Hamad International Airport T1" station. Because the line to the airport is separate from the main line, some trains will go to the airport while others will go to the southern terminus of Al Wakra instead, so check the destination signage. In addition, this means that trains running northbound from Al Wakra will not stop at the airport, so a transfer is needed to an airport train at Oqba Ibn Naife or others stations to the north.
A one-way trip costs QR2, or QR10 (Qatari riyal) for VIP and a day pass costs QR6 (QR30 for VIP). You pay by tapping your card when you enter and exit the system. You don’t have to do anything special to get the day pass; after you pay for 3 rides the system will not charge you for the rest of the day.
Buses serve the airport on routes 109, 727, 737, 747, and 777. The 7xx routes can be remembered because they are the model numbers of famous Boeing aircraft. Your bus fare can only be paid with a Karwa Smartcard. You can purchase or top-up a Karwa Smartcard from the Mowasalat Information Desk near Baggage Claim Belt 5 & 6. There are three options to choose from:
- QR10 Card: two inner-city trips within a 24-hour period
- QR20 Card: unlimited trips across Qatar within a 24-hour period
- Regular Karwa Smartcard QR30: QR10 for the card with QR20 value, available to be topped up for future journeys
- 1 Hamad Airport Bus Pavilion. All buses to and from the airport arrive/depart from this station.
Hamad Airport is 10-25 minutes away from Doha, depending on which part of the city you come from. From both the Doha and Ras Abba Aboud Expressway, take the F Ring Road exit, which ends at the airport.
Parking at the long term lot costs QR75 per 24 hours. It is however situated quite a distance from the terminal building and as such, it requires an additional ride with a courtesy shuttle to get there. Meanwhile, the short term lot costs QR 8 per hour up to the fifth hour, then QR 5 up to the twenty-fourth hour. Passengers traveling with Qatar Airways are recommended to park in the east building, as the west building is adjacent to the check-in counter of other airlines.
Taxis can be hailed at the airport, with costs starting at QR25 flagfall and QR1.20 per kilometer between 5AM and 9PM or QR 1.80 other times. Thus, a ride to Doha city center should cost at least QR40.
Rental cars from both local and major worldwide companies also have an office at a dedicated building across the road from arrivals, between the parking buildings. Limos with chauffeurs can also be reserved from Mowasalat.
Concourses A and B are accessible from the south plaza of the terminal with the yellow teddy bear. A monorail can take you in less than two minutes to the north side of the terminal, where Concourse D and E are located. Its track spans along Concourse C, with an additional stop at its north end. These are however accessible only for departing passengers.
Connecting passengers can proceed to the transit area after walking along the walkway to the nearest security check and taking an escalator downward. Those heading to passport control for entry into Qatar must walk all the way to the South Plaza and take an escalator directly to the ground floor.
Flights that depart from gates starting at number 20 will need to head downstairs to be picked up by bus to the airplane. For Concourse C, they are accessible from an escalator adjacent to gate C10; for Concourses D and E, they are accessible from an escalator at the north plaza.
- Oryx Lounge. One of the many lounges in the airport that also grant paid access. Features sofas, moderate buffet selections, family & game room, and a shower room each for male and female. QR200 for 6 hour-access.
- 1 Al Mourjan Business Lounge (at south square (Lamp Bear exhibit) use escalator up to lounge reception). 24/7. Considered one of the most impressive business class lounges in the world, it is split over 2 levels on 10,000 m². 165 US-$ for economy, free for Qatar business class passengers.
- Al Safwa Lounge. Exclusive lounge for Qatar Airways First Class passengers.
- Al Maha Lounges.
- First Class Lounge. Lounge for First Class ticketed passengers and for some QR Privilege Club and oneworld alliance members.
- Business Class Lounge. Lounge for First or Business class ticketed passengers and for some QR Privilege Club and Oneworld alliance members.
- First and Business Class Arrivals Lounges.
- Unaccompanied Minors Lounge. This lounge is specifically for unattended minors. As only the minors and authorized adults can enter, it is very safe. It has lots of entertainment, with video games and movies.
- Special Assistance Travellers’ Lounge.
- 1 Vitality Wellbeing & Fitness Centre (4th floor above Oryx Airport Hotel; access via the elevator near the Lamp Bear exhibit), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 24/7. Entrance fee includes access to pool, gym, hydrotherapy tubs and shower rooms. Massages, squash and a golf simulator are available at a nominal fee. Worth a consideration for passengers with a long transit stop. Might be nicer to relax/sleep in a reclining chair at the pool. 8 hours maximum stay at pool. From QR175.
Passengers with at least six hours of transit time can explore a little bit of the country by signing up for a city tour at the Discover Qatar counter in Concourse A. Tours depart six times daily and range from city tour, golf play, desert safari, to a chauffeur rental that can take you to wherever you want.
Eat and drink
- Eat Street (left passage of South Plaza, adjacent to Concourse C). A dedicated food court containing fast food like burgers, frozen yoghurt, and coffee, or something more filling like Italian, Far East, and Indian cuisines.
- Harrods Tea Room (South Plaza, to the left of the bear statue). Relive the British High Tea tradition with curated desserts to accompany your warm drink, or treat yourself to something more substantial such as an all-day breakfast, salads, and British comfort food.
- 1 Red (on lower ground floor at North Plaza), ☏ . 24/7. Decent western dishes (burgers, pasta) and a bar.
A few ATMs and forex counters are scattered throughout the airport, though payment in credit cards or many major currencies other than Qatari Riyal are accepted virtually everywhere.
- Harrods (Concourse B adjacent to the escalators, or concourse A adjacent to Harrods Tea Room). The flagship London department store also opens its branches here in the airport, although only occupying a small space. Sells famous items from the Food Hall, bags, and their landmark teddy bears.
- inPlay (Adjacent to entrance to concourse A). A sports apparel and shoe store, also where to look for merchandises from Bayern Munich.
- Marmelade Market (Right passage from South Plaza before Concourse C).
- Paris St. Germain Store (Adjacent to entrance to concourse A, next to inPlay). Qatar's investment of the namesake French football club also brings some of their merchandises to the airport for sale at one of their official stores.
- Qatar Duty Free (South Plaza). This brand covers the duty-free shops at the airport that sell a variety of goods, from liquor to cosmetics to travel accessories.
Public Wi-Fi is provided free of charge throughout the airport.
Should you need snooze without a need to pay, quiet rooms can be found on each concourse, featuring rows of lounging chairs, gender separated, and open 24 hours. That being said, quiet here does not mean zero noise as they remain exposed to the adjacent gates and passing passengers, so it is recommended to bring earplugs if you are a light sleeper.
Otherwise, if you wish to sleep straight through for a couple hours and do not mind digging into your pocket, two lodgings within the transit area are at your disposal:
- 1 Oryx Airport Hotel, South Plaza (Access using the elevators near the palm trees next to Duty Free to level 3). Functions like a proper hotel, with rooms and suites for doubles or families. Also can be booked hourly. from QR1050.
- Sleep n' Fly (Right passage of South Plaza, on the way to the restroom). A pay-per-hour lodging. Beds range from a one-person pod to a proper hotel room for two people. From $96 for two hours.
Unfortunately, there are no landside properties within the airport, with the nearest being already within Doha city.