Doha: Hamad International Airport (HIA) has been voted as the “Best Airport in the Middle East” for the fourth consecutive year by Global Traveler’s GT Tested Reader Survey Awards. One of the most prestigious and respected accolades in the business travel industry, the award honours the sustained, outstanding customer service offered by HIA in its passenger-oriented airport experience.
For the 17th consecutive year, Global Traveler asked its distinguished readers to vote for their favourite travel products and experiences. An estimated 72 per cent of Global Traveler’s readers frequently travel in first and business class.
HIA’s commitment to enhancing passenger wellbeing has allowed the airport to place passengers at the heart of its airport experience. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, HIA has implemented numerous safety, security and wellbeing measures, along with new lifestyle offerings that aid in alleviating the stress caused by travelling during such times of crises.
Francis X. Gallagher, publisher and CEO, FXExpress Publications. Inc said: “It is a testament to Hamad International Airport’s dedication to a holistic passenger experience that our readers have chosen HIA as the Best Airport in the Middle East for the fourth consecutive year. Congratulations to Hamad International Airport on upholding its role as the avant-garde force in delivering an outstanding airport experience in the region.”
Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer at Hamad International Airport said: ” We would like to thank the distinguished readers of Global Traveler Magazine for voting for us for the fourth year in a row. To be recognised for our efforts in ensuring the comfort and peace of mind of our passengers, especially during this unprecedented time, is an honour that bolsters us to continue improving our passengers’ airport experience. In our role as a gateway to the world, we at HIA are committed to the wellbeing of our passengers, which has allowed us to lead the charge in facing the COVID-19 pandemic with proactive safety measures and innovative technologies.”
As part of HIA’s swift and comprehensive steps towards passenger and employee safety against the pandemic, the airport has implemented the latest technologies like fully autonomous disinfectant robots, advanced thermal screening helmets, ultraviolet disinfection tunnels for all checked-in passenger luggage and an in-house developed face mask detection system to ensure the use of masks. HIA’s Smart Airport Program utilises self-service and biometric technology to provide passengers with a safe and contact-free check-in and bag-drop experience.
HIA has also added a suite of services and facilities to improve its passenger experience. It introduced a sleep lounge earlier this year with sleep pods and cabins, where visitors can pay by the hour to relax between flights. It also introduced new food and beverage options at the terminal including the exclusive Harrods Tea Room and a vegan café with a healthy and innovative menu. The airport has also opened a variety of high-end luxury retail outlets offering products available exclusively to HIA’s passengers.
Engr. Al Meer continued: “We remain committed to serve our US markets and strengthen the Qatar- U.S. cooperation, which is evident by our national carrier, Qatar Airways rebuilding its network to 11 destinations in the U.S. by March next year.”
Qatar Airways recently announced the launch of four weekly flights to Seattle from 15 March 2021, marking the seventh new destination launched by the carrier since the start of the pandemic. The airline has also partnered with Alaska Airlines to launch a frequent flyer program from 15 December 2020. Qatar Airways also plans to implement codeshare cooperation in line with the U.S. carrier, which is set to join oneworld in March 2021.
Qatar also announced earlier this year that 2021 will be celebrated as the Qatar – U.S. Year of Culture, which will fortify the evidently mutually beneficial relationship between the two countries and open doors for new opportunities. The year will recognize the two nations’ cultural and artistic diversity, encouraging intercultural dialogue, and deepening mutual understanding. The year-long program will feature a variety of exhibitions, festivals, competitions, bilateral exchanges and events that will be held in both countries, inviting people to explore and appreciate one another’s culture.
Hamad International Airport continues its expansion project to increase its capacity to more than 60 million passengers annually. It also focuses on offering elevated retail and lifestyle experiences.
Based in the United States, Global Traveler is a renowned source of global premium travel expertise. The publication’s readers surveys are a prestigious source of information and cover other aspects of the travel industry, such as First- and Business Class Surveys and Best Airport in the World.