Doha Hamad International Airport Doha Hamad International Airport (Photo: HIA)

A great result despite the restrictions that continued to plague the airline industry in 2021. That’s how you can describe the performance ofHamad International Airport

(HIA) in Qatar. The airport is the second largest hub in the Middle East behind perennial rival Dubai. In 2021, HIA recorded an increase of 41.37% in the number of passengers compared to 2020. That is, a total of 17.7 million passengers.

However, this is far from the record of 2019, when Hamad International welcomed 38.79 million passengers. Aircraft movements also increased by 28.12%, representing nearly 170,000 takeoffs and landings.

The airport currently serves a total of 156 destinations. The airport benefited last year from eight new passenger destinations and a new airline, RwandaAir. Dhaka, Male, Dubai, Kathmandu and London are among the busiest destinations in 2021.

Beyond the Football World Cup

The airport is preparing for an intense year, culminating in the hosting of the Football World Cup

, FIFA Qatar 2022™. According to Badr Mohammed Al Meer, the airport’s chief operating officer, “The airport is aware of the importance of the World Cup to the arriving fans, many of whom travel across the world to attend the event. We are delighted to welcome them with the unparalleled experience they deserve. A dedicated terminal will handle the departures and arrivals of FIFA teams and delegates.

Although Doha’s traffic in 2021 was only 46% of that in 2019, the airport continues to invest in its future with a new airport expansion coming on stream this year. Phase A will increase the airport’s capacity to more than 53 million passengers per year. It includes, among other things, a garden and a mini-tropical forest. A phase B, which will begin after FIFA 2022 Qatar™, will further expand the terminal. The latter will have over 60 million passengers.

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On the shopping side, the Qatar Duty Free concessionaire recently opened “Viale Del Lusso”, dedicated to luxury fashion. This avenue includes the first Fendi, Emilio Pucci, Jimmy Choo and Valentino store in a Middle Eastern airport. And the first Emporio Armani Ristorante and Emporio Armani Caffè in an airport in the world. These new products should consolidate the title of “World’s Best Airport 2021”, ranked number one by SKYTRAX World Airport Awards 2021.