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Qatar Airways opens World's First Premium Class Terminal at Doha International Airport

Travel News Asia Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Qatar Airways has opened the worlds only dedicated First and Business Class terminal at Doha International Airport.

The new Premium Terminal opened to passengers on November 26, a week before the start of the 15th Asian Games taking place in Doha. Qatar Airways is the Official Airline and Prestige Partner of what promises to be the biggest and best ever event in Asian Games history.

Chairman of Qatars Civil Aviation Authority, Abdul Aziz Al Nuaimi, joined Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker, local dignitaries, airport officials, travel agents, tour operators, corporates and media for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Premium Terminal Sunday followed by a full tour of the facility.

Jacuzzi at Qatar Airways new Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport - click to enlarge

Built in just nine months at a cost of US$90million, the 10,000sqm Premium Terminal features facilities ranging from exclusive check-in, duty-free shopping, conference rooms, nursery and play area to spa treatment rooms, sauna, jacuzzi and fine dining restaurants. Water features are evident throughout the Premium Terminal helping to create tranquil and serene surroundings.

First Class dining area at Qatar Airways new Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport - click to enlarge

The innovative facilities are designed to provide Qatar Airways most loyal customers with the best levels of comfort and hospitality prior to catching their flight. The development is part of a US$200million expansion at Doha International Airport.

The Premium Terminal open round-the-clock, 24 hours a day, seven days a week is being seen as a benchmark in the region and, indeed, rest of the world, for Qatar Airways passengers beginning their international journeys in style. First and Business Class passengers flying Qatar Airways from Doha or transiting through the Qatari capital are able to take advantage of the new facilities.

From the moment they step into the Premium Terminal, where they will be met by a concierge, passengers can relax unwind and shop before catching their flight to any one of the airlines numerous destinations worldwide.

More than 150 specially-trained staff from the hospitality industry around the world have been recruited to work in the new facility. UK-based spa specialist Elemis is providing all the treatments, which include manicures, facials and massages.

Highlights of the new Premium Terminal are:

-`Integral part of the design is an atrium and water features
- Dedicated First and Business Class check-in desks
- Concierge meet and greet service for passengers prior to check-in 
- Self-service check-in kiosks for passengers with hand baggage
- Dedicated e-gates to speed up immigration formalities
- Dedicated First and Business Class lounges 
- Fine dining with wide choice of hot and cold Arabic and international cuisine
- Duty-free shopping area of 500sqm selling many leading international brands
- Spa, jacuzzi and sauna for passengers to relax and unwind before their flight
- Massage treatment rooms
- Shower and wash rooms
- Childrens play area and nursery
- Conference and meeting rooms
- Business centre with secretarial services
- Free Internet access stations
- Simulator games and Sony PlayStation games
- Prayer rooms for men and women
- 24-hour medical centre
- Five boarding gates

Qatar Airways, which manages and operates Doha International Airport, is also responsible for the new Premium Terminal. Located before the main departures building, the Premium Terminal is accessible via a new road with ample parking space.

Speaking at the official opening, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said, The terminal is designed to create an inviting ambience one of allowing passengers to unwind and enjoy the excellent facilities available such as a spa, jacuzzi, sauna and wonderful duty-free shopping, all in the surroundings of fantastic water features.

For business travellers, we have a conference room with audio visual facilities and meeting rooms together with secretarial services, all available free on a first-come, first-served basis. There are also numerous computers with free Internet access. With the introduction of dedicated e-gates, these ensure passengers registered with e-cards are processed through immigration smoothly and efficiently.

Registered e-card passengers have their biometric personal data name, passport details and fingerprints embedded in the smart cards which are swiped through the e-gates prior to entering the departing lounge.

Premium passengers flying on codeshare flights operated by Qatar Airways are eligible to use the Premium Terminal. Children and nannies travelling Economy Class with First and Business Class passengers can check-in at the Terminal and use selected areas.

Al Baker said: As some of our passengers will also be travelling with their families, we havent forgotten the needs of children who have a special play area, as well as a dedicated nursery. There is also a doctor and nurse on duty in a fully manned medical centre round-the-clock.

The new terminal development is part of a raft of improvements currently taking place at Doha International Airport, where the arrival and departure halls have been expanded to cope with the increase in number of passengers flying in and out of the airport.

An additional 21,000sqm of space has been added to the existing airport terminal. The number of boarding gates has increased from 10 to 16; there are two additional immigration counters; new e-gates in arrival and departure to speed up processing of passengers; and a sharp increase in the number of aircraft parking bays to cope with the huge expansion of Qatar Airways fleet.

By early 2007, the number of parking bays at Doha International Airport will more than double from 19 to 40. Qatar Airways is the airports largest customer, operating at least 90% of flights in and out of Doha.

Qatar Airways operates a modern fleet of 51 all-Airbus aircraft to 70 online destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and the Far East. During 2007, Qatar Airways expands its network further with direct non-stop scheduled flights from Doha to New York, Bali, Ho Chi Minh City, Lagos, Dar Es Salaam, and two points in eastern Europe and northern Europe.

See other recent news regarding: Travel News Asia, Qatar Airways, Doha

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