Doha’s Hamad International Airport expansion features indoor gardens and water features. A ‘growing’ trend?

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Qatar Airways and Hamad International Airport have just announced plans for the second expansion phase in Doha. HIA’s expansion project will include a fairly grand 10,000 square metre indoor tropical garden in a central concourse as well as a 268 square metre water feature which will be the focal point of the expansion project.

The expansion plans are bold too, with the first part of the second phase being completed in approximately three years which will comprise of the central concourse linking concourses D and E which will increase the airport’s capacity to more than 53 million passengers annually by 2022. Phase B, which will be completed after 2022, will extend concourses D and E to further enhance the airport’s capacity to more than 60 million passengers annually.


Being home to Qatar Airways, the airline will also benefit from the expansion, adding (not replacing the existing) a new lounge to the concourse, which is set to be the largest in the world, spanning no less than 9,000 square metres. The new Al Mourjan lounge will be located above the retail space with views looking towards the tropical garden giving an even larger sense of space.

This is Qatar Airways, so naturally the lounge will include additional spas, gymnasiums, restaurants and business centres as well as other passenger facilities (but no news of a swimming pool, a potential missed opportunity with such space to play with).

The lounge will sit, like a crown, above the 11,720 sqm of landscaped retail and F&B space, which will enhance the multi-dimensional offerings of the five-star airport by integrating world-class art collection and refreshing environment of lush greenery with contemporary retail and dining concepts among other leisure attractions and facilities under one expansive terminal.

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Much like the Jewel in Singapore (and you’ll be forgiven for seeing the resemblance here) planting will be the biggest shift in the airport space for passengers. The flora for the indoor tropical garden will be brought in from sustainable forests from around the world. Designers have developed a column-free, long-span 85m grid shell roof with performance glass to control and filter the light required for the trees to acclimatize to the internal conditions of the terminal and grow throughout the life of the airport.

Unlike the Jewel in Singapore, this is airside, meaning that the space will only be available to passengers transiting or departing from the terminal. But it certainly will be a welcome addition, designed to be completed before the World Cup in 2022.

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