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The new airport’s faults

July 24, 2014 - 2:44:18 am

Hamad International Airport is a source of pride for both Qatari nationals and the residents of this country. The airport has turned into an important transit point for international travellers, being an exquisite artistic masterpiece. 

True, the airport was completed behind schedule. A huge budget was earmarked for it, yet its inauguration, the artistic touch in it, and the organisation of the event itself drew attention and applause.  

Sometimes language is incapable of expressing the beauty of a work. But, there is another issue that needs to be discussed. I will dwell on this issue knowing that our leaders like constructive criticism. They also like to hear things that can contribute to advancing services in different sectors in this country.

I visited Hamad International Airport to take a flight to another country. I was impressed by all the details inside. But Qatar Airways, which knew the date of inauguration of the airport before any other airline, was not up to scratch. Some of the services offered by the airline fell short.

I asked one of the airline’s workers about the location of a mosque close to the departure terminal. I did this because I believed that this worker would know the place more than anybody else.

I was stunned when the worker told me that the mosque was located outside the airport, near the shopping area. Having said this, the worker went away.

I decided to walk a little and in a short time I found the mosque, a little distance away to the left. I happily entered the mosque, but the lights there were dim. I did not know why the lights were made dim inside the prayer house.

When I got out of the mosque, I found a group of women searching for a women’s prayer area close to the men’s prayer area. Unfortunately, the women could not find a prayer area specifically for women. Clear markings and directions to the mosque should have been put in place. There should be enough of these signs because they are no less important than other requirements in the airport.

When I reached the departure terminal, I saw travellers in a state of confusion. There was crowding and long queues of people. We were not accustomed to such queues and crowding at Doha International Airport. Stranger still, business, tourist and first class passengers all enter the plane from the same place. Was it difficult for the airport designers to make separate entry points for different classes of travellers? After all, there is a large difference between the prices of tickets for different classes.

Hamad International Airport is an artistic masterpiece. Still, the airport officials need to pay attention to some simple yet important details. Those who manage to accomplish difficult tasks must have solutions to small problems. This is particularly important given the fact that the airport is the main official point of entry to our country.