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Brigadier Abdullah Muhammed Al Suwaidi receiving the boarding pass from Abdul Aziz Al Noaimi as other officials look on. (Shaival Dalal)
DOHA: Marking the countdown for the April 2013 opening, Hamad International Airport (HIA) yesterday saw a symbolic ‘first-passenger check- in’.
Brigadier Abdullah Muhammed Al Suwaidi, representing H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Minister of State for Interior Affairs, received a specially designed boarding pass from Abdul Aziz Al Noaimi, Chairman of the Airport Steering Committee, during a simple but elegant ceremony at the plush Passenger Terminal.
The event, coinciding with the first preview of the passenger terminal complex, was attended by high ranking State officials, members of the Shura, Islamic scholar Dr Yusuf Al Qaradawi, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker and leading business minds.
Speaking on the occasion, Al Noaimi said: “Today we see a fulfilment of our Emir’s vision to have not just a new airport, but an airport that ranks among the best in the world.
“We gather here to celebrate the accomplishment of the New Doha International Airport steering committee’s task to create a world class airport that meets rapidly evolving aviation needs.”
It is indeed a moment to celebrate what marks a new chapter in Qatar’s aviation industry; the world’s newest aviation hub, a world-class facility that is set to redefine passenger and transit experience and the national carrier’s future home.
HIA goes beyond the definition of a traditional airport. Its luxurious ambience is enhanced by resort quality facilities, including plush hotels, spas, swimming pools and leisure options like a squash court to allow passengers to relax, refresh and rejuvenate in between flights.
It is one of the few public spaces where people can enjoy a museum experience. Hand-picked ancient and contemporary art is showcased in a brilliant architectural setting, Al Noaimi said.
“Hamad International Airport will definitely redefine passenger and transit experience, making it truly world-class and beyond expectations,” he said.
He said cargo operations will start by next month, with freight forwarders and agents in Qatar processing import and export consignments at HIA.
“By the second half of the year, the airport will welcome Qatar Airways to its new home and over 30 million passengers will be able to experience travelling through the world’s newest aviation hub.”
Guests at the ceremony were invited to be amongst the first worshippers to attend the Noon Prayers at the public mosque at the complex.