In this comprehensive article, we aim to provide clarity on the transit requirements and procedures at Doha Airport, commonly known as Hamad International Airport (HIA). We will guide you through the necessary steps to follow during transit while highlighting the available facilities for passengers. Additionally, we will address frequently asked questions about transferring through Hamad International Airport, ensuring a seamless and informed travel experience.
Throughout this article, you will find valuable information about the transit requirements, including visa regulations based on your nationality and destination, passport control procedures, and security screening protocols. We will also shed light on the facilities offered to passengers during their transit, such as lounges, duty-free shopping options, dining establishments, and wellness and entertainment amenities.
Table of Contents
- Hamad International Airport
- Doha Airport Transit Visa Requirements
- Transit Requirements at Doha Airport During COVID
- Transfer Procedure at Doha Airport
- Step-by-step guide for transferring at Doha Airport:
- Transit Time at Doha Airport
- Transfer Desk at Doha Airport
- Facilities for Relaxation at Doha Airport
- Dining Options at Doha Airport
- Doha Airport Shopping Options
- Sleeping Facilities at Doha Airport
- Hotels at Doha Airport
- Doha Airport Complimentary WiFi
- Additional Facilities at Doha Airport
- Transit Tours at Doha Airport
- Qatar Airways Stopover Program: Explore Qatar during Your Layover
- FAQs On Doha Airport Transfer
- Do I need a transit visa to pass through Doha Airport?
- How do I transfer between flights at Doha Airport?
- How much time should I allow for transit at Doha Airport?
- Are there lounges available for transit passengers?
- Can I store my luggage at Doha Airport during transit?
- Is there free Wi-Fi available at Doha Airport?
- Are there facilities for relaxation and sleep during transit?
- Can I take a city tour during my transit at Doha Airport?
Hamad International Airport
Hamad International Airport (DOH) serves as the primary international airport in the State of Qatar, boasting an impressive annual capacity of 35 million passengers. Recognized for its exceptional standards, the airport has been awarded a prestigious 5-Star Airport certification by Skytrax. This recognition is a testament to the airport’s outstanding facilities, comfort, cleanliness, shopping options, dining establishments, staff service, and stringent security and immigration measures.
With a thriving reputation, Hamad International Airport continues to attract a significant number of travelers. In the first quarter of 2022 alone, the airport welcomed approximately 7.14 million passengers, reflecting its status as a prominent international hub.
Whether you’re arriving in Qatar or embarking on a journey from this remarkable airport, you can expect a world-class experience that encompasses modern amenities, top-notch services, and a commitment to providing an exceptional travel environment for all passengers.
Hamad International Airport (HIA) has achieved remarkable recognition in the aviation industry in recent years. It has been crowned the World’s Best Airport at the prestigious Skytrax World Airport Awards, not just once but consecutively for the last two years. This notable achievement solidifies HIA’s position as a global leader in airport excellence.
Furthermore, HIA holds the distinction of being the first Middle Eastern airport to receive the coveted title of Skytrax’s World Best Airport. This recognition highlights HIA’s commitment to providing an exceptional travel experience, encompassing exceptional facilities, passenger services, and overall operational excellence.
Adding to its accolades, HIA is home to Qatar Airways, a renowned 5-Star Airline that has been voted as the World’s Best Airline six times by Skytrax. With an extensive network of over 140 destinations worldwide, Qatar Airways serves as a vital connection for travelers from various corners of the globe. The airline’s commitment to quality service and customer satisfaction resonates with a significant number of transit passengers who choose to travel through HIA.
Together, HIA and Qatar Airways have established a reputation for excellence in the aviation industry, making them preferred choices for travelers seeking a seamless and enjoyable journey.
Doha Airport Transit Visa Requirements
If you are only transiting through Doha Airport and do not plan on leaving the airport during your layover, you do not need a transit visa. You can stay within the airport’s transit area without going through the immigration process. However, if you wish to exit the airport and explore Qatar during your layover, you will need to obtain a tourist visa or a visa on arrival, depending on your nationality. It is essential to check the visa requirements and regulations specific to your country of citizenship before traveling to ensure a smooth transit experience.
Previously, Qatar Airways passengers had the advantage of applying for a complimentary 96-hour transit visa, enabling them to explore the city during their layovers. However, it is important to note that this service is currently suspended.
As an alternative, eligible travelers from more than 90 countries can still benefit from Qatar’s convenient visa-on-arrival facility. This allows them to obtain a visa upon their arrival at Hamad International Airport, granting them the opportunity to explore the city and experience the vibrant culture and attractions of Qatar during their transit.
While the specific eligibility criteria and requirements may vary based on the traveler’s nationality, the visa-on-arrival service offers a convenient and accessible option for those interested in making the most of their time in Qatar. It is advisable to check the latest information and guidelines regarding visa requirements before embarking on your journey to ensure a smooth and hassle-free transit experience.
Transit Requirements at Doha Airport During COVID
According to the latest information provided by Qatar Airways, effective from 4th January 2023:
- Transit Visa Exemption: Transit passengers who do not intend to leave the airport terminal are not required to obtain a transit visa. This means that if you are only transiting through Doha and do not plan to exit the airport, you do not need a transit visa.
- Ehteraz Pre-Travel Registration: Transit passengers who do not plan on leaving the airport terminal are also exempt from the Ehteraz pre-travel registration requirement. Qatar has completely removed the need for Ehteraz pre-registration from 1st November.
- Vaccination Certificate and COVID-19 PCR Tests: The requirement for a vaccination certificate and COVID-19 PCR tests only applies if your destination country mandates them. If your arrival country does not demand these documents for transit passengers, you are not obligated to present them.
Please note that this information has been confirmed by Qatar Airways via a tweet on 7th August 2022, and it is always recommended to refer to the Qatar Airways website or consult with the airline directly for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding transit requirements.
Transfer Procedure at Doha Airport
Doha Airport, also known as Hamad International Airport (HIA), offers a seamless and convenient transfer experience for passengers. With a single passenger terminal, the process of arriving, transferring, and departing can be done within the same terminal building. This eliminates the need to change terminals, simplifying the transfer process.
The terminal building at HIA consists of three levels and five concourses: A, B, C, D, and E. Each concourse is equipped with multiple passenger gates that are connected to jet bridges, ensuring smooth boarding and disembarkation for travelers. The airport layout map provided below gives you a general overview of the terminal and concourse arrangement, providing a helpful reference during your journey through the airport.
Please note that the map should be used as a guide, and it is recommended to follow the directional signages and seek assistance from airport staff for any specific queries or directions during your transfer at Doha Airport.
Step-by-step guide for transferring at Doha Airport:
Step 1: Exit the aircraft: You can access the terminal through jet bridges or, during peak hours, a guided bus may be used.
Step 2: Proceed to Transfer Halls: Follow the “Transfer” signs upon exiting the aircraft. These signs will lead you to the Transfer Halls on the concourses. Look for the signs in English and Arabic.
Step 3: Collect Boarding Pass if required: Most airlines issue both boarding passes at the first check-in point. However, if you need a new boarding pass for your next flight, proceed to the transfer desk for assistance.
Step 4: Go through security screening: Before entering the Departures Hall, you must pass through security screening. Your hand baggage will be screened, and you will be required to pass through metal detectors.
Step 5: Check the gate number for your next flight: Check the electronic screens in the Transfer and Departures Halls for your next flight number and corresponding gate number.
Step 6: Proceed to your gate: Once you have your gate information, make your way to the gate. Some concourses may require the use of the shuttle train service, and moving walkways are available throughout the airport. If you need assistance, visit the information desk or refer to the airport maps.
Throughout the process, be mindful of any announcements and follow the guidance of airport staff. Remember to check your gate information regularly, as it may change. Take advantage of the airport’s amenities, such as restrooms and dining options, while you wait for your next flight.
Transit Time at Doha Airport
To ensure a smooth transit experience at Doha Airport, it is important to consider the time required for connecting flights. Here are some factors to keep in mind:
- Boarding Pass: If your second flight’s boarding pass is issued from your point of origin, you can proceed directly to security check and your gate. Otherwise, you may need to collect your boarding pass from the transfer desk.
- Distance Between Gates: Doha Airport is a large facility with a single terminal building. The walking distance between gates can vary, ranging up to 15 minutes. Plan accordingly to allow enough time to reach your gate.
- Flight Arrival: Delays in your first flight’s arrival can impact your connection time. Even a short delay can cause disruptions to your plans, so it’s important to consider potential delays when planning your transit time.
- Disembarkation Time: After your flight lands, it may take some time to disembark from the aircraft. Allow for 10-20 minutes or longer if a bus transfer is required.
- Gate Closing Time: Gates usually close 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time of the flight. Make sure you reach your gate before it closes to avoid missing your connecting flight.
- Seasonal Rush: During peak travel seasons and events like holidays or the FIFA World Cup, expect increased passenger volumes and potential delays at security screening checkpoints.
Considering these factors, it is advisable to have a safe margin of at least three hours for transit at Doha Airport. While shorter durations like 1.5 to 2 hours may be feasible, they can be riskier. It is not recommended to have a transit time below 1.5 hours.
The estimated walking times from the Transfer Halls to gates in each concourse are provided above. Use these times as a reference to gauge the distance and plan your transit accordingly.
In case you miss your connecting flight, please contact the transfer desks for assistance. The staff will help you with re-booking a later flight and provide necessary guidance.
Transfer Desk at Doha Airport
At Doha Airport, transfer desks are available to provide assistance with your onward flight and address any related inquiries. Whether you need assistance with boarding passes, flight rescheduling, or have general questions, the staff at the transfer desks are there to help.
If you have an extended stopover in Doha and wish to explore the city before continuing your journey, the transfer desks can also provide guidance and information. However, it’s crucial to check the visa and immigration requirements beforehand to ensure a smooth experience and avoid any potential disappointments or delays.
The staff at the transfer desks are knowledgeable and can provide you with the necessary information and support to make your transit or stopover at Doha Airport as seamless as possible.
Facilities for Relaxation at Doha Airport
At Hamad International Airport, passengers can enjoy an array of exceptional relaxation facilities during their transit journey.
The airport is home to several renowned travelers’ lounges that provide a range of amenities to enhance your comfort. These lounges offer complimentary food options, access to shower facilities for refreshing yourself, well-equipped business rooms for those who need to work or attend to business matters, and convenient luggage lockers to securely store your belongings. Depending on your ticket class or privilege club membership, you may be eligible for complimentary lounge access, or you can choose to pay for access to these premium facilities.
For those seeking a tranquil and peaceful environment, quiet rooms are available. These rooms feature comfortable recliners and soft lighting, creating a serene atmosphere where you can unwind and relax in privacy.
Whether you wish to indulge in the luxurious offerings of the lounges or find solace in the quiet rooms, Hamad International Airport ensures that passengers have access to world-class facilities that cater to their relaxation and rejuvenation needs during their transit experience.
Dining Options at Doha Airport
Doha Airport boasts an extensive selection of restaurants and coffee shops catering to the diverse tastes of international travelers. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, you’ll find a wide range of options to satisfy your cravings. Here are some of the dining establishments available at the airport:
- Azka Restaurant
- Burger King
- Brioche Doree
- Camden Food Co
- Coffeeshop Company
- Costa Coffee
- Del Monte F&B
- Emporio Armani Caffe
- Evergreen Organics
- Great Eastern Market
- Harrods Tea Room
- Harvest Market Restaurant
- Jamocha Cafe
- Le Grand Comptoir
- Red Restaurant
- Red Mango Yogurt & Smoothies
- The Burger Federation
From international fast-food chains to local and specialty eateries, Doha Airport provides a diverse culinary experience to cater to different preferences. Whether you’re looking for a steaming cup of coffee, a refreshing smoothie, a hearty meal, or a sweet treat, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from throughout the airport’s duty-free area and food court.
Doha Airport Shopping Options
Doha Airport offers an unparalleled shopping experience at the renowned Qatar Duty Free (QDF), one of the world’s largest shopping emporiums. Spanning an impressive 40,000 square meters of retail, food, and beverage space, QDF is home to approximately 100 retail outlets and restaurants, catering to a wide range of interests and preferences.
At QDF, you’ll find an extensive selection of products from leading luxury brands, including Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Bulgari, Hermès, Hugo Boss, Moncler, Rolex, and Harrods. Whether you’re in search of designer fashion, exquisite jewelry, premium cosmetics, high-end electronics, or gourmet foods, QDF offers a diverse array of options to satisfy every shopper.
Additionally, for those with limited time, express stores are available, allowing you to conveniently find the products you need without compromising on quality or choice. Whether you’re looking for a special gift, indulging in some retail therapy, or simply browsing the latest trends, Doha Airport’s shopping facilities are sure to exceed your expectations.
Sleeping Facilities at Doha Airport
For travelers seeking a comfortable place to rest and recharge at Doha Airport, Sleep ‘n fly Sleep Lounge is the ideal solution. Conveniently located within the main duty-free area of the airport’s transit terminal, Sleep ‘n fly offers a range of sleep pods and cabins to accommodate various needs.
The sleep units at Sleep ‘n fly provide a soundproof and air-conditioned space where you can relax and rejuvenate before or between flights. The accommodations are available for hourly rates, allowing you to customize your stay based on your requirements.
You have a choice of different sleeping options at Sleep ‘n fly, including FlexiSuite Sleep Pods for one person, YAWN Double Cabins for up to two persons, YAWN Double Cabins with a kid’s pull-out bed for two adults and one child, and YAWN Bunk Cabins for up to two persons.
The rates at Sleep ‘n fly are affordable, with an average two-hour rate of USD 48 for one person and USD 77 for two persons. To make a reservation, you can visit their website at www.sleep-n-fly.com. If you need any assistance or have inquiries, you can reach them at +974 4467 8993 or email email@example.com.
Sleep ‘n fly Sleep Lounge provides a convenient and comfortable option for travelers at Doha Airport to rest and recharge, ensuring a more enjoyable and rejuvenating travel experience.
Hotels at Doha Airport
For transit passengers seeking accommodation at Doha’s Hamad International Airport (HIA), there are two hotels available:
- Oryx Airport Hotel: Located conveniently inside the passenger terminal of Hamad International Airport, Oryx Airport Hotel offers a comfortable and relaxing stay for guests during their transit. The hotel provides hourly rates, ensuring flexibility for travelers. Guests can enjoy fitness facilities and spa services for their convenience and well-being.
Superior Rooms at Oryx Airport Hotel start at QR 1,290 (USD 350) per day. For more information on hourly rates, you can contact the reservations team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling +974-40108100. To read reviews and make bookings, you can visit TripAdvisor.
- Oryx Garden Hotel: Newly inaugurated, the Oryx Garden Hotel is situated in the North Plaza of HIA. It offers a total of 100 rooms, including king beds, twin beds, and suites. All rooms are conveniently located within the terminal, near the boarding gates. Bookings can be made for a maximum duration of 24 hours, providing a comfortable stay for transit passengers.
The Oryx Garden Hotel is surrounded by various retail and culinary options, ensuring easy access to amenities. Additionally, complimentary new-generation wireless internet is available throughout the hotel premises.
Whether you choose the Oryx Airport Hotel or the Oryx Garden Hotel, both provide convenient and comfortable accommodation options for transit passengers at Doha Airport, allowing you to relax and rejuvenate during your layover.
Doha Airport Complimentary WiFi
Hamad International Airport (HIA) offers complimentary wireless internet WiFi access across all its passenger terminals. To access the complimentary WiFi, simply search for “HIAQatar Complimentary WiFi” and follow the sign-up instructions.
In addition to WiFi, HIA provides internet kiosks and desks equipped with screens and keyboards for free web browsing. These kiosks are conveniently located throughout the passenger terminal, including near the boarding gates.
For international calling, you can purchase a prepaid calling card from Qatar Duty Free. These calling cards allow you to make calls to destinations worldwide. Telephone booths are available throughout the passenger terminal, including at the boarding gates, for your convenience.
Additional Facilities at Doha Airport
The passenger terminal at Hamad International Airport (HIA) offers a range of additional facilities to enhance passengers’ travel experience. These include:
- Smoking rooms: Designated smoking rooms are available within the terminal for passengers who wish to smoke.
- Prayer rooms: There are prayer rooms where passengers can perform their religious obligations.
- Phone/laptop charging stations: Charging stations are conveniently located throughout the terminal for passengers to recharge their electronic devices.
- Foreign exchange stores and ATMs: Six foreign exchange stores are situated within the terminal, offering currency conversion services for over 40 different currencies. Multiple ATMs are also available for convenient cash withdrawal.
- Play areas and activity nodes for children: Dedicated play areas and activity nodes are provided to keep children entertained during their time at the airport.
- Complimentary baby strollers and parents’ rooms: HIA offers complimentary baby strollers for families traveling with infants or young children. Parents’ rooms are also available, providing a comfortable and private space for parents to tend to their children’s needs.
These facilities are designed to cater to the diverse needs of passengers and ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience at the airport.
Transit Tours at Doha Airport
If you have a transit period of more than 8 hours at Doha Airport, you have the opportunity to take a city tour or adventure tour offered by Discover Qatar. There are three types of tours available with different themes, durations, and prices. Here are the details:
- Discover Doha – City Tour:
- Tour Duration: 3 hours
- Price: QR 95
- Timings: Tours are available at 08:00, 13:00, 18:00, and 21:30
- Discover the Dunes and Inland Sea:
- Tour Duration: 4 hours
- Price: QR 367
- Timings: Tours are available at 07:00 and 14:00
- Discover the Dunes and Inland Sea (Private – 5 persons):
- Tour Duration: 4 hours
- Price: QR 734
- Timings: Private tours are available at 06:00 and 14:00
For more information and to make a booking, you can visit the Discover Qatar Transit Tours website. They will provide you with detailed information about the tours and assist you in booking the tour of your choice. It’s a great opportunity to explore Doha and its surroundings during your transit period.
Qatar Airways Stopover Program: Explore Qatar during Your Layover
Qatar Airways offers a Stopover Program that allows you to explore Qatar by booking a stopover holiday. The packages start from $14 and include accommodation at luxurious 4-star and 5-star hotels. It’s a great opportunity to enhance your travel experience and discover the attractions and culture of Qatar. For more details and to book your stopover package, you can visit the Qatar Airways Stop Over Package website.https://www.qatarairways.com/en/offers/qatar-stopover.html
FAQs On Doha Airport Transfer
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about transit at Doha Airport:
Do I need a transit visa to pass through Doha Airport?
Transit passengers who do not plan on leaving the airport terminal do not require a transit visa. However, if you plan to exit the airport during your transit, you may need to check the visa requirements for your nationality.
How do I transfer between flights at Doha Airport?
Upon exiting your aircraft, follow the “Transfer” signs to the Transfer Halls on the concourses. If you already have your boarding pass for the next flight, you can proceed to the Departures Hall after passing through security screening. If you need to collect a new boarding pass, visit the transfer desk for assistance.
How much time should I allow for transit at Doha Airport?
It is recommended to allow at least three hours for transit at Doha Airport to account for factors such as boarding pass collection, walking distances between gates, flight arrival delays, security screening, and gate closing times. Shorter transit durations can be risky.
Are there lounges available for transit passengers?
Yes, Doha Airport has several world-class travelers’ lounges. Depending on your ticket or privilege club membership, you may be entitled to complimentary lounge access, or you can pay to access the lounge.
Can I store my luggage at Doha Airport during transit?
Currently, the storage lockers at Hamad International Airport are not in operation. However, Tawfeeq Travel offers luggage storage at their Travel Hub inside the airport Metro station.
Is there free Wi-Fi available at Doha Airport?
Yes, complimentary Wi-Fi access is provided throughout the passenger terminals. You can connect to the “HIAQatar Complimentary WiFi” network.
Are there facilities for relaxation and sleep during transit?
Doha Airport offers sleep pods and cabins at the Sleep ‘n fly Sleep Lounge, where you can relax and rest before or between flights. There are also hotels, such as Oryx Airport Hotel and Oryx Garden Hotel, located within the airport premises for longer layovers.
Can I take a city tour during my transit at Doha Airport?
If your transit is more than 8 hours, you can join a city or adventure tour offered by Discover Qatar. They provide various tour options to explore Doha and its surroundings.