Hamad International Airport
مطار حمد الدولي
Maṭār Ḥamad al-Duwalī
Yes I know, we didn't actually stay longer than a layover but it worth mentioning. How often does an American family end up in the Middle East. Well, more often than most know because it really is not a scary as we see it on the news for normal living. Many of these people are just like us, raising a family, want peace, and love their neighbor. Some not - just like at home.
Diving into the only thing we really saw, a beautiful airport with a great feel for culture. These are the moments travel lights me up and invigorates me. Pushing the norm, seeing people dress completely different and showing kids to break down barriers and stereotypes. I hope to return one day for longer than a few hours. We didn't even go outside, but due to the fact we were dead center in the Middle East with all of our differences I had to list it. Doha Qatar is a common transfer being between Europe and Asian countries.
For us, this was the stop over from Bali Indonesia onward to Paris.
I crave to enter Morocco in the future and head east to visit Jordan . Doha was a feel for it in a small way.
If you are like me and curious about their clothing, this was such an interesting read and break down of the different types. Take a minute to understand a bit about them here.
About the Airport Itself
It was extremely modern and impressive! Navigating through it felt more understandable than even LAX in my opinion. Not sure if I was just in the groove that morning but I found it user friendly and gates understandable considering the size of the airport itself. There are "holding areas" which was peaceful typical carpeted, vinyl seating for departure gates. This made it feel a bit more contained which I found helpful if you had small children. Just MAKE SURE to go to use bathroom facilities 20 minutes prior to boarding call because they may not let you leave. I tried, I had to wait to get on the plan to use the restroom. If they would have let me I could have left, used the restroom, probably even purchased a water bottle in the time we BEGAN boarded. I was not happy about this - silly rule or not, they seemed pretty serious about it.
So I ended up waiting
In all fairness Qatar’s $16 Billion Hamad International Airport in Doha has life-sized animatronic dinosaurs, a $6.8 million 7-Meter-tall bear sculpture from Swiss artist Urs Fischer and one of the largest Christian Dior perfumeries you’ve ever seen. So I have heard. But the biggest surprise of this massive hub, the thing that sets it apart from all other airports, the thing that I wished I had experienced for myself, is the Vitality Well-Being and Fitness Center.
Yep - and you get it for the cost of a meager $35, anyone. No special miles card needed.
Feel free to take full advantage of the pool, gym and Jacuzzi facilities and let us know how it was!
Want more than relaxation?
There is also a sports court with racquetball / squash court. Apparently you can rent a court, shoes, a racquet and even an instructor to play with you for $16.
It may sound crazy but I would consider doing a couples trip just to have this airport craziness and check out a area we Americans tend to feel is taboo.
I think a lot of things, who knows if we will.
But we may, because why not?
Saudi Arabia has a NO FLY ZONE currently with Qatar - hence we flew around it creating a longer flight.
Although we only got to be there a short time, I am glad we had a tiny glimpse into a culture most don't know about. The Middle East is a LARGE area, diversity all around. Qatar seemed like a place I would not avoid and certainly not lump under an umbrella of fear. Thinking of visiting Doha? This would be a good start for info to stay and eat. Our trusty Trip Advisory helps us more often than not. here