The Orchard, Doha Airport’s Indoor Tropical Garden

The Orchard, Doha Airport’s Indoor Tropical Garden

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In late 2022, Doha Hamad Airport (DOH) underwent a significant expansion. Not only did this roughly double the airport’s annual capacity (from 29 million to 58 million), but it also marked the opening of The Orchard, the airport’s huge new garden feature. I finally had the chance to check this out during my recent visit to the airport, so wanted to report back.

The expansion really takes Qatar Airways’ hub to the next level, not just in terms of capacity, but also in terms of passenger experience.

A look at Doha Hamad Airport’s garden

With the expansion to the north portion of DOH, the airport has added a new 10,000 square meter (~107,000 square foot) indoor tropical garden, known as The Orchard. On top of that, this area also has 11,720 square meters of additional retail space, as well as food and beverage outlets.

The Orchard is stunning, plain and simple, whether you actually intend to visit it, or just walk by (in fairness, it’s at the very end of the terminal, so most passengers will only see this if they intentionally seek it out, or if they happen to be departing from a gate in this section of the terminal).

The garden area has a curved glass roof, with a ton of greenery one level below the concourse.

Doha Airport indoor tropical garden
Doha Airport indoor tropical garden
Doha Airport indoor tropical garden
Doha Airport indoor tropical garden

There’s a bridge on the terminal level you can freely walk on, giving you an even better vantage point for enjoying the garden.

Doha Airport indoor tropical garden

What’s also cool is that if you go down to the actual garden level, there are all kinds of paths, as well as places to sit. You could legit chill on the “grass” there, if you wanted to. That’s not your typical terminal seating!

Doha Airport The Orchard garden
Doha Airport The Orchard garden

Beyond enjoying the nature of the garden, The Orchard has possibly the highest concentration of ultra-high end shopping I’ve seen at any airport. From Louis Vuitton, to Dior, to Loro Piana, you’ll find just about everything here that can break the bank.

Doha Airport The Orchard shopping
Doha Airport The Orchard shopping

As a coffee lover, I also appreciate the number of open air coffee shops you’ll find in The Orchard, from a Fendi Caffe, to a Ralph’s Coffee. Frankly I’d gladly spend a layover sitting here sipping on a latte, and the pricing isn’t unreasonable at all, when you consider that these places have table service.

Doha Airport The Orchard Fendi Cafe
Doha Airport The Orchard Ralph’s Coffee

The only thing that confused me is that when The Orchard was announced, it was stated that it would have a 268 square meter (~2,900 square foot) water feature. That wasn’t turned on at any point during my visit, so maybe it’s still a work in progress?

Also, I think The Orchard could use some lighting features at night, since the view is less impressive when it’s dark out (which is when most travelers are passing through the airport, given Qatar Airways’ schedule).

How does this compare to The Jewel at Singapore Changi Airport?

The concept of an indoor tropical garden at an airport probably sounds familiar, as Singapore Changi Airport has The Jewel. So, what’s nicer — The Orchard or The Jewel?

The Jewel is no doubt a bit more impressive in terms of scale and some of the features.

Singapore Airport The Jewel

That being said, I think the two really can’t be compared. The Jewel is a landside shopping mall that’s most often visited by locals. While it’s on airport grounds, only a very small percentage of transit passengers visit this. After all, you have to clear immigration (some travelers need visas to enter Singapore), potentially make your way between terminals, and carry your luggage through the mall.

Meanwhile The Orchard is an airside amenity that’s exclusively for international travelers. It’s something everyone at the airport can visit, and can get to within 10 minutes.

They’re both fantastic. The Jewel is a bit more impressive than The Orchard, but I also think they serve two very different purposes.

Bottom line

I finally had the chance to visit The Orchard, the new indoor tropical garden at Doha’s Hamad International Airport. The Orchard is impressive — it’s such a nice escape from the typical terminal experience, it has beautiful nature, it has a lot of shopping, and it even has some food and beverage outlets where I could see myself spending some time, even if I had lounge access.

The expansion of Hamad Airport really elevates it to the next level, between this, new lounges, and more.

I mean, my gosh, compare this to transiting Charlotte Airport, and you’ll feel like you’re on a different planet.

What do you make of The Orchard at Doha Airport?

Conversations (21)
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  1. Dr Lin Guest

    The HAMAD airport has just been named the World’s Best Airport beating Changi Airport into second place.

  2. Jacobin777 Guest

    I've transited through Doha no less than a dozen times this year. In fact, I will be transiting again in a couple of weeks. The Orchard is definitely a great place to check out while transiting. I've never been to Changi so I can't compare.

  3. Jesus Cisneros Guest

    Hi sir Ben, just want to ask if a non passenger can enter in The Orchard garden ?

  4. Indopithecus Guest

    Didn't blow me away when I was there in April but if you are running to catch a connection there isn't much time to appreciate beauty.

  5. Matrix.RX1 Guest

    you need an 8H layover to enter SG.

  6. Liz Guest

    Went through Doha this past weekend and it does indeed have a water feature now. They also opened Al Mourjan the Garden lounge there now that looks out over the Orchard (was told it opened 3 weeks ago). We spent most of our time in the main Al Mourjan lounge though. I didn't find out about the new one until we only had about an hour left so we only stopped in for a quick...

    Went through Doha this past weekend and it does indeed have a water feature now. They also opened Al Mourjan the Garden lounge there now that looks out over the Orchard (was told it opened 3 weeks ago). We spent most of our time in the main Al Mourjan lounge though. I didn't find out about the new one until we only had about an hour left so we only stopped in for a quick peek as it was very near our gate. Seemed very nice though. I was told it has more quiet rooms for those looking to rest.

  7. John Guest

    Been through the Orchard twice this year during long layovers in Doha and it's simply lovely. Peaceful, beautifully done, you almost forget you're in an airport. Lots of room, some folks even sleep there.

  8. DT Guest

    The water feature is there, but it is no surprise that you might have missed it.

    Transited Doha in April (ironically to Singapore) and finally understood why "Karen Al Baker" was so upset about the "stolen Jewel". The entire C gate area must have cost quite a bit to construct.

    Yet Orchard's version was more like a triangular water curtain, that surrounded one of the 3 glass/steel megastructures supporting the roof. At its base is...

    The water feature is there, but it is no surprise that you might have missed it.

    Transited Doha in April (ironically to Singapore) and finally understood why "Karen Al Baker" was so upset about the "stolen Jewel". The entire C gate area must have cost quite a bit to construct.

    Yet Orchard's version was more like a triangular water curtain, that surrounded one of the 3 glass/steel megastructures supporting the roof. At its base is a pond that collects the water and they placed a 360deg rotating selfie booth right in front of it.

    The setup looks frankly sad and puny compared to Jewel, especially as you step off a QR flight and head straight into T1 at SIN, facing its ginormous waterfall right after the arrival hall.

    For the amounts spent on building either Jewel (SIN) or Orchard (DOH), the former is definitely way more bang for the buck. No wonder Karen was bitter about it. LOL

  9. Julia Guest

    Between this and the Louis Vuitton Lounge/Spa, it seems like Qatar is working hard to court the influencer crowd...

  10. hatsunecat Guest

    This is stacking up to be an odd 'family vacation' - touring airport lounges and shopping malls. Exciting for Dad, I'm sure!

  11. Jeffrey Chang Guest

    "How does this compare to The Jewel at Singapore Changi Airport?"

    Dunno. One place repealed laws that criminalized what adult I fall in love with the other threatens to put me in prison for three years for the same act.

    Also, we have to consider the slave labor issue and lack of a pluralistic society.

    1. JW Guest

      They coincidentally also are among the safest, cleanest and have the highest living standards on the planet, not to mention a better resident happiness compared stateside. There might be some links there to the acts they frown upon.

    2. Ben Guest

      @JW what acts which Jeffrey mentioned which they “frown upon” directly lead to more happiness and better living standards?

  12. Rico Gold

    I haven't been there in years, but there is also a large garden in Madrid's Atocha train station.

    1. Kyle0727 New Member

      I was just there in April, and it was still there, but for some reason you couldn't walk through it while I was at the station. Still pretty though.

  13. Super Diamond

    Is it just the pictures or is everything bathed in an eerie blue light? Seems like the Jewel picked better glass skylights.

  14. InceptionCat Gold

    It's only impressive if you've never been to The Jewel Changi.

    Passed by there last month and found it meh. Some trees looked rather dry & sad. Generally it looked like a cheap imitation of The Jewel.

    But indeed one could spend time here if you don't have lounge access.

  15. Alvin | YTHK Diamond

    "I mean, my gosh, compare this to transiting Charlotte Airport, and you’ll feel like you’re on a different planet."

    Yep, Charlotte Airport was running through my head when I last flew through Doha

    1. John Guest

      But they do have an Oreo ice cream shop in Doha Int'l...

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Never In Doubt Guest

Sir, this is a Wendy’s.

5
dn10 Guest

If only DOH had a bojangles

4
Ben Guest

@JW what acts which Jeffrey mentioned which they “frown upon” directly lead to more happiness and better living standards?

1
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