Doha Hamad Airport Expansion: Orchard Garden & New Lounge

Doha Hamad Airport Expansion: Orchard Garden & New Lounge

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In 2019, plans were revealed for a massive expansion to Doha Hamad International Airport. The biggest phase of this expansion has officially been completed as of today, with the opening of the airport’s new tropical garden area, known as the Orchard. This follows Qatar Airways opening a new (temporary) Al Mourjan Lounge a few days ago. Let’s go over the details.

Doha Hamad Airport expansion plans

Doha’s Hamad International Airport opened in 2014. The airport had an initial capacity of 29 million passengers per year, though we’ve known all along that there were plans to significantly increase capacity at the airport.

Doha Hamad Airport’s famous teddy bear

The country has been working on increasing this capacity ahead of the World Cup, and that’s now a reality:

  • The first phase of the Doha Hamad Airport expansion has opened as of November 10, 2022, and this increases capacity to 58 million passengers per year
  • The final phase of the Doha Hamad Airport expansion will start in early 2023 and is expected to be completed within 2.5 years, and that will increase capacity to 70 million passengers per year
Capacity is expanding at Doha Hamad Airport

With the airport’s latest expansion that just opened, passengers can expect:

  • A 10,000 square meter (~107,000 square foot) indoor tropical garden known as the Orchard, with a 268 square meter (~2,900 square foot) water feature
  • 11,720 square meters (~126,000 square feet) of additional retail space and food & beverage outlets
  • A new 9,000 square meter (~97,000 square foot) Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Lounge

Below you can see some pictures and video footage from the Orchard, given that it’s now open.

Doha Hamad Airport Orchard expansion
Doha Hamad Airport Orchard expansion
Doha Hamad Airport Orchard expansion

Doha Hamad Airport’s Orchard indoor garden

The Orchard indoor tropical garden and waterfall concept probably looks and sounds familiar, since in 2019 Singapore Changi Airport opened The Jewel.

So, is Doha stealing Singapore’s idea? Well, in 2019, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker claimed that Singapore stole Doha’s idea:

“Somebody copied our design, which was already on the table six years ago. We had individuals from that country, I will not name it, who took that and did it (themselves).”

Al Baker also pointed out that The Jewel is a shopping mall, while this is an international airport. I’m curious to check this out for myself! Based on the pictures, it sure looks pretty similar, and also really nice.

The Jewel at Singapore Changi Airport

Doha Hamad Airport’s new Al Mourjan Lounge

Qatar Airways’ current Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge at Doha Airport is very good, though gets crowded during peak times, given the number of travelers the airline has, and how heavily banked of a hub Hamad Airport is.

As part of the expansion of the airport, we should see a new nearly 100,000 square foot Al Mourjan Lounge at Doha Airport. The lounge is expected to be above retail space, and will have views of the tropical garden.

The lounge is expected to include a spa, gym, restaurants, and a business center. Qatar Airways will keep its existing lounges, so this should all be incremental lounge capacity. For what it’s worth, the current Al Mourjan Lounge is just over 100,000 square feet, so this will nearly double lounge capacity for business class passengers.

Now, there’s a catch. Qatar Airways has opened a new Al Mourjan Lounge North, but it’s temporary:

  • On November 4, 2022, Qatar Airways opened a temporary Al Mourjan Lounge North, and you can find pictures of the lounge here
  • This lounge will eventually become the Qatar Airways Platinum Lounge North, open to oneworld Emerald members
  • This will happen once the real Al Mourjan Lounge North opens, and it remains to be seen when that will be; that lounge will be much larger, and will have lots more amenities

This also complements Qatar Airways recently opening new lounges for elite members, so lounge capacity is up quite a bit at the airport.

Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Lounge Doha

Bottom line

Doha’s Hamad Airport is undergoing a significant expansion, and the biggest phase of that has just opened, ahead of the World Cup. The capacity of Doha Hamad Airport has now doubled, from 29 million to 58 million passengers per year.

We’ve also seen the opening of the Orchard, an indoor tropical garden, along with a bunch of new retail and dining outlets. A new temporary Al Mourjan Lounge North has also opened — this will eventually become the Platinum Lounge North, once the permanent Al Mourjan Lounge North opens.

The final phase of the expansion should open in 2025 or so, increasing the airport’s final capacity to roughly 70 million passengers.

What do you make of the Doha Hamad Airport expansion?

Conversations (43)
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  1. Matt Guest

    This is not a novelty. Changi has been doing this for years and been doing it better. The Middle East should come up with newer and better ideas really

  2. Lucas Guest

    I will be at DOH in a few days for a 10-hour layover. Trying to figure it out where’s the best place to stay, given that the Airport hotel is 400EUR. Will be flying Qatar business, but dont know which lounge is the best option to kill time.

  3. Hiro Gold

    I would rather prefer a desert-themed stuff like a cactus garden rather than installing something completely out of their local climatic conditions. Changi with a tropical garden? Yes! Doha with a tropical garden? But why?

    1. Rain Guest

      I imagine it's to do with a mixture of looks and humidity helping passengers who have been long haul rehydrate after a long flight. The last thing I would want to is to pause in the desert tbh.
      Also, as an enclosed system I imagine the water costs are much lower than one would normally expect if it were outside in the desert

  4. RetiredATLATC Diamond

    Where's the Orchard located in the airport?

    1. JB Guest

      The expansion starts right after the C gates, between the area that splits the D and E gates. The expansion starts right after gate C13, starting where the Oreo store is (you can tell as the area looks more modern). You can also take the train, it is right after the C bus gates boarding area. Just walk a little bit into the expansion area and you will get to the Orchard.

  5. Mike Guest

    How I wish US airport terminals are half as nice as these ones. Despite our large money, they still think they should give boring rectangular terminals with dull and low ceilings. Don't even get me started with those rusty intermodal containers being used as jet bridges, even for terminals built beyond 2015, while even 3rd world countries now use glass jet bridges.

    1. Icarus Guest

      A few exceptions such as the new terminals at La Guardia, Tom Bradley International terminal at LAX

    2. Scudder Diamond

      The best new airports in the past 30 years are just vanity projects of authoritarian states.

    3. Steve Diamond

      The new LGA is epic.

    4. Sal Guest

      Glass jetways are against fire code in most US states...

    5. Mike Guest

      I'm pretty sure they've been legalized for a while now. Even Kansas, of all cities, managed to build a new terminal with all glass jet bridges being glass. The only hope I have at this point are ORD's and JFK's new terminals. Even EWR new terminal have the same boring jet bridges, though the terminal is actually one of the best in the US.

    6. Lune Gold

      Have to second the votes on LGA. The new terminal is quite nice. Even has a cool water feature!

  6. Luke Guest

    Hey lucky. Off point, not sure where to post it. Whatever happened to Tiffany? Miss her write ups.

    Thanks.

    1. Scudder Diamond

      I've asked this a few times—always ignored.

    2. Dan Guest

      Oh yeah, what happened to Tiffany? She was great!

    3. Max Guest

      Probably got fired for the botched new design. Which most of the readers don't like as its clunky, loads slower, is a strain on the eyes and is just plain annoying.

    4. Julia Guest

      Not just Tiffany...pretty much everyone on here who use to contribute is gone. We know Other Ben went to TPG and annoying Dan is doing his own site and YT channel, but who knows whatever happened to the rest.

  7. JB Guest

    I flew through DOH less than 2 weeks ago and my flight departed from C11, right next to the new expansion area. It's where the D and E gates split off from the end of the C gates corridor, right next to the depressed drooping bronze art statue. It was not covered up and it looked beautiful from what I could see. They just had it roped off and a few employees based there to...

    I flew through DOH less than 2 weeks ago and my flight departed from C11, right next to the new expansion area. It's where the D and E gates split off from the end of the C gates corridor, right next to the depressed drooping bronze art statue. It was not covered up and it looked beautiful from what I could see. They just had it roped off and a few employees based there to only let construction crews in. You could see the new Oreo thing at DOH right there though (but it was not open yet, but QR has already started playing ads on their planes for it).

  8. RetiredATLATC Diamond

    Where's the waterfall located? Going to be there next month at the end of December.

  9. SullyofDoha Guest

    Still not open!

  10. Aasif Guest

    Yes absolutely excellent

  11. Bear Guest

    Last transit of Doha Feburary of 2019 We walked miles through the new terminal passing empty gates just to find we would board via a bus gate at the very end of the concourse.....

    I hope the new terminal will use the new gates...

  12. Ahmed Guest

    Noooooooooooo comment

  13. Working in Qatar Guest

    The whole place has no soul, it's only for the rich and vague.

  14. Polo Guest

    The CEO's claims were later refuted and debunked which he remained silent thereafter. Not impressed since this is just plagiarism at its best, nothing special. That water feature looks subpar as compared to Changi's and the airport is large and disoriented. Qatar has quite a good airline, but its airport? Nope!

  15. Sherine Williams Guest

    Just right!!!!!, what more can be asked for??.

  16. Jeff Z Guest

    I was in Doha airport a month ago. WHAT. A. ZOO.

    Not that anyone was acting boorish, just way too many people for the space. Lines out the door at all bathrooms (at 6am), including the lounges. Wait times for everything exceeded 30 minutes. Crowded. Crowded. Crowded.

    Good for Qatar - the country and the airline. Bad passenger experience.

  17. GipperSEA Guest

    Does this provide additional space for the occasional forced pelvic exams for which the airport is so famous? Doing it in ambulances on the tarmac is so 2020.

  18. Antonio C. Guest

    Update from 19-Sep-2022: C gates now go up to C98 using buses. You can see when you land in C area, from the internal tram, the new lounge above.

    Looks quite completed.

  19. JB Guest

    I'm traveling through DOH on October 21st with a 20+ hour layover. Hopefully I'll get to check out the expansion as well as the new Al Mourjan lounge.

    1. Matt Guest

      Hoping the new lounge is open as I have a 7 hour layover on the same day as you.

  20. bruh Guest

    so AlMourjan 2.0 is opening next month??!

  21. Nick Guest

    Are there new gates with this October expansion or simply amenities listed in this article?

  22. RCB Guest

    This expansion is MUCH needed!! DOH is one of the best airports in the world, and very new, and despite this you often have to take a bus to the plane because they don't have enough gates. And this isn't just small planes to close destinations, I've taken buses to 777s for a 7 hour flight, which is absolutely ridiculous for such a cutting edge airport. Glad to see this is finally changing.

    1. JB Guest

      I've flown into DOH from Miami twice (once in October 2020, and once in December 2021), and I got a bus gate on arrival both times, which isn't fun after a 14.5 hour flight. Atleast the last two times I flew this route we got a proper gate (and no transit security, which was awesome, I got to keep the 64oz Evian water bottle I bought at MIA).

  23. Sam Guest

    It's still going to be crazy times at DOH during the World cup with all of the "ferry" flights to DXB & AUH just to get folks back to their hotel rooms every day.

    1. F.A Guest

      Different airport. That is going to be at Doha international airport. Not Hamad

    2. Max Guest

      Ture, but of course there will be also lots of football fans who will take the regular flights to Hamad Airport. As usually, Hamad does have predominantly transit passengers, I'm not so sure that they really can cope with the additional demand for getting into Qatar.

  24. tuotuo Member

    How about an IMAX theater?And you can pre-order your ticket on your flight.

  25. Hkm Guest

    The earliest “rainforest” in airport terminal would be KUL opened in 1997
    And there are many concept, which can be dated as earlier as LAX masterplan in 1950s

  26. Steven E Guest

    I dont believe that the garden was their idea for one minute

  27. Thrawn Guest

    A gym with weights would be amazing...

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.

JB Guest

The expansion starts right after the C gates, between the area that splits the D and E gates. The expansion starts right after gate C13, starting where the Oreo store is (you can tell as the area looks more modern). You can also take the train, it is right after the C bus gates boarding area. Just walk a little bit into the expansion area and you will get to the Orchard.

3
Scudder Diamond

The best new airports in the past 30 years are just vanity projects of authoritarian states.

3
Icarus Guest

A few exceptions such as the new terminals at La Guardia, Tom Bradley International terminal at LAX

3
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