Posted on September 02, 2019

Hamad International Airport (HIA) continues to make its mark on redefining the airport experience for its millions of travellers.

During the summer peak season, the world-class airport focused its efforts on making travel as dynamic, interactive and entertaining as possible ─ having partnered with Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC), Qatar Airways (QR), and Qatar Duty Free (QDF) to deliver the biggest ‘Summer in Qatar’ programme yet. HIA’s ‘Summer in Qatar’ programme ran from July to August and engaged more than seven million passengers in the award-winning terminal.

Some of the activations under the umbrella of the biggest ‘Summer in Qatar’ festival at HIA featured a heritage zone, which engaged passengers from all over the world through more than 260 hours of cultural and traditional performances. The performances included a ‘Traditional Costume Op’ which allowed travellers to try on traditional Qatari costumes, with these cherished memories captured on Polaroid photos given to the passengers. The heritage zone also included Qatari traditional dance performances (Fraisa) and a calligraphy artist who wrote passengers’ names in traditional Arabic calligraphy and gifted them to the passengers. Other handicraft activities under the heritage zone included a Henna body art activation and a netmaker attracting a large number of visitors. Travellers also enjoyed Qatari hospitality by visiting the Gahwa (Arabic coffee) and dates section.

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Another popular activation area during the Summer in Qatar festival was the kids’ zone. This section provided kids of all ages with a variety of games such as a giant Lego experience and a painting wall where kids were able to play while waiting for their flights. The kids’ zone also celebrated the Eid period by distributing Eid greeting cards and spreading the joyful atmosphere of the holidays. Featuring some edutainment features, the kids’ zone held a nutrition activation which gave away healthy snacks to kids.  Back to school activities were yet another activity that helped engage kids and prepare them for the spirits of the upcoming school season.

In addition to the heritage and kids’ zones, HIA held 98 hours of diverse performance arts roaming in the terminal. Passengers of all ages laughed, danced and took selfies with the parading actors. These acts consisted of unique and colourful shows with distinctive costumes and living statue acts that amused the crowd and received a large amount of interactions.

HIA showcased its commitment to celebrating Qatari culture while also catering to the millions of passengers from diverse backgrounds—reinforcing the airport’s passenger-centric strategy that puts the passenger at the heart of HIA’s operations. With the second quarter of 2019 being the busiest Q2 period for the airport yet, HIA effectively demonstrated its ability to not only continue its smooth and seamless airport operations during peak season, but also curate entertaining initiatives that has witnessed footfall of more than seven million passengers traveling through the airport take part in HIA’s ‘Summer in Qatar’ activities.

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Commenting on the success of HIA’s ‘Summer in Qatar’, Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer at Hamad International Airport, stated: “We are extremely proud of the efforts and success witnessed during our Summer in Qatar programme. Our collaboration with Qatar National Tourism Council, Qatar Airways and Qatar Duty Free, and the lively entertainment that resulted from our collaboration, truly highlights our shared commitment to promoting Qatar as a destination of choice and, making its hospitable culture shine.”

Al Meer added: “For many, airports are associated with stress and pressure to be on time, check in, and board the flight. However, HIA continuously strives for efficient and hassle-free travel, particularly through our Smart Airport programme. Therefore, we are able to process passengers smoothly and enable an entertaining airport experience like no other. Thousands of passengers enjoyed and engaged in our activities, participating enthusiastically and documenting their experiences on social media. We will continue to put HIA on the map as an airport with passenger experience like none other, while shining a light on Qatar as the preferred tourism destination with world-class experiences.”

HIA passengers with longer transfer times were also treated to an array of digital activations. HIA devised the ‘Complete Your Story’ Instagram activity where passengers were given a challenge to find different ‘Summer in Qatar’ activities taking place around the terminal and share their experience on their Instagram stories. Participating passengers were randomly selected to have their stories reposted to HIA’s official Instagram account and were also awarded vouchers to redeem at various food, beverage and retail outlets at the airport.

Setting this summer apart from others, this year’s ‘Summer in Qatar’ at HIA stems from QNTC’s full-fledged tourism campaign that works with local stakeholders to bring an array of exciting new products and activities to provide year-long tourism offerings to communities of all backgrounds, cultures, ages, interests and budgets. 

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