Connecting at Doha Hamad Airport | Useful tips for transit passengers

Doha Hamad airport is a state of the art facility opened in 2014. It serves over 35 million passengers annually and is home to Qatar Airways.

It is ranked 5th best airport in the world by 2018 Skytrax survey and is extremely friendly for transit passengers. Let’s look below at some tips for flying via Doha, which you may find useful.

Minimum connection time

The minimum connection time at Doha Hamad airport starts at 45 minutes. This is valid for international connections of Qatar Airways. Most flights to USA and Canada require at least 1 hour, but there are also flights requiring 1 hour 25 minutes. Comparing to other global hubs of this size, you should know that these connection time are really good.

Qatar Airways will always sell you tickets covering the minimum connection time requirements. If you have a very short connection or your inbound flight is running late, Qatar Airways will send a representative to meet you upon arrival and guide you thru the transit process.

Connection process

As Doha Hamad is a brand new airport, it has been organised in the best possible way to accommodate the needs of the transit passengers. It is constructed as a single terminal building with a main transit hall, linked to five concourses A, B, C, D, E. The following map provides best visualisation of the terminal layout. Upon arrival, just follow the signs “flight connections”. There is plenty of Qatar Airways ground handling staff all around the terminal, so don’t hesitate to ask someone in case if you feel uncertain. They will help you find your way to the gate. An internal train operates within the terminal. It shortens a 9 minutes walking distance to a ride of just 90 seconds and this is just one example of how efficient the infrastructure is. 

Inside the main hall Source: Wikipedia

Security checks

When you arrive at Doha Hamad Airport and head for your connecting flight, there is a chance that you undergo security screening. Security screening slows down the connection process, but it is a compulsory procedure for passengers arriving from certain flights. We don’t know which are these flights exactly and whether or not the list of extra-security flights vary. There are many inbound flights from the European Union, which passengers are subject to screening.

Long Layovers

As Qatar Airways relies strongly on connecting flight passengers, it makes sure that passengers feel comfortable during the long connections. If your connection is over 5 hours, you may even be eligible for the free Doha city tour. For longer stopovers, you may be entitled to free hotel stay in Doha. This however is subject to booking conditions of Qatar Airways and needs to be arranged prior to trip. Doha has a lot to offer. In case you would like to check and book daily trips and attractions, check what's available here. In case you decide to spend the time airside, here are some useful tips:

Wifi is free, fast and unlimited. You may use it to work of for entertainment.

Qatar Airways connect passengers from all continents. The average temperature in Qatar is 20 C in January and 40 C+ in August, so some passengers may find this extremely hot. Air conditioning operates within the terminal building, which keeps the temperature inside comfortable, but some passengers find it freezing. Take worm clothes with you to be on the safe side.

Doha Hamad airport is a non-smoking zone. You are not allowed to smoke even electronic cigarettes inside the terminal building. However, designated smoking rooms exist around the concourses.

Relax Zones
Doha Hamad airports offer great quite rooms with reclining chairs, literally allowing you to sleep. They are situated around the terminal building and actually have separate lounges for men and women. 

Airside hotel
The transit area hosts a 4 star hotel managed by Oryx Airport Hotels. You can book a room for a minimum stay of 5 hours and can do that in advance directly with from this link. If you would like to stay landside, there are a few good hotels within easy access to the airport

Shopping & eating
The main hall in the transit is organized like a shopping mall with a food court offering rich selection. There are over 52 branded stores including Rolex, Polo Ralph Loren, Victoria's secret, WHSmith, Hugo Boss, Gucci, Burberry and many more. Transit passengers can choose from over 25 restaurants & cafes including Burger King, Starbucks, Illy, Camden food, The burger federation. 

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