Hamad celebrates first anniversary of Orchard tropical retail garden

By Kristiane Sherry |

Hamad International Airport in Doha is celebrating one year of its Orchard concept.

Hamad International Airport in Doha is celebrating one year of its Orchard concept.

Doha’s Hamad International Airport is celebrating the first anniversary of its celebrated Orchard concept, which spans 6,000 of “tranquil” retail and F&B space.

Described as an indoor tropical garden, the space includes over 65 of the airport’s 180 retail and dining experiences in a lush green environment.

28 November marked one year since Hamad opened Phase A of its expansion plan which included Orchard.

Speaking to TRBusiness ahead of the 2023 Top 10 Operators Report, Thabet Musleh, Senior Vice President at Qatar Duty Free, said 2023 sales at the airport had been performing “extremely well”. 

“Every category is up,” he told TRBusiness in a video interview. “We’re seeing the Chinese coming back now. While the passenger numbers are still not quite at 2019 level, spend is far outweighing 2019. 

“That’s also due to a lot of renovations and the new brands we’ve got.”

Orchard is a key part of the expansion project, designed to create a space to relax, rejuvenate and recharge.

Business travellers are invited into a “hassle-free” environment, while families are catered for through art installations and activity nodes within Orchard.

Dining and retail experiences for families include Hamleys, the first Oreo café in an airport, and two food courts. 

The expansion project has included four new lounges. These include Al Mourjan Business Lounge  the Garden, which features the Louis Vuitton Lounge.

The North Plaza Lounges span the Al Maha Lounge, Oryx Lounge and Gold and Platinum lounge. Hamad offers unlimited free wi-fi throughout the terminal so passengers can stay connected. 

In addition, Hamad has invested in digital wayfinding solutions to help passengers better navigate the airport. 

Information displayed includes attractions, retail, dining options, as well as flight details .Hamad has also hosted QR codes to help passengers navigate from one point to another. 

Orchard sustainability

The Orchard concept is at the sustainability forefront at Doha International.

A column-free, grid shell roof controls and filters the light needed to maintain the rainforest trees.  

The airport was the first in the region to secure Global Sustainability Assessment System Design & Build 4-Star certification from the Gulf Organization for Research & Development. 

Hamad says it is constantly reviewing its operations to meet and exceed requirements of travellers and partners. 

Phase B of the expansion project will increase airport capacity to over 70 million passengers a year. The project commenced in January 2023, and no completion date has been publicly announced. 

Earlier this month, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker announced he was to leave after 27 years in-post.

His successor will be Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, currently Chief Operating Officer of Hamad International.

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