The first phase of the Hamad International Airport, formerly known as New Doha International Airport, is set to open, according to the airport’s operator, Qatar Airways.
Costing over $15 billion, the NDIA enters in competition with other glamorous Middle Eastern airports, in particular with the Dubai International Airport and the international airport in Abu Dhabi.
Doha's older airport was already a step ahead in terms of design, as it was the first airport in the world to include terminals solely dedicated to first class and business class passengers. This feature has been extended to the NDIA, which includes the world's longest runway at 4850m, with the second longest runway of the airport measuring 4250m.
The NDIA has the capacity to handle 28 million passengers a year, initially. This number will be gradually extended to 50 million in the second phase of the airport's development.
The new airport is also said to include squash courts, restaurants, spa treatment centres, a shopping mall and a 25m swimming pool.
With the phased approach, Doha will have a dual airport operation until full operations begin at Hamad International in the second half of 2013.