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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Qatar travelers advised to leave early for airport ahead of Eid rush



Passengers flying through Hamad International Airport this week ahead of Eid Al Adha should arrive at least three hours before their flight departs, officials have advised.

Check-in at the airport will close 60 minutes before departure, so passengers are also encouraged to check-in online in advance if possible.

Eid begins on Thursday, Sept. 24 this year. Though Qatar has yet to announce official public holiday dates Though official government holidays begin on Sept. 23, the airport said it is expecting departing passenger traffic to increase starting tomorrow, Sept. 21.

It added that arriving passenger traffic will likely spike from Sept. 27-30.

Long term parking at Hamad International Airport
Long term parking at Hamad International Airport

For quick drop-offs and pick-ups, the short-term parking lot is next to the airport terminal. The first 30 minutes are free, and then costs QR5 for each hour or part-hour after that, which must be pre-paid in the machines before you leave the parking lot.

Those who plan to leave their cars in long-term parking should allot extra time for getting to the airport in the free shuttle bus, which runs every 15-20 minutes.

The prices for long-term parking are as follows:

  • Each hour or any part thereof will be QR2 each;
  • The cost is QR45 for every completed 24 hours; and
  • A lost ticket will cost QR35 in addition to the actual tariff for the duration of parking.

Visa services

To help travelers breathe a bit easier, the Ministry of Interior has just opened a desk in HIA’s departure terminal near the luggage-weighing counter.

The 24/7 office will handle exit permit and residency permit renewal issues, as well as payments of fines related to passports and visas and other services, the MOI said in a statement on its website.

Ministry of Interior office at Hamad International Airport
Ministry of Interior office at Hamad International Airport

Most services are also available via smartphone app Metrash2, “but many people who are not aware of exit permit issuance and expiry of residence permits can approach the centre to complete their procedures within few minutes in order to travel in the scheduled time itself,” MOI said.

The desk appears to be a more convenient option than the Visa, Entry & Travel Permits department’s new headquarters in an administrative building near HIA’s Cargo section.

MOI shifted there last month from its location near the Doha International Airport, a little more than a year after Qatar moved all airport operations to the much-larger HIA.

The new airport can now handle some 30 million passengers annually, but is expanding over the next several years to accommodate more than 50 million.


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