The much-anticipated opening of the New Doha International Airport (NDIA), originally scheduled for December this year, has been delayed. The airport that will open for passenger traffic in the second half of 2013, the Moodie Report has quoted Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker as saying. The original scheduled opening date was December 12 this year but this has been delayed due to the airport operator deciding to part company with a key contractor, Al Baker said in recent interview with the magazine, part of which was published in its latest issue.
Some NDIA facilities, however, will open around the end of this year, including cargo, the VIP Terminal and the maintenance base for Qatar Airways , Al Baker was quoted as saying. The operational readiness program – the ORAT [Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer] has already begun, he added.
Al Baker during the interview reaffirmed his vision that NDIA will be a ground-breaking international airport of the highest quality. "We want a world-class facility," he said. "We will not compromise on quality. We will not compromise on standards. I think when you put everything together, there will be no other airport of such a high standard… including the high level of finishing and the high quality of materials that have been used."
Speaking of the commercial offer, including retail and food & beverage, Al Baker said: "We have already signed with a lot of major brands. We have a completely new concept of the duty free. We don't want to throw each product over the other, for example. Instead we want people to feel the space we have."
"We are multi-level, multi-ethnic and we will reach out to people that have low purchasing power and high purchasing power," he commented. "As a business, we want to provide for everybody."
Qatar Duty Free will have 28 stores under its own name, covering 6,600sqm, complemented by 36 branded shops totaling 4,933sqm of retail space.
New concepts include a toy store with unique interactive features; a food connoisseur shop; a dedicated men's Fashion Store; and a new CTN operator.
Additionally NDIA will feature a major Qatar Duty Free Arrivals store and an airside pharmacy.
The food and beverage (F&B) offer is similarly ambitious, said the Moody Report. The South Node phase one includes just over 6,000sq m of F&B space, including five outlets run by Qatar Duty Free (QDF), four that are concessioned and 11 outlets run by a joint venture between QDF and a concessionaire (including a food court and casual dining area).
The Departures landside check-in area will feature a café, possibly complemented by a multi-food offer.
The high-traffic central Departures duty free area will include the following outlets: Voucher restaurant – International, Seafood Bar, International food court, Casual dining concepts, A premium café – (not operated by QDF)