Still walking above the ground after the amazing six-hour flight, we left the plane at early afternoon local time in Doha to spend the three hour transfer in the Al Mourjan business lounge. Since the business passengers have priority at disembarking too, we left behind the economy passengers and made our way quickly to the central hall of the airport. This is owned by a giant teddy-bear, beaten very badly with a built-in reading lamp, check the image whether this description is accurate enough.
Compared to the population of Doha the airport can get busy due to its popular transfer role among the European and Asian destinations. The building, just like the other newly built Arabic ones, is pretty grandiose and spacious, though it is much smaller than the terminals in Dubai.
Finding your way around the airport is pretty easy. The only terminal is a large building with different annexes to gates A-D. You may get to the farther gates by the automated trains, that run inside of the building above your head. Not too many airports have a hotel accessible straight from the transit. There this is the case, not only the the room windows look over the transit, but a pool is also streching above the space.
The airport features a separate royal terminal south from the main terminal, dedicated to the Emir, connected to the highway by a private ramp. The unreasonably huge building has a nice ornamental garden with a fountain in the front and several air bridges at the back to board one of the many private aircrafts directly.
Being the home hub of Qatar Airways, it has spectacular and mighty lounges spreading above the arrival and departure levels. The Al Mourjan lounge is exclusively dedicated to the business and first passengers of Qatar Airways, though latter may use the even more exclusive Al Safwa lounge. The Qatar Privilege Club silver and gold members can only visit another Qatar Airways lounge and the Oneworld sapphire and emerald members have yet another one. The Al Mourjan is large enough to accommodate couple of hundred people that can have meals, relax, play in the game room or sleep.
After getting checked our boarding passes at the bottom of the taller than expected escalator, we were free to enter. First we approached the restaurant on the second floor of the lounge, served by a spiral staircase above a reflecting pool to have our third breakfast, first lunch or whatever you want to call it.
The buffet style restaurant offers local and international meals (including veggie options) according to the time of the day. Which is not necessarily aligned with the circadian rhythm of the travellers. As soon as we settled down at one of the tables one of the many waiters appeared to note our drink orders. While checking the meal options I suddenly discovered the Hungarian Goulash bowl from my home country. Funny that I travel thousands of miles and this is the first main course I come across. I tried it for curiosity but I ate the local meals anyway.
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After the lunch we took a tour downstairs. Across the floor there are numerous sofas and armchairs, some equipped with tablets to keep an eye on the flights. There are coffe, tea and water offering kitchenettes. The other end of the lounge is a bistro style restaurant with light bites, sandwiches and salads. Beyond the restaurant the shower facilities and the quiet area can be found. In the latter one you can have a very unpleasant nap in the sofas provided. (I did not try the sleep in the shower facilities)
Of course we had a refreshing shower and changed clothes before the fifteen hour second leg. We were relaxing a bit in the armchairs then we started to make our way to the designated gate to embark the Airbus A380 plane with an amazing on-board bar. See that bit in the next part!
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