The huge Lamp Bear by Urs Fischer at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar
The Lamb-Bear bronze sculpture is located just after the departures security and passport control

Things to Do on a 6-Hour Layover in Doha Airport

Long layovers are often unavoidable but seasoned travelers know they are preferable to a short connection that may find you sprinting through the airport. We’ve all been there and nobody wants the hassle of a missed flight. When you know you have a long layover, the best thing to do is to accept it, enjoy it, and make it a fun and restful experience.

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    Hamad International Airport in Doha is a perfect playground if you have six hours to play with. You can eat, sleep, rest and relax, all on repeat. The airport offers plenty of shopping as well as quiet spaces for unwinding, such as nap areas, spas and sleep pods. Here is a look at what to do on a six-hour layover in Doha’s Hamad International Airport.  

    How to Make the Most of Your 6-Hour Doha Airport Layover

    It comes as no surprise: there are plenty of things to do at Doha international airport: Hamad International Airport offers something for every traveler, whether you are looking to catch up on work, indulge in some retail therapy, or tuck into a gourmet meal. The airport is beautifully designed with an emphasis on light and greenery, and is home to a fitness center, multiple airline lounges, and sleep pods.

    Hour 1: Catch up on messages or emails, and snap a selfie with a larger-than-life Teddy Bear

    You’re in Doha’s Hamad International Airport… and you should let your friends and followers know this. Connect to Doha airport’s free Wi-Fi and charge your devices at the airport’s numerous stations while you catch up on emails, messages, or work. 

    Wifi area at HIA
    Free internet browsing on Mac computers at Hamad International Airport

    Snap a selfie in front of the 23-foot-tall “Untitled” (Lamp/Bear) by Swiss artist Urs Fischer. The canary yellow bronze bear is located right in the heart of the action, near the airport’s duty-free hall.

    The huge Lamp Bear by Urs Fischer at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar
    The huge teddy bear bronze sculpture is located in the south node of the airport

    The sculpture of a bear inside a lamp is meant to evoke childhood and celebrates the objects that define a child’s life. The bear has captivated art lovers and travelers from around the world, and has also made an appearance in New York City, in front of the Seagram Building.

    Hour 2: Satisfy your taste buds

    Hungry? Hangry? Or just want to try something new? Hamad International Airport caters to every gastronomic whim with a wide variety of restaurants offering Greek, Indian, Asian, Italian, and Arabic fare, as well as plenty of cafes and coffee shops.

    Feast on Middle Eastern fare at Azka or tuck into a chicken shawarma sandwich at Baladna Express. If you’re craving noodles, head to Wagamama. Upscale options include the Harrods Tea Room and Fendi Caffe.

    Baladna Express at Hamad International Airport
    Baladna Express
    Wagamama at Hamad International Airport
    Wagamama at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar

    It’s easy to indulge your sweet tooth here. Doha airport is home to the first permanent OREO Café outside of the USA, which opened its cookie-scented doors in April 2023. Enjoy hand-crafted chocolates and pastries at Maia Chocolates.

    Oreo Café at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar
    Oreo Café

    Hour 3 to 4.5: Visit the Orchard and treat yourself to a shopping spree

    Enjoy a little retail therapy at the Orchard, a futuristic urban shopper’s paradise which opened right before the 2022 World Cup

    This 65,000 square foot space is both a lush tropical oasis as well as an upscale shopping center. The glass-domed area is home to 300 trees and 25,000 plants, all sourced from sustainable forests around the globe. The tallest tree here is about 50 feet high.

    The Orchard
    The “Orchard” at Hamad International Airport

    Surrounding the garden on the upper floor is a collection of some of the world’s best-known luxury boutiques, including Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Dior, and Thom Browne. Swing by the one-of-a-kind FIFA shop to embrace the World Cup spirit, or flex your credit card at Gucci, Tiffany, or Moncler.

    FIFA shop
    The FIFA shop next to the Orchard

    As an added bonus, as you shop you’ll earn Qatar Airways Privilege Club’s Avios points that can be redeemed for treats during your stopover in Doha. As you shop, points will be deposited in your account two hours before departure. How’s that for a seamless shopping experience?

    Hours 4.5 and 5: Get some exercise, get a massage or do both! 

    Book some pampering “me time” at Oryx’s Vitality Center. For 175 QAR ($48) per person, you can enjoy The Vitality Center for four hours. Take a dip in the 25-meter (82-feet) long glass-enclosed swimming pool or enjoy the squash courts, golf simulators, spas, hydrotherapy pools, and hot tubs. To really get into the vacation vibe, or just savor your last hours of vacation, order a poolside cocktail.

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    Launched in April 2023, The Garden, an extension of the Al Mourjan lounge, is a sprawling space that can accommodate 700 passengers. It’s home to a fitness studio and spa facilities, as well as 24 quiet rooms for napping. This is free to book for the first six hours. The dining options include hot and cold buffets, as well as a sushi bar, and coffee and pastry area.

    The entrance of the Dior Spa at the new Al Mourjan Business Lounge at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar
    The Dior Spa is located inside the new Al Mourjan Business Lounge

    Some say that laughter is the best medicine, but we think a massage comes in a close second. Another option is the “Be Relax” Spa with multiple locations in the airport. This international well-being and beauty service provider is open 24 hours. Treat yourself to a massage, manicure or pedicure, or all three if time permits. 

    “Be Relax” Spa
    One of the “Be Relax” Spas within the airport

    Hour 6: Go to the gate and get ready for your next flight!  

    As your layover comes to an end, make your way to the gate for your flight. Check the departure screens for any updates or changes, and ensure you have all your travel documents and essentials at hand, including water and snacks. With your renewed energy and spirits lifted, you’re now ready to embark on the next leg of your journey. 

    How To Spend Your Layover in a Lounge During Your 6-Hour Layover

    As an alternative to the ideas listed above, consider relaxing at one of Hamad International Airport’s luxury lounges. You may also be eligible for free access based on your travel class, credit card or frequent flier program. With a six-hour layover, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the lounge’s amenities, such as comfortable seating, complimentary food, showers, and high-speed Wi-Fi. 

    How to get lounge access

    First class or business class passengers should have access to some of these lounges. Certain premium credit cards, such as the American Express Platinum card, and frequent flier loyalty programs also offer access to airport lounges; be sure to check this before your trip. You can also purchase passes for Oryx Lounge and Al Mourjan Lounge. 

    A quick guide to the layover lounges at Doha Airport 

    Here’s a look at the lounges you can enjoy during a six-hour layover without leaving the airport. 

    Al Mourjan Lounge 

    • Premium business-class lounge for Qatar Airways passengers
    • Excludes “Business Lite” fare passengers unless top-tier elite status with a Oneworld airline
    • Economy class and Business Lite passengers can purchase access (about USD 100)

    As the flagship of Qatar Airways’ lounge network, Al Mourjan Lounge offers an exclusive experience for its business-class passengers. The 100,000 square-foot space was recently expanded to include plant-filled The Garden, and features multiple seating, dining, and working areas.

    Al Mourjan Lounge
    The Al Mourjan Business Lounge

    There are two main dining areas (a casual deli-style café and an a la carte restaurant), a salad bar, a sushi station, top-shelf beverages, and family-friendly amenities. The lounge also features a well-equipped business center, two nap areas with reclining chairs, a Formula 1 simulator, private shower rooms, and a dedicated smoking area.

    Foods at Al Mourjan Lounge
    Some of the food options at the Al Mourjan Business Lounge

    Oryx Lounge

    • Luxurious lounge for first and business class passengers of any airline
    • Accessible to all passengers for a fee (around 55 USD)

    Conveniently located in the heart of Hamad International Airport, the Oryx Lounge caters to airlines’ premium passengers and select cardholders, and all passengers who pay a $55 entrance fee.  You can store luggage in secure lockers, refresh with a shower, and recline in a quiet room. The lounge serves a range of hot and cold food at its buffet,  as well as alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks. Oryx Lounge also has a family area, work stations, quiet areas, and a dedicated smoking section.

    Al Safwa First Lounge

    Exclusive for Qatar Airways first-class passengers

    The Al Safwa First Lounge is reserved for Qatar Airways first-class passengers and delivers a luxurious layover experience. This beautifully designed, light-filled space is home to a grand water fountain and showcases Islamic fine art and artifacts on loan from the Museum of Islamic Art. You’ll be able to enjoy international and Arabic-influenced cuisine as well as spa services at QSpa, available for an additional cost. The lounge features private areas, and a variety of entertainment options, as well as a fully-equipped business center and nap rooms for relaxation. A duty-free store is located within the lounge.

    Al Maha Lounge

    Accessible to Priority Pass, Diners Club, and Lounge Key members, as well as those who book in advance

    Al Maha Lounge is open to passengers with Priority Pass, Diners Club, and Lounge Key memberships, as well as those who book in advance. This sleek, spacious lounge offers a comfortable environment for both relaxing and working. Al Maha Lounge has complimentary buffet dining and beverages. Additional amenities include a business lounge, magazines and newspapers, and shower facilities.

    Platinum, Gold, and Silver Lounges

    Open to Privilege Club loyalty members and equivalent OneWorld status members

    Launched in 2022, Qatar Airways’ Platinum, Gold, and Silver Lounges cater to Privilege Club loyalty members and passengers with equivalent OneWorld status. These lounges provide a range of services tailored to specific membership levels. Platinum Lounge offers seating for 140 guests, a bar, restaurant, showers, quiet area, and a prayer room. Gold Lounge features seating for 85, a bar, dining area, buffet, and showers. Silver Lounge can accommodate 195 passengers and offers buffet dining, meeting rooms, a family area, and baggage storage facilities. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do I have time to explore Doha airport on a 6-hour layover? 

    Absolutely! With a six-hour layover, you can comfortably walk around the airport, enjoy a bite to eat, and still have time to relax before your next flight with a spa treatment, massage, or even a swim.

    Where can I sleep at Doha Airport? 

    Several lounges offer sleeping facilities at Hamad Airport but if you want to sleep for free, Hamad International Airport got you covered. The state-of-the-art airport offers dedicated quiet areas for passengers to rest, read, or take a nap. To find one, simply follow the signs, ask at an information desk, or consult the airport map. Another lesson-known option is to head to The Orchard, in the north node of the airport. Within that lush oasis, you’ll find several wooden tents (or tipis if you prefer), where you can enjoy some well-deserved shut-eye.

    Wooden nap tents inside The Orchard, the green oasis inside Doha’s Hamad International Airport in Qatar
    Take a nap or sleep for free inside these wooden tents inside The Orchard

    Now let’s talk about the lounges. The Al Mourjan Business Lounge features two nap areas with reclining chairs and blankets. Another option is the Al Mourjan Business Lounge’s “The Garden” area, with 24 single or double-occupancy relaxation suites. The Garden is only available for Qatar Airways Premium Passengers but you can purchase a pass for the Al Mourjan Business Lounge.  Remember, beauty sleep is essential, even during a layover!

    New Al Mourjan Lounge with Garden view
    The Garden view at the new Al Mourjan Business Lounge

    For those with an eight hour layover or longer,  consider booking a room at the Oryx Airport Hotel, which is conveniently located within the terminal, just a few steps away from the departure gates. The hotel offers a variety of room types from standard to deluxe, and you can book a room for as little as a few hours or an overnight stay if your layover permits. 

    If you have a layover of 10 hours or more, consider venturing into the city and booking a room at one of Doha’s many hotels. Doha offers a range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly to luxury hotels. Just remember to factor in travel time to and from the airport as well as passing through security, as well as any visa requirements for entering Qatar, if applicable.

    Do I need a visa for my 6-hour layover at Doha airport? 

    If you plan to stay within the airport during your layover, no visa is necessary. However, if you’re thinking about heading out to explore the city of Doha, most nationalities are eligible for a visa-free entry or can obtain a visa on arrival. It’s always wise to check visa requirements beforehand – because nobody wants a surprise party with immigration officers.

    Can children travel trough Doha airport alone? 

    Yes, children can travel through Doha airport alone, but check with your airline for requirements. The airport has an Unaccompanied Minors Lounge that is tailored for children traveling alone. The lounge is a secure environment that only permits authorized adult staff inside. Children have access to TVs, video games, play areas, puzzles, and toys. The lounge offers a selection of refreshments including snacks and beverages, as well as amenities such as child-friendly washrooms and comfortable seating. 

    I have 6 hours between my flights. Can I leave the airport? 

    A six-hour layover might be too tight to comfortably leave Doha airport. If you’d like to explore Doha during a layover, consider choosing connecting flights with at least an eight-hour layover. A longer layover will provide sufficient time to visit key attractions such as Souq Waqif, the Museum of Islamic Art, and the Corniche, assuming this is not an overnight layover. To maximize your time, consider booking a transit tour for a seamless and enjoyable experience.

    Dhow boats along the Corniche in Doha
    Traditional boats along the Corniche in Doha

    2 thoughts on “Things to Do on a 6-Hour Layover in Doha Airport

    1. Thanks for the information. I have a 9.5 hour layover in Doha but it’s during the night time. Is it safe to leave the airport on night time tours? If so, what do you recommend to do between 11:15pm and 8:45am?
      (Arrive DOH 11:15pm Depart DOH @ 8:45am)

      1. Thank you for reaching out, Sheila! Absolutely, Doha is a very safe city, but it’s always wise to use common sense, just like anywhere else. Given your arrival time, you might find that you’re somewhat limited in fully experiencing all that Doha has to offer. By the time you reach the City Center, keep in mind that while there are bars and restaurants that stay open until 1 or 2 AM, especially on weekends, most of the popular spots in Souq Waqif will likely be closed after midnight. However, you can still enjoy a scenic ride along the beautiful Corniche to catch a glimpse of the city’s stunning, futuristic skyline. Safe travels and enjoy your time in Doha!

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