The roof of Doha’s $15 billion new Hamad International Airport (HIA) has begun leaking, with rainwater pouring onto the concourses below.
Photos circulating on social media on Wednesday showed water gushing from the roof of the airport.
HIA sought to reassure passengers that all flights were running on time. It tweeted: “All flights at @HIAQatar are operating normally according to the original schedule. We will inform you with the updates.”
It added: “HIA has taken immediate action to ensure minimum inconvenience is caused to passengers and visitors due the heavy rains. Thank you.”
But members of the public took to Twitter to warn others of the incident. The Peninsula newspaper posted a video showing large pools of water on the floor of the airport and water flowing from the roof, with the description: “It's raining cats and dogs. Right inside Hamad Intl. Airport.”
One commentator tweeted: “Just wondering if you are providing rafts to carry passengers to docks? I mean gates ;).”
And another reported that there were “no rain or floods” at her favourite café at HIA.
Hamad International Airport (HIA) has been listed sixth in Conde Nast Traveller’s list of the 10 best airports in the world, and just this week it won the Best Airport award at the inaugural Future Travel Experience Asia Awards on Sunday.
The airport cost $15 billion to build and opened last year following a three-year delay. It missed a series of planned launch dates – in one instance because the project failed to comply with newly introduced safety requirements.
It further mired in additional controversy when Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker hit out at the main contractor, US firm Bechtel, in 2013 for being “complacent” in meeting regulations laid down by the airline and Qatar Civil Aviation Authority.
The previous year, the airline had threatened a $600 million lawsuit against German-Emirati joint-venture contractor Lindner Depa Interiors (LDI) for allegedly delaying HIA by up to a year.
Meanwhile, it emerged on Twitter on Wednesday morning that the main road to HIA was also flooded due to the heavy rains sweeping through Qatar.
Lifestyle website Qatar Living posted a picture of a waterlogged Doha Corniche underpass on Twitter and said: “If you are going to @HIAQatar, then we recommend that you DON'T take underpass from the Corniche - use other routes!”
However, a bystander later replied: It's ok now, they drained the tunnel @HIAQatar can be reached.”
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