Airport highlights for Doha, Mumbai, and Delhi?
September 2, 2015 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Help me entertain myself in a few airports. Over the next few months, I'll have mid-length (lets' say 3-6 hour) layovers in Doha, Qatar (DOH) and both BOM and DEL in India. Any particular highlights inside these airports? I'm looking for unusual things to do, interesting views of outside or airport-workings, particularly good people-watching, food? If my best option is to park myself with a book and a snack, where should I get the snack, and where should I sit?

I will be traveling solo with just a 45L backpack and perhaps a purse, if that matters. Also, since it nearly always matters, I'm female and white. And from the US.
posted by janell to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
At least as of September 2011, there is hardly anything to do to pass the time in the Doha airport. I would plan on entertaining yourself with a book, or video on a tablet/smartphone/computer, or similar. There are plenty of western people in Doha and, though you will certainly see Qataris dressed in traditional garb, you will likely not feel out of place or weird.
posted by hootenatty at 4:53 PM on September 2, 2015

My only experience of these is with Mumbai airport and it was back in 1988 so things might have changed a lot. But as an 11 year old girl I was horrified that they handed out squares of toilet paper and if I went back I'd bring my own supply. Also all the security people walking around with machine guns had me terrified beyond anything I'd experienced before. When we re-boarded the plane I started throwing up and I remember the flight attendants being all ???? to my mum since we were still on the ground but she explained that I'd been too freaked out to throw up in the airport toilets.

If I wasn't so scared, the people watching would have been interesting that's for sure.
posted by kitten magic at 4:53 PM on September 2, 2015

Best answer: Doha airport has transformed since they transitioned from the old site to the new world class operation. Previously there was almost nothing in the terminal, however Hamad International Airport, as it's now known, is full of shops, cafes and restaurants, and it's probably the best airport in the world to spend a few hours between flights. Here's the link. If you're lucky enough to get access to the Qatar Airways business lounge, its probably as large as the old airport itself.
posted by Fezzer at 10:25 PM on September 2, 2015

Best answer: At Delhi Airport there is a food court upstairs with some nice views of the planes. Along with the usual food court fare like McDonalds and KFC there is an Indian Joint that appears to be where all the actual workers eat. During shift break there can be a very long line to get food but the breakfast I got (point and smile method, what everyone else in line seemed to get) was cheap, filling and delicious.

I am also female, white and was backpacking. I was traveling with my sister and 6 year old daughter and we were perfectly comfortable at that Airport. Although the kid did opt for McDonalds breakfast.

Otherwise I found Delhi Airport to be pretty standard with shopping and whatnot. The smog in the arrivals hall was something to behold though.
posted by csmithrim at 7:31 AM on September 3, 2015

Best answer: My only experience of these is with Mumbai airport and it was back in 1988 so things might have changed a lot.
Things have indeed changed a lot since 1988, in fact, almost unimaginably so. I have only briefly transited through both airports but they're modern places -- here are the Wikipedia pages for Mumbai and Delhi respectively for more info.
posted by peacheater at 12:11 PM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone. To be clear, I'm looking more for value judgements (this is cool|cozy|lame) and/or information that's unlikely to be on the airport webpages.
posted by janell at 1:29 PM on September 3, 2015

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