Business Traveller (India)

PORTS OF FUTURE

Featuring world-class F&B, spas, hotels and entertainm­ent venues, global airports are more than just transit hubs

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While travelling internatio­nal still seems like an elusive choice for many, internatio­nal airports have been working tirelessly to upgrade and update their products and services. From hotels, spas to full- edged entertainm­ent venues, airports have transforme­d to more than just ports of transit. Here are some of the USPs of airports around the world; and what you should look out for on your next trip to these hubs.

e uad at Kempegowda Internatio­nal Airport Bengaluru is the hub for all things lifestyle and entertainm­ent. You would almost forget you are in an airport on your trip to e uad, which is divided into four zones — Runway, Fire & Ice, Bric-A-Brac and Arena. Runway is its exclusive shopping destinatio­n which features a host of retail stores spanning clothing, accessorie­s, footwear and a variety of everyday products. For gastronomi­c indulgence, head to Fire & Ice that houses restaurant­s and bars serving a range of cuisines and cra beer, the latter concept being signature to Bengaluru. For street-style shopping in a ea market type setting, spend some time strolling through the stores at Bric-A-Brac. e nal zone, Arena, is the hub for live entertainm­ent. e platform features ve large LED screenings for sports screenings; and musical and theatrical performanc­es. bengalurua­irport.com

e home of Qatar Airways, Hamad Internatio­nal Airport is known for its operationa­l excellence and transit services. However, many aren’t aware of its eminence in terms of design. A stopover at Doha airport for the art and architectu­re connoisseu­r is nothing less than a trip to a museum. e exterior design of the Emiri Terminal resembles the curvature of sails and sailboats — elements that are native to Qatar. e airport itself features a curved external design that’s evocative of ocean waves and sand dunes. One of the main features of the airport the canary-yellow “lamp bear” (pictured) iconically sits inside a lamp, reminding travellers of happy childhood memories of their bygone trips. is symbolic bronze piece of art is created by Swiss artist Urs Fischer. e airport has installed unconventi­onal artworks around the space in partnershi­p with Qatari museums including the series of oryx sculptures by Tom Claassen (pictured). dohahamada­irport.com

ere’s no doubt about Dubai’s expertise in terms of F&B and the emirate extends this to its airport as well. Apart from its appealing duty-free, the airport’s restaurant­s and bars spoil you for choice during your stopover. e array of options ranges from well-known chains like Costa Co ee, Baskin Robbins, Shake Shack (pictured), HäagenDazs to internatio­nal bistros like Le Pain uotidien and Paul Bakery & Restaurant. ere’s no dearth of speciality cuisine restaurant­s here too; whether you’re in the mood for Indian, Mediterran­ean, Chinese or some good old steaks — Dubai airport houses it all. For authentic east Indian cuisine, head to Bombay Chowpati located in T2 - Main Terminal; for pan Asian delicacies spanning Japanese, ai and Indonesian avours, head to Cho Gao located at Gate A - Departures. Jack’s Bar & Grill located here as well captures the true spirit of Southern United States of America with its tantalisin­g steak o erings. dubaiairpo­rts.ae

While there are many reasons to choose Frankfurt Airport as your stopover destinatio­n, a key one is its extensive choice of airport hotels that guarantee comfort and luxury. Basic options in Terminal 1 include My Cloud Transit Hotel and Napcabs featuring compact snooze pods for that shut eye before your ight. Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel & Conference Center (pictured), only a few steps away from Terminal 1, is an ideal choice for a longer layover or for some quick meetings you may have before your transit. e hotel features 1,008 rooms and suites in four categories along with 60 meeting and event rooms that can accommodat­e up to 1,200 people. Located just 900 metres from the airport is Steigenber­ger Airport Hotel that has 550 rooms and 20 suites along with three restaurant­s and 40 conference venues. Some of the other options around the airport include Hilton Garden Inn Frankfurt Airport (pictured), Hyatt Place Frankfurt Airport and MEININGER Hotel. frankfurt-airport.com

Passengers regularly transiting through Hyderabad airport can avail of Club HDF loyalty programme. A multi-tiered loyalty programme by Hyderabad Duty Free, Club HDF o ers exclusive bene ts and privileges for its loyal customers. Membership tiers are divided into Silver, Gold and Platinum levels. As a member, each purchase translates into points earned that can be redeemed as dollars for any future purchase. Some bene ts include bonus points on tier upgrades and airport lounge access for internatio­nal and domestic Premium Plaza Lounge. Hyderabad Duty Free is known for its high quality brands and products that range from liquor, confection­ery, perfumes to travel essentials. Perfume brands include the likes of Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Roberto Cavalli and Bvlgari. Under liquor, HDF features a gamut of internatio­nal spirits brands such as Auchentosh­an, Donnafugat­a, Glen Deveron and Nederburg. e type of alcohol available includes blended whiskey, American whiskey, Irish whiskey, single malts, wine and champagne, and much more. hyderabadd­utyfree.com

A stopover at London Heathrow Airport entails sheer relaxation at its array of lounges and spas. is includes the Club Aspire lounge that’s situated in Lounge D, a er security. e lounge features a wide menu of compliment­ary food and drinks as well as business and rest rooms. Another great option is some time spent at the Plaza Premium Lounge (pictured) that can be found in Terminal 2 and Terminal 5 Departures. oughtfully designed, passengers can nd plenty of space to relax and unwind whilst enjoying exceptiona­l F&B. e UK’s national carrier — British Airways — also hosts plenty of lounges at the airport, including Concorde Room (accessible by Gold and Silver Executive Club Members), First, Business and Arrivals lounges. e airport also houses Be Relax Spa (pictured) that o ers a wide range of therapeuti­c treatments that are sure to relax you before your ight. From manicures, massages to foot relaxation therapies, the menu at Be Relax Spa is quite elaborate. heathrow.com

ose who have ever stopped over at Singapore Changi Airport are well aware of the various entertainm­ent and lifestyle options on o er here. e airport keeps on reinventin­g itself and adding on more feathers to its cap, making it one of the most ideal stopover destinatio­ns in the world. For a tryst with nature, spend some time at the Arrival Garden (pictured) at Terminal 1. is 460 sqm garden features a specially curated ora collection emanating a dragon y habitat. Located at Terminal 3 is a Butter y Garden (pictured) — a tropical butter y haven — a rst for any airport. Dance with over 1,000 tropical butter ies across 40 species while you feed the pretty insects at close range. For an immersion with Singaporea­n history, visit the Heritage Zone that’s inspired by Peranakan shophouses nestled around Singapore. Heritage-themed façades bringing out a sense of nostalgia invite you to a retail hub featuring high quality internatio­nal brands. changiairp­ort.com

It’s safe to say that the entire spectrum of the quintessen­tial airport transit has taken a 180-degree turn following the pandemic. To make the facilities seamless, there’s a multitude of technologi­es and operations that are utilised in order to ensure passengers’ safety and wellbeing. NEC, a Japanese multinatio­nal informatio­n technology and electronic­s company, is at the forefront of providing secure and e cient solutions for airports, airlines and even government­s around the world; thereby enhancing air travel.

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