Hamad International Airport (HIA) has entered into a partnership with Shafallah Center – one of Qatar Foundation for Social Work’s (QFSW) affiliated centers – to provide additional services to passengers with special needs, with a focus on those with autism.
As part of the memorandum of understanding (MoU), HIA will add a special handling lounge in the terminal for passengers with special needs and the Shafallah Center will oversee the set up of the lounge to ensure the comfort and convenience of the passengers.
The lounge will feature certain aspects of a sensory room – a specially designed space used for therapy for children with limited communication skills, including electronic carpets – which allow children to play games and activities.
Shafallah Center will also provide specialized training for ground handling staff at HIA on how to provide special care and assistance to passengers with special needs, including those with autism.
Badr Mohammed Al Meer, chief operating officer at Hamad International Airport, said, “At HIA, we are continuously looking for ways to improve the travel experience for our passengers with special needs. It is a priority for us that all our customers have the same level of satisfaction when it comes to experiencing HIA’s services and facilities.
“We are grateful and happy to have the expertise of the specialists at Shafallah to guide us through our process of making HIA a special needs-friendly airport.”
Amal Abdullatif Al Mannai, CEO of Qatar Foundation Social Work and acting CEO at Shafallah Center, commented, “The signing of this important MoU marks HIA and Shafallah Center’s keenness on providing the best services and experience to the community we serve.
“With joint effort and working with the best international practices, we are providing HIA passengers with a very unique and dedicated lounge to persons with intellectual disabilities and autism.”
Dedicated handling lounges are available in the terminal for passengers who require special assistance. All special handling lounges offer comfortable seating and trained attendants.