During my current review trip, I was able to check out the new airport terminal inBahrain. The terminal opened in 2021, but was officially inaugurated in the year 2000.
I have never seen a hub terminal like this before. Gulf Air is a small airline, so the airport isn't as big as what you'd find in other countries. I will talk about some of the things that stood out to me after sharing some of the basics of the terminal.
After starting construction on its new airport terminal in 2016 it took five years to complete.
This is more than a new terminal, it is also a new airport. That is because the airport has completely transitioned from using the old terminal to using the new one. The new terminal is for passengers.
The new terminal is four times larger than the previous one. It is not close to being at capacity yet, but is designed to accommodate up to 14 million passengers annually. The airport is hoping to serve nine million passengers in the next five years.
The airport has 12 gates with direct access to the terminal, as well as some remote gates that are not used much right now.
The terminal at the airport is easy to understand. The ceiling has a wave-like pattern that I couldn't help but notice.
It feels like the airport is designed for transit passengers, but on a smaller scale than other airports in the Middle East. You take the escalator up to transit security after arriving flights. Premium passengers have their own transit security line.
There is a centralboulevard with a bunch of high end shops.
The center of the terminal is a circular area with a huge screen showing images of the country.
You can either go left or right after that. The gates are to either the left or right. You don't have to walk that far to get to where you want to go.
There are high ceilings in these terminalwings. Walkways are being moved to cut walking time further.
There were a number of things that impressed me, and one thing that didn't.
The center of the terminal has a large play area for kids on the lower level. The lower level is used for arrivals so this is in a glass enclosure.
I have never seen an airport bathroom that was so clean. The public restrooms were nicer than the ones in the air lounge.
There was something for everyone in the gate area. There were plenty of places for people to relax.
When designing the terminal, there was a lot of thought put into the passenger experience. There aren't many power outlets in the terminal. There aren't any central charging areas where you can plug in your phone at every seat. It seems like an oversight for an airport to have that.
What is the lounge at the airport? The Gulf Air Lounge is the first thing I will review. Since Gulf Air has the most capacity to the airport, that's the busiest lounge.
The contract lounge of other airlines is called the Pearl Lounge. The lounge isn't a priority pass. I have a hard time imagining a lounge filled with non-Gulf Air passengers at the airport.
There is an in-terminal hotel at this size. There are proper hotel rooms, sleeping Pods, a spa area, and more at the hotel. If you end up with a long layover, that is very convenient.
Priority Pass gives you access to the sleeping Pod and spa, so you can either get a massage or sleep in it. When I publish the trip report, I will review both of those experiences.
The duty free shopping and food and beverage outlets were not very impressive. This isn't that big of a transit hub.
There is a main walkway in the central part of the terminal.
I don't think we see much of a pharmacy at airports.
There is a souq that sells mostly local goods.
There was a Jamie Oliver restaurant in the central food court. More or less, that was it. Coffee shops weren't always open.
The new terminal at the airport was very nice. There is something to be said for the excellent passenger experience that can be found in Gulf hubs such asBahrain andMuscat.
It feels like a secondary airport in terms of size and approachability, even though it has all the amenities you would expect from a hub. Two lounges and an in-airport hotel are available at the airport. I would go through here again.
What did you think about the new terminal at the airport?