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Health & Safety

HIA Partners with Shafallah Centre to Serve Passengers with Special Needs

HIA and Shafallah Centre MOU

Hamad International Airport (HIA) has entered into a partnership with Shafallah Centre, one of  the affiliated centres under Qatar Foundation for Social Work (QFSW), to provide additional services to passengers with special needs, particularly on passengers with autism. The two parties formalised their partnership recently, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.

As part of the MOU, HIA will soon add a special handling lounge in the terminal for passengers with special needs, including autistic passengers. Shafallah Center will be overseeing the setup of the lounge to ensure the comfort and convenience of the special passengers.

The lounge will feature certain aspects of a sensory room, a especially-designed space used for therapy of children with limited communication skills. These features include electronic carpets, which will allow children to play games and activities. Shafallah Centre will also provide a specialised training for the ground staff at HIA on how to provide special care and assistance to passengers with special needs, including those with autism.

QFSW and Shafallah Centre CEO Amal Al Mannai expressed her thanks to officials and employees of HIA for their continuous efforts to  participate in the sustainable development of Qatari society. Shafallah Centre for Persons with Disabilities was established in 1999 to provide exemplary educational and rehabilitative services to persons with mental disability and autism under 21 years old.

Special Facilities at HIA

HIA offers barrier free access and dedicated facilities to make travelling more comfortable for passengers who require special assistance. HIA’s network of elevators, escalators, ramps, walkways and passenger train offer simple access to Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRM). Airport ground personnel are trained on the basics of handling and assisting customers with special needs.

The airport terminal is equipped with various conveyance equipment to assist with either vertical or horizontal circulation. All conveyance equipment for the purpose of assisting passengers with reduced mobility have smooth and level thresholds with controls, where required, mounted within easy reach. Special handling lounges are also available in the terminal for the comfort of passengers who require special assistance. All special handling lounges offer comfortable seating and trained attendants.

For updates and more information about the services of HIA for people with special needs, visit

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