Qatar Airways Expands Post Blockade Network To Include The UAE

Following the easing of tensions in the Middle East after a blockade of more than three years, Qatar Airways is loading in more routes around its neighboring countries. From January 27th, the airline will return to Dubai, and a day later to Abu Dhabi in the UAE.

Qatar A320
Qatar will be deploying its A320 on routes to the UAE from next week. Photo: Qatar Airways

Qatar returns to Dubai

As the post-blockade aviation industry continues to flourish, Qatar Airways is adding another new destination to its list. From January 27th, the Doha airline will resume service to Dubai in the UAE, following three and a half years of absence.

The outbound flight to the home of Middle East giant Emirates will depart Hamad International at 19:00 local time. It will touch down in Dubai at 21:10 local time, giving it a flight time of just one hour and 10 minutes.

Flying under service number QR1810, the service is bookable from QAR 375 ($103) and looks set to be a double daily service. From January 28th, the second service is loaded on Qatar’s booking engine to take place at the less civilized time of 01:00 in the morning as QR1002.

Returning as QR1019, the inaugural service will depart Dubai at 22:40, arriving in Doha at 22:50 local time. The redeye service begins on the 28th also, as QR1003, leaving Dubai at 06:00 and landing in Doha at 06:10 local time. Return flights start from QAR 430 ($118).

Abu Dhabi a day later

Following Qatar’s re-entrance into Dubai as its first UAE destination, it will add its second route just one day later. From the 28th of January, Qatar will fly to Abu Dhabi from Doha with a daily service.

The inaugural flight will depart Doha at 19:50 on Thursday evening, arriving in Abu Dhabi at 21:55 local time. Operating as flight QR1054, economy is available from QAR 375 ($103). The flight returns as QR1055, departing AUH at 23:25 and arriving in DOH at 23:35 local time.

From Friday, January 29th, Qatar will add a second service. QR1040 will depart Doha at 02:15, arriving in Abu Dhabi at 04:20. That flight will return as QR1041, leaving Abu Dhabi at 05:50 the next morning. It will touch down in Doha at 06:00, and all return tickets are priced at QAR 430 ($118).

The Abu Dhabi service appears, for now, to be a single daily, with departures alternating between the evening and early morning schedule. Of course, all this is subject to change, so do check with Qatar’s booking engine if you plan to travel.

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Just an A320 this time

Qatar is well known for laying on its favorite airplane for important new routes – the A350. When it relaunched flights to Saudi Arabia, the airline flew in its flagship A350-1000 for its inaugural route. It issued the same aircraft for its first landing on the runway of the new Brandenburg Airport last year. Going forward, the Saudi Arabia route will be flown by the 777, and Berlin is expected to see a Dreamliner service.

Qatar A320
The A320 will be a perfectly comfortable means of making the one hour 10 minute journey. Photo: Qatar Airways

However, Qatar is not planning to send a widebody for these short routes to the UAE, not even for the first flights. According to its booking engine, it will be using an A320 from the outset, likely a marker of the potentially low traffic in the initial stages.

Nevertheless, it’s great to see Qatar returning to the UAE after such a long time. It will be a welcome service for those previously forced to take flights of eight hours or more to connect between the two countries.