Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha, Qatar, is already garnering plenty of recognition since opening in 2014. The sleek-and-stylish airport was named the fourth-best airport of 2019 according to SkyTrax, the industry litmus test. HIA was named 2019’s best airport servicing between 30-40 million passengers, the best airport in the Middle East, and boasts the best airport staff in the Middle East.
The airport is clean, quiet and luxurious; an oasis among the desert. So the giant yellow teddy bear situated in its heart sticks out even more so.
“Untitled (Lamp/Bear)” by Swiss artist Urs Fischer stands 23 feet tall in the middle of the grand foyer leading to the airport’s duty-free hall. Made out of cast bronze, the bear weighs between 18 and 20 tons.
The piece previously resided in front of the Seagram Building on New York City’s Park Avenue. It was auctioned off at Christie’s New York for just over $6.8 million in 2013.
“What makes HIA special is our innovative exhibition space,” Badr Mohammed Al Meer, the airport’s chief operating officer, told CNN Travel. “We like to say that our airport is the gateway to arts and culture.”
The airport has more than 20 permanent art installations, “Untitled (Lamp/Bear)” included. The piece ursine artwork is the largest of three editions (the other two are privately owned, though one is accessible on a university campus.
Know Before You Go
"Untitled Lamp Bear" is located at the South Node of the terminal, just after departures security and passport control.