Hamad International Airport
Zaid Haque is helping others go places.
The 2012 Carnegie Mellon University graduate has an active role in Qatar’s growth as lead desktop publisher for the Doha International Airport Authority, which will be operating Hamad International Airport, a multibillion dollar project that will serve 50 million passengers a year.
Haque’s responsibilities for the authority are broad. His largest project involves designing a flight information display system capable of servicing a multilingual passenger base for the new facility. He’s also improving the map-based navigation system for the existing airport.
“I feel I'm a part of helping to build this country from the ground up, and it brings about a great sense of achievement to be a part of something that big,” Haque said.
Born in the United States to an Indian father and a Pakistani mother, Haque was raised in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates. The exciting growth in Qatar drew him to Education City and CMU’s Doha campus, where he combined his interest in technology and desire for a humanities degree with CMU’s Information Systems program.
Thanks to his coursework, he discovered another passion — design.
“I enjoyed the simple concept of joining lines and shapes to communicate the idea of something much bigger, to form experiences,” Haque said. “My professor advised me on how to join my interests in technology and design into Human Computer Interaction (HCI), sparking my passion for user experience/user interface design.”
Haque completed a minor in communication design during a semester in Pittsburgh.
“Professionally, this was probably the most significant move I made,” he said. “A course in the HCI Institute changed the way I think about things. Working with a wonderful professor and the graduate students helped a great deal in shaping me and there are elements of their work in mine now.”
In CMU entrepreneurial spirit, he’s also has a freelance design business, offering graphic, interaction and interface design services and professional development workshops. He recently completed working on User Experience for a mobile app project for Doha News.
Haque credits CMU with preparing him and has remained connected through CMU-Qatar’s alumni chapter.
“CMU taught me a lot and much of it was outside the classroom, thanks to the environment, the people and the culture,” he said. “The active and vibrant community — both CMU and Education City — helped me gain valuable experience through all sorts of activities, from organizing conferences to hosting a radio talk show.
“I think the most important thing about education at a top-tier university is that I learned how to learn and that’s something that will stay with me for a very long time.”