Passengers travelling through Qatar can buy arty souvenirs at a new store Image Credit: Supplied

Qatar Airways is our little guilty travel secret when flying out of Dubai for long weekends, so we're delighted that the Doha stopover just got a little more interesting. And just in time for Christmas!

Hamad International Airport plugs into a trend for cultural offerings at airports, with a new store and café, In-Q by Qatar Museums (QM), in its duty free area. Amsterdam's Schiphol hosts an ever-changing presentation of themed exhibitions of classic artworks, including shows of Vincent Van Gogh's work and one memorable exhibit of Dutch cows.

At New York's John F Kennedy International Airport, departing visitors are left in a contemplative mood by  artist Dimitar Lukanov's Outside Time installation, which he describes as an elated, optimistic goodbye. And to take a piece of New York away wiht them, visitors can stop off at the Metropolitan Museum of Art shop, for pieces of wearable art inspired by the museum's extensive collection.

The biggest thing about Doha, though, has until recently been a giant golden teddy bear, with his head stuck in a table lamp. (There's a metaphor there about the eternal artifice of our age, but it eludes us now). The bear, which is actually made of cast bronze, is by the New York-based Swiss artist Urs Fischer, and is just one of more than 28 artworks around the $21-billion airport. Other pieces include work by Tom Claassen, Ahmed Al Bahrani and Adel Abdessemed.

For something to take away, then, stop off at In-Q store and cafe. The Qatar Museums project offers an insight into the peninsula's diverse arts and culture with a wide selection of souvenirs, replicas, books, jewellery and apparel to take home as gifts and mementos. Most are inspired by Qatar Museums’ extensive, world-class collections, exhibitions, public art and heritage sites, says Phil Lawrie, Chief Commercial Officer at Qatar Museums.

So is Doha now the the Gulf's artiest airport? We're off conducting our own personal and very subjective evaluation - and we'll try to keep you posted!