Qatar loses ‘World’s Best Airport’ to Singapore, Turkey’s Istanbul climbs to 6

Most Gulf Cooperation Council city airports went up in rank from last year’s SKYTRAX’s World Airport Awards.

Salim A. Essaid

Changi Airport, Singapore

Singapore Changi Airport has reclaimed the top spot as the “World’s Best Airport” after two years of losing to Qatar’s Hamad International airport, according to a 2023 survey released this week. Istanbul International Airport (IST) ranked second in the region after Doha, while most Arab Gulf airports saw a rise in their ranking.

IST jumped up from eighth to sixth, according SKYTRAX’s World Airport Awards this year. Singapore Changi climbed two spots from last year to take the crown, while Doha’s Hamad International Airport is now in second place. The report did not elaborate on the factors behind the Doha airport’s improved status.

The Singapore Changi Airport is the country’s main airport and one of Asia’s largest transport hubs. It is one of the world’s busiest airports, serving more than 68.3 million passengers in 2019, and connects to more than 300 cities.

Japan was the only country to hold two spots in the top 10 list, with Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and Narita International Airport in third and ninth, respectively.

European, Asian and Middle Eastern (primarily Gulf) airports dominated the first 30 positions, with the top American airport being Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in 18th place.

Most Gulf Cooperation Council city airports made the top 100, and most went up in ranking from 2022, except for Dubai International Airport and Doha’s Hamad International Airport.

Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, was voted the Best Airport in the World in the 2021 Skytrax World Airport Awards.

In special feature awards, Doha’s Hamad International Airport placed as the best and cleanest in the Middle East, along with the world’s best airport for shopping.

Bahrain International Airport earned a prize for best baggage delivery and staff in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia held the most positions on the best 100 airports list with Riyadh (27th), Dammam (44th) and Medina (52nd).

Here is how Middle East countries ranked on SKYTRAX’s World Airport Awards list in 2023, with their global ranking.

  1. Doha: Hamad International Airport (DOH) at second
  2. Istanbul: Istanbul International Airport (IST) at sixth
  3. Dubai: Dubai International Airport (DXB) at 17th
  4. Manama – Bahrain International Airport at 26th (BAH)
  5. Riyadh: King Khalid International Airport (RUH) at 27th
  6. Muscat: Muscat International Airport (MCT) at 42nd
  7. Dammam: King Fahad International Airport (KFIA) at 44th
  8. Medina: Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz International Airport (MED) at 52nd
  9. Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) at 87th

Kuwait’s International airport did not make it into the top 100.

Customer surveys were conducted over seven months from August 2022 to February of 2023, asking air travelers of more than 100 nationalities in English, Spanish and Chinese about their experiences in over 550 airports.

The 44 performance indicators in the survey ranged from the friendliness and language skills of airport staff to terminal comfort and ambiance, the quality of the airport website and Wi-Fi speed.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Coverpage’s editorial stance

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