Qatar Surpasses Singapore For Best Airport In The World

Qatar’s Hamad International Airport has taken the top spot for best airport in the world, which has long been held by Singapore Changi. 

The lull time between one’s flights can make or break the quality of a trip. For some, getting from Point A to Point B might be the only thing that really matters. Yet for others, the journey is just as important as the destination. Singapore’s Changi Airport has captivated thousands of local and international flyers with its beautiful architecture and world-class facilities that allow visitors to relax, eat, shop, and even sightsee (with the world’s largest indoor waterfall) to their heart’s content. According to Alex Millson of Bloomberg, the airport has held the top spot in Skytrax’s prestigious World Airport Awards twelve times. However, this year’s edition of the awards now has a new top dog: Qatar’s Hamad International Airport. 

A bird's-eye view of the Hamad International Airport
A bird’s-eye view of the Hamad International Airport/Photo via Instagram @hiaqatar

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The two airports have held first and second spots in Skytrax’s awards for years, switching ranks every so often. It’s easy to see why: it’s no simple feat to pit one against the other. Both are paragons of excellence. It’s impressive, given how Hamad International Airport only opened in 2014 after replacing Doha International Airport as Qatar’s main aviation hub, reports Hannah Towey of Condé Nast Traveler. 

The facade of top airport in the world
The facade of top airport in the world/Photo via Instagram @hiaqatar

There are more than a few things that truly set the massive Hamad International Airport apart from the rest, but here are just some of its most attractive features: 

A Spacious Beauty

“Big” doesn’t begin to describe the size and space of Hamad International Airport. Its passenger terminal alone is the largest building in the country at 22 square kilometers, according to Qatar Airways

Outside the Hamad International Airport
Outside the Hamad International Airport/Photo via Instagram @hiaqatar

Nature isn’t very far, as the airport incorporates a 6,000 square-meter indoor “Orchard.” The space contains 300 trees and 25,000 plants as part of its sustainability commitment, writes Towey of Condé Nast Traveler. 

The airport’s interiors and exteriors are just as stunning, with sleek, modern designs by the architectural firm HOK. It embodies luxury with its curving forms, skylights, and glass walls, as well as visual motifs of water that represent Qatar’s hospitality, reports Pallavi Mehra for Architectural Digest India

Culture Hub

The Hamad International Airport also serves as a cultural hub in itself. It features public art installations by some of the world’s most prominent artists. Even before departing for their destination, guests can already immerse themselves in arts and culture without having to step outside. 

These include a towering sculpture (“Small Lie”) by popular American artist KAWS, an abstract sculpture (“The Nurseries of El Dorado”) by renowned British artist Marc Quinn, and a sculptural collection (“8 Oryxes”) from acclaimed Dutch artist Tom Claassen, reports Balasz Takac of Widewalls

Luxurious and Comprehensive Facilities 

Hamad International Airport is almost like a miniature city, with facilities that cater to nearly every need. Like any world-class airport, it provides guests with wonderful dining, shopping, and even wellness experiences while they wait for their next flight. 

Luxury brands abound within the airport, including Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Bvlgari, Fendi, Gucci, Dior, Hermes, and Jimmy Choo—among many others. Need some new tech for your trip? The airport also has Apple and Samsung stores for all gadget needs. 

Guests can also indulge in a wide variety of food options, from more fine dining to classic fast food favorites. There’s no shortage of cafés and tea spots either for those looking for a place to lounge in. These include a Fendi Caffe and Harrods’ famous Tea Room. 

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the airport continues to pull all the stops with a Louis Vuitton Lounge, hotel pool, and even a golf simulator, according to Qatar Airways

Inside the Louis Vuitton Lounge in Hamad International Airport
Inside the Louis Vuitton Lounge in Hamad International Airport/Photo from the Qatar Airways

With all the best that the world has to offer right at every visitor’s fingertips, it’s not surprising that the Hamad International Airport is on a league of its own. 

Notable Mentions

Asia is in the lead when it comes to top airports. Besides Singapore Changi, airports in South Korea and Japan also made it to the top five of Skytrax’s 2024 World Airport Awards. Namely Seoul’s Incheon International Airport (which ranks third in the world), and Tokyo’s Haneda and Narita airports (which rank fourth and fifth respectively). 

These are followed by the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, Dubai International Airport, Munich International Airport, Zurich Airport, and Istanbul Airport for the remaining six spots in the top ten. 

Banner photo via Instagram @hiaqatar.

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