Best Airports in the Middle East 2017

Date: October 15, 2017

best airports in the middle eastIn our annual survey, we asked travellers to rate airports in the Middle East based on their overall airport experience. They ranked their experience based on:

  • Comfort (Gate seating & availability of rest zones)
  • Services, facilities & things to do
  • Food options
  • Immigration/Security
  • Customer service
  • Cleanliness
  • Navigation and ease of transit
  • Sleepability

This year we’re starting to see some shuffling in what travellers deem the Best Airports in the Middle East. Though fan favourites like Dubai and Doha continue to show up on this list, smaller and simpler airports like Amman and Medina are definitely gaining on these mega-airports in terms of traveller satisfaction. It seems that after a few years of being amazed by opulence, travellers are beginning to prefer airports that offer the basics at affordable prices, in clean and friendly environments. We are interested to see if practicality continues to outweigh the wow factor in years to come.

1. Doha Hamad International Airport, Qatar (DOH)

airport

The airport is very clean and orderly. There are a lot of places where you could sleep in peace. Wifi connection is excellent and free. - survey respondent

Long held in high regard as one of the Best Airports in the Middle East, Doha Hamad Airport took the top spot in our survey this year, supplanting Dubai International which held the honour for years. This spacious airport operates 24-hours a day, so no matter what time you arrive or depart, the lounges, shops, and restaurants are available. Travellers appreciated the quiet rooms for providing a peaceful space and relaxing reclining chairs. Still, other travelers expressed some frustrations with the airport's inability to cater to those with long layovers. Beyond gazing at a giant teddy bear, a few travellers didn't know what to do with themselves. Limited seating, especially armrest-free seats, cold temperatures, shaky Wi-Fi, and long terminal distances could all use improvement if the airport it to hold onto its newfound title. (Photo courtesy of snapsofxiao / Instagram)

See also:Best Airports for a LayoverMost Sleep-Friendly Airports

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounge ($) • Free WiFi • Quiet Rooms • Transit Hotel ($) • Fitness Center with Swimming Pool, Gym, Squash Courts ($) • 24-Hour Food Options ($) • Luggage Storage ($) • Showers ($). For more information, visit our Doha Hamad Airport Guide.

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2. Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates (DXB)

airport

Dubai Airport Terminal 3 is my most favorite airport in the middle east. I use it whenever I am flying to anywhere. I like the facilities it offers, This airport feels like a huge shopping mall and you never get bored. - Survey Respondent

Year after year, Dubai International Airport delights travellers with its opulence and grandiosity. The airport's pools, gardens, and spas, particularly in Terminal 3, more closely resemble high-end shopping malls than major transit hubs. The impressive amenities at the airport come with a price tag that felt steep to many travellers. Others felt confused with the flow of the terminal, and mentioned queues to enter a few of the bathrooms. That said, the newly-introduced fast and free Wi-Fi was greatly appreciated. As always, when travelling to Dubai, keep in mind that Terminal 3 is where much of the grandiosity lies. Terminals 1 and 2 do a far better job at catering to budget travellers. (Photo courtesy of moiz.ismaili / Instagram)

See also: Best Airports for a LayoverMost Sleep-Friendly Airports

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi (60 minutes) • Free Rest Zones • Free Showers • Transit Hotel ($) • Sleep Pods ($) • 24 Hour Food Options ($) • Health Club with Swimming Pool, Jacuzzi & Gym ($) • Luggage Storage ($) • Gardens • Spa. For more information, visit our Dubai Airport Guide.

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3. Amman Queen Alia International Airport, Jordan (AMM)

airport

Recently the airport added some mobile chargers free for use, there are several ones provided by LG and can be used by everyone! - survey respondent

Amman’s international airport is praised for its ease of navigation, its efficient travel processes, and its pleasant customer service. The terminals are said to be well-organized, easy to navigate, and reliably clean. The availability of charging points elicits mixed reviews, with some travellers praising the new LG multi-device mobile charging points, while others find them to be few and far between. Some survey respondents struggled to find decent surfaces to lie down on - but others report some nicer couches near the Subway and Starbucks are sleep-able once the lights go out. All in all, Jordan’s main international airport is a pleasant enough spot for a layover in the Middle East. (Photo courtesy of yamwildfree / Instagram)

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Quiet Rooms • Showers ($) • 24 Hour Food Options ($). For more information, visit our Amman Airport Guide.

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4. Medina Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz Airport, Saudi Arabia (MED)

airport

Perhaps, the only airport in Middle East where you get to see smiling Immigration and Security staff. - survey respondent

Medina’s International Airport stands out on our list of Best Airports in the Middle East for its small size, simple design, and comfort factor. Amidst the intensity of some of the other mega-airports on this list, MED pares down to the essentials, offering clean bathrooms, a calm atmosphere, clean facilities, and pleasant staff. The airport also gets bonus points for being environmentally-conscious: the airport makes use of natural light and solar cells, and it offers preferred parking for low-emission vehicles. Medina airport's ascent onto this list proves there's something to doing small and simple well. (Photo courtesy of urko.martawardaya / Instagram)

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi (30 minutes) . For more information, visit our Medina Airport Guide.

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5. Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel (TLV)

Excellent facilities and no language barriers as most staff speak more than 3 international language - survey respondent

Travellers at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport appreciate the clean facilities, spacious design, and safe ambiance. Restaurants and shops are said to be relatively inexpensive for airport standards, which is always welcome. Security lines are a point of contention, with some travellers reporting extremely slow experiences, while others described them as fast and efficient. Our hunch is your experience may depend on the time of day - and how much of a rush you're in.

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Luggage Storage ($). For more information, visit our Tel Aviv Airport Guide.

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Top 10 Best Airports in the Middle East

  1. Doha Hamad International Airport, Qatar (DOH)
  2. Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates (DXB)
  3. Amman Queen Alia International Airport, Jordan (AMM)
  4. Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz Airport (Medina), Saudi Arabia (MED)
  5. Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel (TLV)
  6. Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport, Lebanon (BEY)
  7. Bahrain International Airport, Bahrain (BAH)
  8. Muscat International Airport, Oman (MCT)
  9. Abu Dhabi International Airport, United Arab Emirates (AUH)
  10. Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport, Iran (IKA)

 

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