Date: October 15, 2016
In our annual survey, we asked travellers to rate airports in the Middle East based on their overall airport experience. They ranked their experiences on these factors:
- Comfort (Rest Zones & Gate Seating)
- Services, Facilities & Things to do
- Food Options
- Customer Service
You likely won’t be terribly surprised by the airports ranked Best in the Middle East. Fan favourites like Dubai and Doha have secured their spaces with lavish amenities, decadent shopping, and a few unique twists. Others, like Tel Aviv, have put ample work into safety and efficiency, keeping weary travellers calm and happy. Overall, the terminals here have figured out how to provide a layover experience that is comfortable, safe and pleasantly memorable!
Here are the Top 5 Best Airports in the Middle East based on overall airport experience, as determined by voters in our 2016 Airport Survey.
1. Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates (DXB)
I liked how there was so much to do now terminal 3 super clean great boarding process but they need free wifi for the WHOLE TIME! Anyways it’s a great airport hope to stop here again. – survey respondent
Year after year, Dubai International Airport snags the title of best airport in the Middle East. The terminals tend to astonish travellers with a mind-boggling array of indulgent amenities, sensational shopping, and excellent customer service. While these amenities – including the Wi-Fi – do come at a price that often discourages the budget-conscious, it’s difficult not to be a little dazzled by twinkling pillars and spotless floors that separate pools, gardens, rest zones and spas. That all said, there are still a number of voters who leave DXB disillusioned. Terminals 1 and 2 cater more to budget travellers and thus forego much pizzaz, and many feel the air conditioning is taken to an extreme level. Love it or hate it, Dubai pulls in a lot of love and remains the best in the region! ( Photo via Dubai Airports / Instagram )
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.
See also: Best Airports for Layovers
2. Doha Hamad International Airport, Qatar (DOH)
The facilities are great and it is suuuper clean and organized. – survey respondent
Consistently hot on Dubai’s heels is Doha Hamad International Airport in nearby Qatar. This spacious, clean and modern terminal woos voters with free Wi-Fi, plenty of quiet rooms, playgrounds, a spa (with a jacuzzi!), squash courts and a swimming pool. However like Dubai, Doha has its fair share of controversies. Voters were often frustrated by immigration queues and the availability of the lack of diverse food options. However, we suspect the ample seating, sleeping rooms and “over-the-top” lounges override these frustrations, leaving DOH as the region’s second best airport. ( Photo via jen_versh / Instagram )
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.
See also: Best Airports for Layovers
3. Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel (TLV)
The room where the suitcases were recovered, with columns that go to heaven, it’s just huge and magnificent. – survey respondent
Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport wins big points for how safe it makes travellers feel. Voters generally remarked on how efficient security processes were, and how safe they felt throughout the terminals. This happens to be quite the shift from last year when people loved the terminal, but resented the long lines! Other favourite features in the terminal include the high quality duty free options, prayer rooms for multiple religions, and excellent mother & baby room, all of which are housed in a bright and airy space. Food may be a bit expensive and sleeping options may be limited, but overall TLV is coming out on top!
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Luggage Storage ($). For more information, visit our Tel Aviv Airport Guide.
4. Amman Queen Alia International Airport, Jordan (AMM)
It’s clean, the staff is very friendly (except at immigration) and there is large a variety of shops and restaurants. – survey respondent
Queen Alia International Airport’s vaulted ceilings and multi-story windows continue to delight travellers in Amman. Friendly staff, smooth processes and a well organized terminal keeps the navigation part of a layover easy. Couple that with the variety of good 24-hour food options (including a supermarket!), a few pay-per-use lounges and a new transit hotel, and you’ve got a decent place for a layover. While there may be a few hiccups with the friendliness of immigration officers – and really, where is that not the case – AMM is establishing itself as a regional favourite year after year. ( Photo courtesy of markrenfroe / Instagram )
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Quiet Rooms • Showers ($) • 24 Hour Food Options ($). For more information, visit our Amman Airport Guide.
5. Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport, Lebanon (BEY)
The airport is very clean, facilities are very good but prices are high. – survey respondent
Once again, Beirut’s International Airport was voted onto our Best Airports in the Middle East list with a touch of debate. Travellers generally found the facilities themselves to be quite clean, but they were all the while put off by staff who they felt were rude and unhelpful. The facilities are generally a bit limited, and what is available is steeply priced. However, if you put in some effort, you can probably find a quiet corner where you can catch a nap and enjoy the 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi.
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi (30 minutes) • Showers ($). For more information, visit our Beirut Airport Guide.
Top 10 Best Airports in the Middle East
- Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates (DXB)
- Doha Hamad International Airport, Qatar (DOH)
- Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel (TLV)
- Amman Queen Alia International Airport, Jordan (AMM)
- Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport, Lebanon (BEY)
- Erbil International Airport, Iraq (EBL)
- Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz Airport (Medina), Saudi Arabia (MED)
- Muscat International Airport, Oman (MCT)
- Bahrain International Airport, Bahrain (BAH)
- Abu Dhabi International Airport, United Arab Emirates (AUH)