Hamad International Airport (HIA) was ranked second in the ‘Top 10 international airports’ in the ‘Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2017’ readers’ survey.
The magazine’s ‘World’s Best’ awards recognise the greatest airports, islands, cities, hotels, and cruise lines as voted by its 4.8mn readers and has been on-going annually for 22 years. HIA comes a close second to winner, Singapore’s Changi Airport.
With the runner-up position, HIA takes the lead in the global race of best international airports, along with South Korea’s Incheon International, Hong Kong International, Zurich Airport Switzerland and Haneda, Tokyo International Airport.
Competing airports were ranked according to their ease of access, security, variety of food and beverages options, shopping experience and design.
HIA ranked very high on all criteria and scooped 2nd place based on its unique vitality well-being and fitness centre as well as its world-class sculptural art curated in partnership with Qatar Museums.
Young and ambitious airport
On the ranking, Hamad International Airport chief operating officer Badr Mohamed al-Meer said, “HIA is a young and ambitious airport. We are extremely proud of what we have achieved in a short period of time with a dedicated team and supportive partners.
“We value our passengers’ trust and recognition of our continuous effort to provide them with the best travel experience and our endeavour to remain among the leading airports in the world. The votes we received from the Travel+Leisure magazine’s readers are a testament to HIA’s commitment to providing five-star services.”
HIA is investing in new technologies in order to deliver on its ‘Smart Airport’ vision. Looking ahead, HIA said “it will soon start trials to evaluate the effectiveness of robots for passenger facilitation; block-chain technology for rapid and secure sharing of data across stakeholders; and the potential use of augmented and virtual reality for operational concepts.”
High priority for arts and culture
Arts and culture are a high priority for the airport and one of the “most appreciated feature” by passengers, as demonstrated by the readers’ survey.
The airport houses work by international artists such as Dia Azzawi, Ahmed al-Bahrani, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Tom Otterness, Anselm Reyle and Bill Viola.
HIA, in partnership with Qatar Museums, is planning to unveil additional art pieces in the coming months.
HIA is striving to offer passengers a “seamless, hassle-free” journey with five-star services. With “cutting-edge” technology, a strong cultural programme combined with the best hospitality and retail offering, HIA is turning into an innovative and immersive visual and sensorial experience, positioning the airport as a ‘destination on its own’.
HIA has been recently classified as a five-star airport by Skytrax, making it one among only five other airports in the world to achieve this prestigious status. Earlier this year, it was ranked Sixth Best Airport in the World by the 2017 Skytrax World Airport Awards, moving up four places from 2016.
HIA has also won the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ title for three years in a row and ‘Best Staff Service in the Middle East’ for two years in a row.