The Most Upscale Airports in the World Feature Pools, Exhibitions and Fine Dining

best airports in the world dubai

For many, the thought of ‘airports’ is associated with stress, lack of sleep and confusion. But airports around the world have been working to change that association. They’ve added fun features and updated their décor to help travellers feel more relaxed so they can enjoy their time inside.

Now, a new list shares the airports that have done this best. UK-based company AllClear Travel Insurance analysed over 1,800 airports to determine a ranking of the world’s best airports.

Airports were scored on how many designer shops they have, how many 4- and 5-star hotels are nearby and how many lounges are available to passengers. The number of gourmet dining and drinking options inside the airport was also considered.

best airports in the world dubai
Image: Dubai International Airport, Getty Images

Dubai International Airport came out on top, scoring 83 out of 100. The airport in the United Arab Emirates sees 90 million passengers transit through it annually. This was followed by the UK’s Heathrow Airport, located in London, with a score of 82 out of 100. Next was Doha International Airport in Qatar with 73 out of 100.

The top 20 airports included Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, Singapore Changi Airport and Hong Kong International Airport. Sydney International Airport ranked fifth on the list, with a star of 61 out of 100.

best airports in the world Changi Airport
Image: Changi Airport, Shutterstock

The company released an overview of five airports on the list. It said that as Dubai is known as a destination for luxury and wealth, it’s not surprising the airport came in first. Its number of 4- and 5-star hotels within a 5km radius of the airport, though, clinched its win. It has a whopping 70 luxury hotels nearby.

“The airport is the fastest-growing aviation hub in the world, and it even has its own 5-star hotel located inside the airport itself,” it wrote. “With zen gardens, an outdoor swimming pool, a gym, cinemas and a bounty of restaurants – this is one airport that will certainly leave you feeling refreshed ahead of jumping on your flight.”

Sydney Airport SYD X

Sydney International Airport, it said, is the first Oceanic airport in the ranking. It received top marks for its luxury brands across its terminals, which include Cartier, Rolex and Armani.

“This luxury airport is the world’s oldest continually operating commercial international airport and impresses passengers with a runway that extends into Botany Bay — with runway lights positioned on the water making landings here incredibly picturesque,” it writes.

Heathrow, one of London’s four airports and easily one of Europe’s busiest, scored high for its number of lounges and luxury shopping brand options. Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, which handles 70 million passengers annually, is one of the most renowned airports worldwide, it said. U2 filmed its music video for ‘Beautiful Day’ at the airport.

The full list of the best airports in the world is below.

Rank Airport Country Total luxury score/100
1 Dubai International Airport United Arab Emirates 83
2 London Heathrow Airport United Kingdom 82
3 Hamad International Airport Qatar 73
4 Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport France 66
=5 Sydney International Airport Australia 61
=5 Singapore Changi Airport Singapore 61
7 Suvarnabhumi International
Thailand 55
=8 Hong Kong International Airport Chine 52
=8 Frankfurt Airport Germany 52
10 Narita International Airport Japan 49
11 New York John F. Kennedy International Airport USA 48
=12 Incheon International Airport South Korea 45
=12 Munich Airport Germany 45
14 Zurich Airport Switzerland 44
15 Tokyo Haneda International Airport Japan 42

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