Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport have been ranked among the world’s best airports this year at the 2016 World Airport Awards, held at Passenger Terminal Expo in Cologne, Germany on Wednesday (March 16).
Of the 100 airports ranked by The World Airport Awards of SkyTrax, Dubai Airport has been ranked at No. 26 while Abu Dhabi Airport is ranked at No. 38.
Dubai International Airport has seen major upgrades over the last two years, and the airport has improved its ranking from No. 39 in the previous year’s rankings to No. 26 this year. The Abu Dhabi Airport was ranked at No. 29 last year.
The title was awarded by SkyTrax, a global airline review and rating agency. The company collects millions of votes through passenger surveys around the world each year to rank the best airports around the globe.
Singapore’s Changi Airport was named as the World's Best Airport by air travellers for the fourth consecutive year.
Doha’s Hamad International Airport made its debut in the top 10 this year, featuring at No. 10, up from No. 22 last year.
The other GCC airports in the list are Bahrain International Airport, which is ranked at No. 47, while Muscat International Airport is ranked at No. 94.
DXB: Buzzing, biggest, best
In February 2016, Dubai International, the world’s No. 1 hub for international passenger traffic, increased its capacity from 75 million to 90 million with the opening of Concourse D, the result of a $1.2 billion investment to enhance service and boost capacity for the more than 70 international airlines that now call it home.
“We continue to invest in the development of top-flight infrastructure to augment service levels for our international airlines and their customers while providing the capacity needed to meet growing demand,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports; President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority; Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group, had said when Concourse D opened on February 24, 2016.
"Concourse D has been designed with the customer at its heart. Shorter walking distances, more comfortable seating areas, more choice in lounges and a world-class retail and F&B offering are sure to impress and delight our passengers and our airline partners."
Passenger traffic through Dubai International Airport, the world's busiest airport for international business, rose 6.3 per cent from a year earlier to a record 7.33 million people in January, the airport's operator said recently.
Dubai International handled 201,483 tonnes of cargo in January, up 8.2 per cent from a year earlier. Only part of Dubai's cargo traffic goes through Dubai International; another facility, Dubai World Central, handles pure cargo operations.
Last year, UK-based Knight Frank included Dubai’s mega airport expansion project among the world’s five mega infrastructure developments.
The Global Cities 2016 report included Dubai in its choice of mega infrastructure projects that will be generating new business clusters, and creating real estate opportunities.
“A key word in today’s global cities is connectivity. A four-hour plane ride from Dubai allows access to one-third of the world’s population and an eight-hour ride to two-thirds. In addition, over the next decade, Dubai South is planned to be easily accessible by road, rail and sea. All of this will no doubt increase this location’s appeal for businesses,” said Khawar Khan, Research Manager at Knight Frank Middle East.
In 2015, Asia Cargo News named Dubai International Airport as the Best Airport in the Middle East at the Asian Freight, Logistics, and Supply Chain Awards held in Hong Kong.