The Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar opened in 2014 and has been rising in global airport rankings ever since.

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An interior view of Hamad International Airport is seen in Doha, Qatar
Credit: Ozkan Bilgin/Getty Images

Qatar's Hamad International Airport has taken the spot of the best airport in the world in Skytrax Annual World Airport Awards — unseating Singapore Changi, which has won the award for the past eight consecutive years.

The Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar opened in 2014 and has been rising in global airport rankings ever since. Last year, the airline and airport consulting firm that conducts the awards named Hamad the third best airport in the world but the COVID-19 pandemic helped bring out the best the airport had to offer.

"As travel hubs worldwide have been impacted by the pandemic, Hamad International Airport was undeterred by the global travel disruptions and continued with its expansion plans while introducing additional airport health and safety standards," Edward Plaisted of Skytrax said in a statement.

The airport is also gearing up for an influx of crowds as Doha will host the FIFA World Cup next year and has been implementing new changes ahead of that event, including increasing its annual capacity to 53 million passengers and building a 110,000-square-foot tropical garden, complete with a waterfall that is nearly 900 feet tall.

But Hamad's ascent in the rankings does not mean that Changi is not still a highly respected airport. The airport was named the best in the world in the 10 to 15 million passenger category and took prizes for the World's Best Airport Staff and the Best Airport Staff in Asia.

Skytrax also highlighted the recent achievements of Istanbul Airport in this year's ranking. Last year, the airport was only ranked at 102. This year, Istanbul skyrocketed to 17th place, making it the most improved airport in the world.

The ranking for the top 10 airports in the world is below:

  1. Hamad International Airport
  2. Tokyo Haneda Airport
  3. Singapore Changi Airport
  4. Incheon International Airport
  5. Narita International Airport
  6. Munich Airport
  7. Zurich Airport
  8. London Heathrow Airport
  9. Kansai International Airport
  10. Hong Kong International Airport

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.