Airport Guide: Abu Dhabi International Airport

An immense growth, new buildings and much more. The Abu Dhabi International Airport is one of the booming airports in the world. At the moment, it looks like an interim facility as the new terminal is not finished yet. Due to that, coming along at the hub of Etihad Airways isn’t necessarily easy. Our airport guide gives you a good overview about the facilities that will pretty much stay the same till 2017 when the new terminal is supposed to open.

The Abu Dhabi International Airport is not really old, yet it suffers from the immense growth of Etihad Airways. Transfer passengers at times have a tough time getting from one gate to another. At the moment, there are three terminals. The two big ones, Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, are connected airside, so there is no need to get clearance done once again when transferring.

The bright future of Abu Dhabi International Airport

The bright future of Abu Dhabi International Airport

The Abu Dhabi Airport does also have two runways. It’s the main hub for Etihad Airways which has flights departing from two of the three terminals. Moreover, some Etihad Partner Airlines have flights departing from either Terminal 1 or Terminal 3, most other major carriers only have flights departing from Terminal 1.

  • Terminal 1: Most international flights operated by big carriers (including Etihad Airways)
  • Terminal 2: Regional flights to India, the UAE and other destinations in Arabia
  • Terminal 3: International flights operated by Etihad Airways or one of the partner airlines (including Air Berlin, Air Seychelles, Air Serbia and Virgin Australia)

Shopping and eating at Abu Dhabi International Airport

Travelers having a connection via Abu Dhabi have the chance to choose from several shops and restaurants at the Abu Dhabi Airport. The focus of the shops lies on a wealthy clientele, but there are some shops for travelers on budget as well.

Shopping at Abu Dhabi International Airport can be really enjoyable

Shopping at Abu Dhabi International Airport can be really enjoyable

Most shops are located airside, yet there is a shopping area landside as well. The choice of restaurants is very good, too. It’s ranging from fast food (many international chains like McDonald’s) to luxury dining. There is a duty-free shop as well, so tax free shopping is no problem at all at the Abu Dhabi International Airport.

There is even a food village at Abu Dhabi Airport

There is even a food village at Abu Dhabi Airport

When the new terminal that is supposed to be finished in 2017 is opening, the shopping experience at the airport is supposed to get even better. But also for now, the Abu Dhabi International Airport is a great airport when it comes to the choice of food, drinks and shopping.

Sleeping at Abu Dhabi International Airport

With being a growing transit airport, the Abu Dhabi International Airport invested heavily in sleeping facilities. If you are not likely to sleep on one of the benches, the airport offers several different possibilities for travelers on all budgets. The Airport Hotel is a really basic hotel offering rooms right in the airport building at Terminal 1. Yet, it’s not the cheapest option as the airport also offers Sleeping Pods called “GoSleep”.

Bedroom of the suite at the Hilton Capital Grand

We found a good sleep at the Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi when having a stop-over in Abu Dhabi

They are located in Terminal 3 and are available starting at 30 UAE (~ 7 Euro / 8 US-Dollar) for one hour. The Airport Hotel is a little more expensive. The last and most expensive choice located right at the airport is the Premier Inn that gathers stunning reviews on Tripadvisor. It’s a three star property with modern and spacious rooms. If you are looking for a luxury accommodation, you may search for hotels in the Yas Island Area, located six kilometers away from the airport.

Lounges at Abu Dhabi International Airport

As Etihad Airways is trying to establish itself as one of the major carriers in the luxury segment, it’s not any surprising that there are several amazing lounges at the Abu Dhabi International Airport. Passengers flying with Etihad Airways or one of the partner airlines in business class may enjoy the facilities provided in Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. These are also available for frequent flyers of Etihad Airways and Etihad Partner Airlines.

Freshly squeezed juices that make you feel welcome

Etihad Lounges are really good

Both terminals also offer lounges dedicated to first class passengers of Etihad Airways. Last but not least, Etihad also got an Arrivals Lounge that may be entered when flying to Abu Dhabi as a final destination in a premium class. Paying guests as well as frequent flyers and business class passengers of other airlines may enjoy access to the Al Reem Lounge or the Al Dhabi Lounge in Terminal 1. Both lounges are really expensive for paying guests, so have a look on the charges before entering.

Transportation at Abu Dhabi International Airport

The United Arab Emirates are not known for having a good public transportation network. Yet, the Abu Dhabi International Airport is connected to the city center of Abu Dhabi by a bus line that is departing every 40 minutes. The bus is available on all terminals and is as cheap as 4 AED (~ 1 Euro / US-Dollar). Apart from that, there are taxis available.

Premium passengers may enjoy limousine service offered by Etihad

Premium passengers may enjoy limousine service offered by Etihad

Driving to the city center of Abu Dhabi usually means paying at least 40 AED (~ 10 Euro / 11 US-Dollar) one way. Taxis may also get you to Dubai for a slightly higher fare. Last but not least, there are several special services offered by Etihad Airways, including coach services to Dubai and luxurious limousine transfers for premium class passengers.

 

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5 Comments on “Airport Guide: Abu Dhabi International Airport

  1. Pingback: Looking back on week 25 | travelux

  2. I had a 9 hour layover in this airport a few years ago so I spent a lot of time looking at all parts of the airport, I remember the blue decoration in your first picture. Those sleeping pods sounds like a really great idea 🙂

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    • The ceiling in the donut-shapped (one does actually call it like that) Terminal 1 is really unique. Glad to hear that you still remember that one. I hope your layover wasn’t too bad? Nine hours are a long time!

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  3. I have had four layovers at this airport on legs between UK and Australia in 2015 and 2016, with about 3 hours waiting time in the airport each time. Although its retail outlets and decor are glitzy, its customer care is among the poorest I have ever experienced anywhere. The airport’s entire strategy appears to be aimed at pressuring the customer to buy into a lounge. If you don’t, you will encounter stale snacks on sale at ridiculous prices, dirty and unkempt washrooms, indifferent staff with no customer care training, and amazingly a deliberate policy of not providing seating for customers waiting at gates. If you wish to register a complaint, you are directed to the website where guess what…..the ‘feedback’ form fails to submit.
    Shiny marble floors and pretty mosaics do not substitute for customer care or appropriate systems for processing crowds of paying customers politely, efficiently and comfortably.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your feedback about Abu Dhabi Airport! Currently, I find the airport to be very problematic as well. The new one will luckily be opening in just a few years 🙂

      Like

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