Abu Dhabi International Airport

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Abu Dhabi International Airport
مطار أبوظبي الدولي
Airport type Public
Operator Abu Dhabi Airports Company
Serves Abu Dhabi
Hub for
Time zone UAE Standard Time (UTC+04:00)
Elevation AMSL 88 ft / 27 m
Coordinates 24°25′59″N 054°39′04″E / 24.43306°N 54.65111°E / 24.43306; 54.65111Coordinates: 24°25′59″N 054°39′04″E / 24.43306°N 54.65111°E / 24.43306; 54.65111
Website www.abudhabiairport.ae
OMAA is located in United Arab Emirates
Location in the UAE
Direction Length Surface
m ft
13R/31L 4,260 13,976 Asphalt
13L/31R 4,260 13,976 Asphalt
Statistics (2012)
Passengers 14.7 million
Economic impact (2012) $3.5 billion[1]
Social impact (2012) 66.5 thousand[1]
Sources: UAE AIP[2]

Abu Dhabi International Airport (Arabic: مطار أبو ظبي الدولي‎) (IATA: AUHICAO: OMAA) is an airport in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It is one of the fastest growing airports in the world in passengers (+34% in Q1:2008), new airline operators, and infrastructure development. The airport is now undergoing a AED 25 billion (US$6.8 billion) expansion. As of January 2012, 53 airlines offered service to 85 destinations in 49 countries.

The airport, 16.5 nautical miles (30.6 km; 19.0 mi) northeast[2] of Abu Dhabi city, is the second largest in the UAE, serving over 12 million passengers in 2010. It has three operational passenger terminals—Terminal 1 (divided into Terminals 1A and 1B), Terminal 2, Terminal 3. Abu Dhabi International Airport is spread over an area of 60 square kilometres (15,000 acres). Its terminal spaces are dominated by Etihad Airways, which is the United Arab Emirates' second largest air carrier after Emirates.

The new Terminal 3, a AED 1 billion (US$270 million) interim facility, was designed to allow for the airport's passenger growth before the planned opening of the new Midfield Terminal on July 17, 2017. Used predominantly by Etihad Airways, the terminal boosted the airport's seven million passenger per year capacity to 12 million. It also added 10 new gates, two of which are Airbus A380 compatible.[3]


The duty-free area in Terminal 3

The Al Bateen Airport on Abu Dhabi Island previously served as Abu Dhabi's main airport and consisted of a single airstrip with minimal facilities. Limited flights were operated and included flights to other Middle Eastern cities and Mumbai International Airport (then known as Bombay International Airport). After many years of operations, the airport was shifted to the mainland in 1982. Bateen Airport is presently used as a dedicated business jet airport.

The new airport included a circular satellite terminal (with aerobridges) with a single connection to a semi-circular terminal.[4][5] This design allowed more aircraft to park simultaneously. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, substantial work was carried out on the satellite terminal, to cater for the increase in passenger numbers, including widening the passenger waiting areas and creating extra parking spots. The main terminal also underwent some external changes, especially on the outer facade. Additionally, Terminal 2 was created to relieve the pressure of the main terminal. Terminal 2, however, does not have aerobridges and uses buses to move passengers been aircraft and the terminal.

During the early years of operation, there were no means of getting to the airport from the cities except for private vehicle or taxis. With the creation of Abu Dhabi's bus network, city-to-airport bus services were introduced.[6]

With the withdrawal of support for regional airline Gulf Air after nearly five decades, Etihad became the new airline to be based at the airport. It received full support from the UAE government and has come a long way since its inaugural flight in 2003. Previous Gulf Air CEO James Hogan also transferred to Etihad, bringing aviation industry knowledge and experience.

The airport celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2012.[7]


Development work has started on a new passenger terminal, the main building and centerpiece of the new airport, to be between the two runways and known as the Midfield Terminal. Upon completion in 2017, the Midfield Terminal will increase the airport’s passenger capacity to more than 20 million per year, with options for this to double in capacity to 40 million.[8] An additional facility is under consideration that would take the capacity to 50 million.

The expansion master plan projects include a third 4,260 m (13,976 ft) parallel runway, 2,000 m (6,562 ft) from the existing runways, a new 110 m (360 ft) tower between the two runways with the new Air Traffic Control centre, enhanced cargo and maintenance facilities, and other commercial developments on the land immediately adjacent to and north of the airport.

The project will provide a home base for the UAE's national carrier, Etihad Airways, which will be a major user of new cargo facilities with an ultimate handling capacity of around two million tonnes of freight a year. Close to the new cargo facilities, land has been allocated for commercial activities, business parks, and property developments. Aircraft maintenance facilities will continue to be concentrated on the south side of the existing airport. The plan sets aside land for the growth of other operators such as Royal Jet and Abu Dhabi Aviation.

Among other aspects of the project, when completed, are the design of remote aircraft stands complete with airfield ground lighting and hydrant fuel.

The general exterior of the terminal resembles that of the new terminal being built at Mumbai Airport because it was designed by the same architect, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

The central hall of the donnut shaped Terminal 1 at Abu Dhabi International Airport

City terminal[edit]

A check-in facility exists in downtown Abu Dhabi, for travelers who want to check in before they fly. This facility, known as the City Terminal, resembles an airport and has cafe and transport facilities. On reaching the airport, travelers only need to go through customs and immigration.


In December 2011, the government of Abu Dhabi signed a letter of intent to build a terminal where American government officers will clear passengers to enter the United States, similar to pre-clearance customs facilities in Canada, Australia, the Bahamas, and Ireland.[9]

Etihad operated its first flight to the U.S. from the facility January 25, 2014.[10][11]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Duty Free in Terminal 1
Terminal 1 consists of 18 gates
Terminal 1
The departures area of Terminal 1
Air Seychelles Airbus A330-200 at AUH
The walkway connecting Terminal 1 and 3 together at Abu Dhabi Airport
Immigration at Abu Dhabi Airport
Airlines Destinations Terminal
Aegean Airlines Athens (begins 28 May 2014) 1
Air Astana Almaty, Astana 1
Air Berlin Berlin-Tegel, Düsseldorf, Phuket (ends 25 October 2014)[12] 1
Air India Delhi, Mumbai 2
Air India Express Kochi, Kozhikode, Mangalore, Thiruvananthapuram 2
Air Serbia Belgrade 3
Air Seychelles Hong Kong, Mahė 3
airBaltic Seasonal: Riga 1
airblue Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar 1
Alitalia Rome-Fiumicino 1
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet 2
British Airways London-Heathrow, Muscat 1
EgyptAir Cairo 1
Etihad Airways Ahmedabad, Almaty, Amman-Queen Alia, Amsterdam, Astana, Athens, Baghdad, Bahrain, Bangalore, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Basra, Beijing-Capital, Beirut, Belgrade, Brisbane, Brussels, Cairo, Casablanca, Chengdu, Chennai, Chicago-O'Hare, Colombo, Dallas/Fort Worth (begins 3 December 2014),[13] Dammam, Delhi, Dhaka, Doha, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Erbil, Frankfurt, Geneva, Ho Chi Minh City,[14] Hyderabad, Islamabad, Istanbul-Atatürk, Jaipur,[15] Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Karachi, Kathmandu, Khartoum, Kochi, Kozhikode, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Lagos, Lahore, Larnaca, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles (begins 1 June 2014),[16] Mahé, Malé, Manchester, Manila, Medina, Melbourne, Milan-Malpensa, Minsk-National, Moscow-Domodedovo, Mumbai, Munich, Muscat, Nagoya-Centrair, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Perth (begins 15 July 2014),[17] Phuket (begins 26 October 2014),[18] Peshawar, Riyadh, Rome-Fiumicino (begins 15 July 2014),[19] Sana'a, São Paulo-Guarulhos, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Sydney, Tehran-Imam Khomeini, Thiruvananthapuram, Tokyo-Narita, Toronto-Pearson, Tripoli, Washington-Dulles, Yerevan (begins 2 July 2014),[20] Zurich (begins 1 June 2014)[21] 1, 3
Flynas Jeddah, Medina 2
Garuda Indonesia Amsterdam (ends 28 May 2014), Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta 1
Gulf Air Bahrain 1
Jet Airways Bangalore,[22] Chennai, Dammam, Delhi, Hyderabad,[22] Kochi, Kuwait, Mumbai 1
Kish Air Kish Island 2
KLM Amsterdam, Bahrain 1
Kuwait Airways Kuwait 1
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Muscat 1
Middle East Airlines Beirut 1
Oman Air Muscat 1
Pakistan International Airlines Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Rahim Yar Khan 2
Philippine Airlines Manila 1
Qatar Airways Doha 1
Rotana Jet Al Ain, Fujairah 2
Royal Jordanian Amman-Queen Alia 1
Saudia Jeddah, Riyadh 1
Shaheen Air International Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar 1
SriLankan Airlines Colombo 1
Sudan Airways Khartoum 1
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk 1
Turkmenistan Airlines Ashgabat 2
Virgin Australia Sydney 3
Yemenia Aden, Sana'a 1


Airlines Destinations
Cargolux Luxembourg
China Airlines Cargo Amsterdam, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Frankfurt, Ho Chi Minh City, Luxembourg, Prague, Taipei-Taoyuan
Etihad Cargo Addis Ababa, Almaty, Amsterdam, Bangalore, Beijing-Capital, Benghazi, Campinas,[23] Chicago,[23] Chittagong, Chennai, Dammam, Delhi, Dhaka, Djibouti, Doha-Hamad, Dubai-Al Maktoum, Eldoret, Erbil, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Houston,[24] Johannesburg, Kabul, Khartoum, Kuwait, Lagos, Milan-Malpensa, Miami,[23] Mumbai, Nairobi, N'Djamena, Quito,[23] Shanghai-Pudong, Sharjah, Singapore, Tbilisi, Vienna[25][26]
Martinair Cargo1 Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Doha-Hamad, Hong Kong, Muscat, Mumbai, Sharjah, Singapore

1 Martinair Cargo uses KLM Cargo aircraft on these routes

Ground transportation[edit]

Etihad Airways provides buses between Dubai and Abu Dhabi International Airport for their customers, as well as a coach service to Al Ain.[27] A city bus also connects the airport to Abu Dhabi city centre.[28]


Abu Dhabi International Airport has two parallel runways, 13R/31L and 13L/31R. Both are 4,260 m × 60 m (13,976 ft × 197 ft).[2]


The rapid growth of Etihad Airways, Emirates, and Qatar Airways has pressed for major expansion in airports of the region. In the UAE alone, Abu Dhabi International Airport must compete with Dubai International Airport, about an hour and a half away by road, which is the busiest airport in the UAE. Based out of Dubai International is Etihad's main competitor, Emirates Airline, which is the largest airline in the Middle East and North Africa and one of the largest in the world. Although this proximity could mean doubtful prospects for Abu Dhabi International Airport, this is unlikely due to the healthy nature of competition between all three airlines.

Air Berlin A330 in Abu Dhabi Airport

Additionally, an hour's flight away is Doha International Airport, home of Qatar Airways, which is the fastest growing full service airline in Asia, and one of the fastest growing in the world. Competition on both sides bodes well for Abu Dhabi's airport and its allure to other airlines, as the two other airlines successfully operate out of other airports.[how?] Abu Dhabi International Airport, combined with Dubai and Doha, make for a formidable tri-hub for global air passenger and cargo traffic, which may be boosted by the completion of Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central around 2028. Within five to six years, the three airports, will have a greater carrying capacity than Charles de Gaulle, Heathrow, and Frankfurt combined.



  1. ^ a b "Abu Dhabi International airport - Economic and social impact". Ecquants. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c United Arab Emirates AIP (login required)
  3. ^ "Abu Dhabi International Airport". Abu Dhabi International Airport. 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  4. ^ Al Bateen Executive Airport
  5. ^ Picture of the Airbus A330-223 aircraft
  6. ^ Bus Transportation
  7. ^ Three decades of success
  8. ^ Midfield Terminal Complex Development | About Abu Dhabi International Airport | Airport Information | Abu Dhabi International Airport
  9. ^ "U.S. Security Expands Presence at Foreign Airports". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-05-19. 
  10. ^ "US pilots slam Abu Dhabi airport facility move". Trade Arabia. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  11. ^ Caline Malek (January 25, 2014). "First flight departs to US using Customs checkpoint in Abu Dhabi". The National. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  12. ^ http://www.airliners.de/air-berlin-tritt-letzte-thailand-route-an-etihad-airways-ab/31622
  13. ^ Etihad Airways to launch Dallas/Fort Worth service from Abu Dhabi next December
  14. ^ Boarding.no : Etihad Airways to Ho Chi Minh City
  15. ^ Etihad Airways to fly to Jaipur
  16. ^ "Etihad Airways to make Los Angeles its fourth U.S. city". USA Today. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  17. ^ Etihad flying to Perth next year
  18. ^ http://airlineroute.net/2014/02/25/eyab-hkt-w14/
  19. ^ http://www.breitbart.com/system/wire/upi20131216-180542-6269
  20. ^ http://news.am/eng/news/185590.html
  21. ^ "Etihad Airways to start services to Zurich" (Press release). Etihad Airways. 17 November 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  22. ^ a b http://www.ndtv.com/article/south/jet-airways-to-operate-daily-flights-to-abu-dhabi-from-bangalore-and-hyderabad-476126
  23. ^ a b c d round the world service listing Chicago, Miami, Campinas and Quito, these do not appear in Etihad Cargo schedules
  24. ^ Etihad Cargo freighter deployment map listing Houston, this does not appear in their schedules
  25. ^ Timetable | Etihad Cargo
  26. ^ Etihad Cargo schedule
  27. ^ "Dubai. Retrieved on 6 February 2009.
  28. ^ Welcome To Abu Dhabi International Airport
  29. ^ "ASQ Award for Best Airport in Middle East" Airports Council International. 14 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-13

External links[edit]