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 4,100 13,451 Asphalt
13L/31R 4,100 13,451 Asphalt
Statistics (2012)
Passenger movements 20,986,750
Aircraft movements 176,850
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 on all inhabited continents, the only other airports doing likewise are Dubai International Airport, Johannesburg Airport and Hamad International Airport.

The airport, 16.5 nautical miles (30.6 km; 19.0 mi) east[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 8,500 acres (3,400 ha). 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 at 7 AM. 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. Prior to this, smaller aircraft would land on an unsealed runway located not too far from Al Bateen, and the passengers would be processed in a tiny makeshift building. Limited flights were operated from Al Bateen 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 between aircraft and the terminal. Terminal 3, was constructed over the past five years and this is mainly used by Etihad.

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 25 million per year, with options for this to double in capacity to 50 million.[8] An additional facility is under consideration that would take the capacity to 80 million.

The expansion master plan projects include a third 4,100 m (13,500 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.

Having a total of 34 square kilometres (13 sq mi) of vast land area, the ambitious 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 donut 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 lounge and transport facilities. After having checked-in at the City Terminal, travelers can arrive at the airport just one hour before the departure of their flight.[9]


In December 2011, the government of Abu Dhabi signed a letter of intent to build a United States border preclearance facility similar to pre-clearance customs facilities in Canada, Australia, the Bahamas, and Ireland.[10]

Etihad operated its first flight to the U.S. from the facility January 25, 2014.[11][12]

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 1
Air Astana Astana 1
airBaltic Riga 1
Air Berlin Berlin-Tegel, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart 1
Airblue Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar 1
Air India Delhi, Mumbai 2
Air India Express Kochi, Kozhikode, Mangalore, Thiruvananthapuram 2
Air Serbia Belgrade 3
Air Seychelles Hong Kong, Mahė, Paris-Charles de Gaulle[13] 3
Alitalia Milan-Malpensa (begins 29 March 2015), Rome-Fiumicino, Venice-Marco Polo (begins 29 March 2015) 1
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Chittagong, Dhaka, Sylhet 2
British Airways London-Heathrow, Muscat 1
EgyptAir Cairo 1
Etihad Airways Ahmedabad, Almaty, Amman-Queen Alia, Amsterdam, Astana, Athens, Baghdad, Bahrain, Baku (begins 1 October 2015),[14] Bangalore, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Basra, Beijing-Capital, Beirut, Belgrade, Brisbane, Brussels, Cairo, Casablanca, Chengdu, Chennai, Chicago-O'Hare, Colombo, Dallas/Fort Worth, Dammam, Dar es Salaam (begins 1 December 2015),[15] Delhi, Dhaka, Doha, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Edinburgh (begins 8 June 2015),[16] Erbil (suspended),[17] Frankfurt, Geneva, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong (begins 15 June 2015),[18] Hyderabad, Islamabad, Istanbul-Atatürk, Jaipur,[19] Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Jeddah, Johannesburg-O. R. Tambo, Karachi, Kathmandu, Khartoum, Kochi, Kolkata,[20] Kozhikode, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Lagos, Lahore, Larnaca, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Madrid (begins 29 March 2015),[21] 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, Peshawar (suspended),[22] Phuket,[23] Riyadh, Rome-Fiumicino,[24] San Francisco, São Paulo-Guarulhos, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Sydney, Tbilisi (begins 2 October 2015),[25] Tehran-Imam Khomeini, Thiruvananthapuram, Tokyo-Narita, Toronto-Pearson, Tripoli, Washington-Dulles, Yerevan,[26] Zürich 1, 3
Flynas Jeddah, Medina 2
Gulf Air Bahrain 1
Jet Airways Ahmedabad (begins 29 March 2015), Bangalore, Chennai, Dammam, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kuwait, Lucknow, Mangalore (begins 29 March 2015),[27] Mumbai, Pune (begins 29 March 2015),[28] 1
Kish Air Kish Island 2
KLM Amsterdam, Bahrain 1
Kuwait Airways Kuwait 1
Middle East Airlines Beirut 1
Niki Vienna 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, Colombo, Dubai-Al Maktoum,[29] Fujairah, Hambantota 2
Royal Jordanian Amman-Queen Alia 1
Saudia Jeddah, Riyadh 1
Shaheen Air International Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar 1
South African Airways Johannesburg-O. R. Tambo (begins 29 March 2015)[30] 1
SriLankan Airlines Colombo 1
Sudan Airways Khartoum 1
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk 1
Turkmenistan Airlines Ashgabat 2
Virgin Australia Kuala Lumpur, 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
DHL International Aviation ME Bagram, Bahrain, Karachi, Lahore[31]
Etihad Cargo Addis Ababa, Almaty, Amsterdam, Bangalore, Beijing-Capital, Benghazi, Bogota,[32] Campinas,[33] Chennai, Chicago,[33] Chittagong, Chongqing, Dammam, Delhi, Dhaka, Djibouti, Doha, Dubai-Al Maktoum, Eldoret, Entebbe, Erbil, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Houston,[34] Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen, Johannesburg-OR Tambo, Kabul, Karachi, Khartoum, Kuwait, Lagos, Lahore, Miami,[33] Milan-Malpensa, Moscow-Domodedovo,[35] Mumbai, Nairobi, N'Djamena, Quito,[33] Shanghai-Pudong, Sharjah, Singapore, Tbilisi, Vienna[36][37]
Singapore Airlines Cargo Amsterdam, Chennai, Copenhagen, London-Heathrow, Sharjah, Singapore[38]
Star Air Aviation Karachi[39]

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.[40] A city bus also connects the airport to Abu Dhabi city centre.[41]


Abu Dhabi International Airport has two parallel runways, 13R/31L and 13L/31R. Both are 4,100 m × 60 m (13,450 ft × 200 ft).[42]


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 Google map view of Abu Dhabi International Airport
  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. ^ Bibbo', Barbara (2004-07-28). "Easy check-in facilities draw air travellers to city terminal". gulfnews.com. Gulf News. Retrieved 2014-10-01. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Security Expands Presence at Foreign Airports". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-05-19. 
  11. ^ "US pilots slam Abu Dhabi airport facility move". Trade Arabia. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  12. ^ Caline Malek (January 25, 2014). "First flight departs to US using Customs checkpoint in Abu Dhabi". The National. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Air Seychelles Paris flights now on sale". Air Seychelles. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  14. ^ "Etihad Airways to launch services to Baku". www.etihad.com/. Etihad Airways. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  15. ^ "Etihad Airways launches daily service to Dar es Salaam". Etihad Airways. 21 September 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  16. ^ "Etihad Airways to start daily Edinburgh flights in 2015" (Press release). Etihad Airways. 10 July 2014. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. 
  17. ^ https://en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com/etihad-suspend-flights-erbil-due-security-concerns-iraq-090027477--finance.html
  18. ^ "Etihad Airways to launch flights between Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong" (Press release). Etihad Airways. 10 July 2014. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. 
  19. ^ Etihad Airways to fly to Jaipur
  20. ^ "Etihad Airways expands India operations" (Press release). Etihad Airways. 10 July 2014. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "Etihad Airways enters Spanish market" (Press release). Etihad Airways. 10 July 2014. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. 
  22. ^ http://www.etihad.com/en-us/announcements/etihad-travel-update/
  23. ^ http://airlineroute.net/2014/02/25/eyab-hkt-w14/
  24. ^ http://www.breitbart.com/system/wire/upi20131216-180542-6269
  25. ^ "Etihad Airways to launch services to Tbilisi". www.etihad.com/. Etihad Airways. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  26. ^ http://news.am/eng/news/185590.html
  27. ^ Jet Airways begin service to Mangalore
  28. ^ Jet Airways begin service to Mangalore
  29. ^ http://airlineroute.net/2014/12/01/rg-dwc-w14/
  30. ^ SAA and Etihad increase cooperation
  31. ^ DHL and Etihad Cargo increase connectivity through the Middle East
  32. ^ Etihad Cargo launching Bogota
  33. ^ a b c d round the world service listing Chicago, Miami, Campinas and Quito, these do not appear in Etihad Cargo schedules
  34. ^ Etihad Cargo freighter deployment map listing Houston, this does not appear in their schedules
  35. ^ L, J (20 August 2014). "ETIHAD Cargo Adds Moscow Service from mid-August 2014". Airline Route. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  36. ^ Timetable | Etihad Cargo
  37. ^ Etihad Cargo schedule
  38. ^ Singapore Airlines Cargo route winter 2014
  39. ^ a b http://www.starairaviation.net/air_cargo.htm
  40. ^ "Dubai. Retrieved on 6 February 2009.
  41. ^ Welcome To Abu Dhabi International Airport
  42. ^ United Arab Emirates AIP (login required)
  43. ^ "ASQ Award for Best Airport in Middle East" Airports Council International. 14 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-13

External links[edit]