Abu Dhabi International Airport is the second largest airport in the UAE, and continues to expand to accommodate the fast growing tourism industry of the region. The airport itself is a modern hub of activity, incorporating the latest technology to achieve a high level of service for its estimated 12 million passengers per annum. It includes state-of-the-art facilities and international boutiques, with a unique 18-hole sand golf course constructed on the airport grounds and available for use by transit passengers and local golf enthusiasts alike.
The current multibillion-dollar development plan for the Midfield Terminal Complex, a new passenger terminal between the two runways, will prepare the airport for a potential 20 million passengers after it has its grand opening in 2017.
There are seven world-class lounges at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s three terminals. The Al Dhabi Lounge, Etihad Diamond First Class Lounge and the Etihad Pearl Business Class Lounge all have fully equipped children’s play areas with trained nannies if you need to have a break.
While most lounges are for passengers in First and Business classes, or members of loyalty programs, some do allow for paying guests. However, another option – and this is one of our favourite features of the airport – are the sleeping pod services available in terminals 1 and 3. GoSleeps are state-of-the-art chairs that convert into a sleeping pod with a fold-flat bed and a partial or fully enclosed sliding shade that cocoons the customer from noise, light and crowds. Available on a first come, first served basis, they cost 45 dirhams an hour.
Travellers can get a free-of-charge entry visa upon arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport if you are a citizen of Australia, Andorra, Austria, Brunei, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America and the Vatican State.
Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) citizens do not need a visa to enter the UAE.
Those from all other countries will need to apply for a Tourist, Transit or Visit Visa prior to their trip. If you are flying with Etihad Airways, a visit visa may be arranged for you upon request. If you have booked your trip through a travel agency, in most cases they will be able to arrange this for you. Five, four and three-star hotels can apply for visas on behalf of guests who have booked a stay with them.