Dubai City Information Site

The Abu Dhabi Airport (ADIA)



Hi, Sunil the avid traveler here to highlight the Abu Dhabi Airport

Your travels might take you there someday so here is some information that might come handy. In 2008, the ADIA was one of the fastest growing airports in the world in terms of passengers with a whopping 35% growth. Count me in the 34% !

This airport is the second largest in the UAE after Dubai and is home to the government owned Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates as well as a direct competitor to Dubai owned world class Emirates Airlines (I am not taking into account the rumors that Abu Dhabi bought Emirates from Dubai when it bailed Dubai out of the financial mess in 2008).

  Etihad Airlines was started in 2004 and currently flies to and within 45 international network destinations.

Overall it is a world class airport (just not known to the world that much yet).

It has the state of the art baggage handling systems, online security screening, security surveillance and flight information monitors that you see in any well developed airport.

It also has a nice, duty free shop, several dinning options and lounges.

Abu Dhabi Airport Expansion:

The airport handled 6,970,000 passengers in 2007. The traffic was quickly outgrowing the size so they build a second terminal.

This terminal can handle 2M passengers annually.

As of 2008 the airport started undergoing a massive expansion project for which $6.8 billion were set aside. It’s easy to do that when you are sitting on close to 100 years of oil reserves.

Abu Dhabi Airport

The Abu Dhabi International Airport - Lower Middle Area

Abu Dhabi International Airport

The Abu Dhabi International Airport - Upper Area


A third terminal (largest) is scheduled to finish in 2009. Together all three terminals will be able to support 12M passengers annually. With the plans Abu Dhabi has in place, the airport will easily reach this volume between 2011 and 2012.

I have also read brief discussions on a possible Midfield terminal that will be able to hold 20M passengers annually. It will be built in a way to easily expand it to handle 40M when needed. Notice I said “when” and not “if”. I believe it is inevitable.

= = =

I like the airport a lot and what they are doing with it. I cannot wait to see it once all done, although I am afraid it will NEVER be done.

It is hard to say when a place like Abu Dhabi will have reached full capacity and fully mature. The airport facility however is world class, and deserving of it as it is home to one of the best airline companies out there, Etihad.

I strongly recommend flying this airline whenever you get a chance. It is heaven!


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