Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)
Tel +971-2-5757500 for flight enquiries to and from Abu Dhabi International Airport
Abu Dhabi International Airport (ADIA) IATA code AUH
Abu Dhabi International Airport (ADIA), first open in 1982, is one of the two international airports for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (the other one is in the city of Al Ain), is located about 30km from Abu Dhabi city center, and is the home of Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi carrier. With the opening of Terminal 3 in February 2009, total passenger capacity increased to 12 million per year. Since September 2006, ADIA has been managed and operated by the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), a company incorporated in March 2006 and 100% owned by the Abu Dhabi Government. The IATA airport code for Abu Dhabi airport is AUH (not ABD or ADB - two common abbreviations for Abu Dhabi city). The acronym ADIA is also used for the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, a government sovereign wealth fund (SWF) that is supposedly the largest in the world, with several hundred billion dollars worth of assets.
US Customs and Immigration pre-clearance checkpoint at Abu Dhabi Airport
US Customs Border Clearance Gate at AUH airport
- 24 Jan 2014 - first flight to use the US customs pre-clearance checkpoint at AUH (announced 26 Jan 2014). Only Etihad Airways uses the facility as it is the only airline currently offering direct flights from AUH to the USA. Some US airlines and airline related workers protested against the facility saying it was unfair to them and they would rather see travellers from the UAE suffer long queues and interrogations at US border controls in the USA like everyone else. They also incorrectly pointed out that only Etihad Airways benefits from the new agreement - incorrect because not just EY benefits, but their passengers also benefit.
- 10 Dec 2013 - WAM news said that travellers to the USA would be able to clear US customs and immigrations at Abu Dhabi. The comment was part of a report about Etihad route expansion as a result of the deal with Jet Airways India. Not clear when the new facility would be available, or if it would be for all travellers, or only those on Etihad or Jet Airways flights or both.
- Nov 2013 - a bill was presented to US Congress to block the Abu Dhabi preclearance facility because it would encourage travelers to use non-USA based airlines (Etihad for example) and therefore threatens American jobs. An odd thing to say given that no US airlines fly direct to Abu Dhabi anyway, so it's not like travelers have any choice if they want a direct flight, and the border post would be staffed by US Customs employees so there's a few additional jobs for American citizens. Extrapolating the logic presented implies that those members putting forward the bill appear to want only US-based carriers flying to and from the USA. Perhaps they think it's more reasonable if all the other international airlines would land in Vladivostok and passengers could catch a boat to Alaska from there.
- Apr 2013 - 14 members of the US Congress signed a letter sent to the US Department of Homeland Security protesting the plan to establish a preclearance customs checkpoint in Abu Dhabi, complaining that the reasons behind the proposal were financial and not based on "national security, common sense or the needs of traveling taxpayers." Leaving one wondering what sort of common sense system those members were operating given that travelers usually think it makes sense to develop efficient and secure customs clearance procedures that mean they don't have to suffer long queues as is common when entering the USA.
- 04 Apr 2013 - US and UAE authorities are reportedly discussing the establishment of a USA customs checkpoint at Abu Dhabi Airport, which would mean passengers go through US customs and immigration checks in Abu Dhabi before their flight, and be treated as domestic passengers on arrival in America - sort of, they still need to go through one of the automated Global Entry kiosks which have a passport scanner and fingerprint reader. Travellers need to be pre-approved for the Global Entry program (involves a security check and interview). Baggage checks would also be done in Abu Dhabi (Gulf News - US customs checks in Abu Dhabi planned).
- 04 Dec 2011 - during a visit to the UAE by the Secretary of Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, the UAE and the USA signed a letter of intent to establish a US border pre-clearance checkpoint at Abu Dhabi Airport (US Consulate in Dubai news - Department of Homeland Security Officials Visit UAE).
Abu Dhabi Airport sleeping pods
Abu Dhabi Airport has installed 10 sleeping pods for transit passengers, available from 15 May 2013. ADAC has plans to install another 35 or 50, or a total of 50 pods at the airport. The sleeping box or pod consists of a seat which folds flat, pillows and blankets, power outlets to plug in laptops, phones, chargers, etc, and a sliding shutter or door to pull over and make you feel like you're living in a bread bin. It's not a hotel room, bedroom, or proper bed.
- Location of 8 standard pods is near Gates 30 and 31 in Terminal 3. Another 2 VIP sleeping pods are in the Al Dhabi VIP lounge in Terminal 1.
- Pods are for singles only, no doubles or couples. Although perhaps a parent and small child or a couple of small children might fit in. Unknown if there is a minimum age limit for using pods.
- Pods are free to use during a trial period (finish date of trial period not provided). After that, cost is AED 45 ($12) for 1 hour, AED 80 ($22) for 2 hours, AED 110 ($30) for 3 hours.
- Pods have luggage storage area (not confirmed), an alarm clock, and an attendant who checks your boarding time to make sure you escape the pod beforehand.
- New pod upgrades planned include WiFI internet, movie streaming, windows, secure luggage storage. However you will not turn into a butterfly when you emerge from your cocoon.
- Toilets and showers are available one floor down.
- Pod manufacturer is Uni of Finland, product line is called GoSleep (Go Sleep). Abu Dhabi Airport said they were the first airport in the world to install the new pods.
Abu Dhabi Airport awards
- 2013 - 20th place in the Skytrax World Airport Awards list of top 100 airports worldwide (DXB was 33rd).
- 2012 - 18th place in the Skytrax World Airport Awards list of top 100 airports worldwide (DXB was 26th).
- 25 Apr 2012 (WAM news) - Abu Dhabi International Airport awarded the Best Airport in the Middle East Award at the 2012 World Airport Awards. The survery covered 388 airports worldwide for 2012.
- 09 Nov 2009 (press release) - "New Airport Development" award given to Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) at the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation Awards for Excellence (CAPA) in Beijing, China.
Abu Dhabi Airport expansion
Abu Dhabi airport expanded to 3 (or 4 if you count terminal 1A separately) terminals, and 2 runways in 2008/2009 as part of an expansion program costing AED 25 billion (US$ 7 billion). Further developments include a new air traffic control tower (ATC tower) and a Midfield Terminal Complex.
- Terminal T3 was announced as fully operational on 07 April 2009 and increased passenger capacity to 12 million per year (ADAC press release 07 Apr 2009). Project cost AED 1 billion.
- Passenger throughput in 2008 was 9 million (for comparison, Dubai airport was over 37 million).
- Second Abu Dhabi airport runway opened early 2008, is 2km away from the main runway so can operate simultaneously.
Abu Dhabi Midfield Terminal
- Midfield Terminal Complex scheduled to open in 2015 (unconfirmed) (was 2011, then 2012), will increase capacity to 20 million pasengers per year or will add capacity of 20 million passengers per year (both figures indicated in ADAC press release 07 April 2009: "the Midfield Terminal Complex ... will provide long term capacity for over 20 million passengers per year" says the Chairman of ADAC, Khalifa Mohamed Al Mazrouei, and "... expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport designed to increase the overall capacity of the airport to more than 20 million passengers per year." says the press release notes).
- 12 Dec 2013: Opening date of Midfield Terminal scheduled for 17 July 2017 (WAM).
- 10 Nov 2009 update: Sulaiman Al Siksek, Head of Aviation Projects for the Supervision Committee for the expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport (SCADIA), reportedly said (according to Maktoob Business) "We believe the Midfield Terminal will be ready by the end of the first quarter of 2015"
- Expansion plans might allow for up 50 million passengers per year if fully implemented.
Abu Dhabi Airport Midfield Terminal metro link
- 10 Dec 2013 (WAM) - Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) and Abu Dhabi Department of Transport (DOT) are discussing the addition of a metro or light rail link from the new Midfield Terminal to the new Abu Dhabi Metro.
Abu Dhabi Airport lounges
There are of course lounges for first and business class passengers. Additionally there is a lounge for economy class passengers with stopovers of more than 6 hours - the Yas Lounge at Terminal 1 which opened at the beginning of 2008 (January or February?).
Abu Dhabi City Terminal
- The Abu Dhabi City Terminal (ADCT) is a baggage and check-in counter (or several) near the Abu Dhabi Mall, for the Abu Dhabi International Airport. No flights depart from ADCT, you still have to go to the main airport for that.
- Check in available up to 24 hours before departure time? Depends on airline perhaps ...
Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal 3 (T3)
- Announced as fully operational on 07 April 2009 (ADAC press release), but Etihad Airways started flights out of T3 on 02 February 2009.
- T3 area 88,000 sq meters (950,000 sq feet)
- 10 departure gates including A380 compatible gates (2?)
- Passenger capacity up to 5 million per year.
- For Etihad Airways (and some foreign carriers?)
- Abu Dhabi Duty Free shops in T3 include Cartier, Chloe, Fendi, Hermes, Jimmy Choo, Loewe, Rolex, Salvatore Ferragamo.
- Development cost AED 1 billion (US$272 million)
Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal 2 (T2)
Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal 1 & 1A (T1, T1A)
- AUH first opened in 1982, constructed by Aéroports de Paris, which probably explains the wacky 1970s design (if you've been to Charles de Gaulle Airport you'll understand).
Abu Dhabi Airport growth
- 2011 information from WAM press release 25 January 2011. Information for 2010 not confirmed (calculated based on 2011 data).
- 2009 and 2007 information from press releases 09 February 2008 and 31 January 2010. Information for 2006 and 2008 not confirmed (calculated based on 2007 and 2009 data).
Airlines with flights to and from Abu Dhabi International Airport
More airlines still to be added.
- AirAsia X / Air Asia X (budget) - planning to use Abu Dhabi as a hub from 2010 for flights to Europe and Africa - Czech Republic, Morocco, Spain, Turkey (according to media reports end July 2009). First flight from Abu Dhabi to Kuala Lumpur start date 23 November 2009 (announced in press release 19 August 209). AirAsiaX flights stopped from 21 February 2010, with a restart with a smaller plane under consideration - an A330 instead of the A340 that was being used (press reports 01 February 2010).
- airberlin (Air Berlin) - Berlin 4x weekly (from 15 January 2012), transferred from Dubai as a result of codeshare and ownership agreement with Etihad Airways announced 19 December 2011.
- AirBlue (Pakistan, GSA in Abu Dhabi is Al Rais Travel, tel +971-4-6454050) - Islamabad (15 Dec 2008), Lahore (24 Aug 2008), Peshawar (daily, 26 Dec 2010). Operations started 24 August 2008 with a flight from Lahore to AUH.
- Air Astana (Kazakhstan) - Almaty and Astana from 31 October 2010 (previously flying to and from Dubai International Airport DXB). Tel +7-727-2444477 (Almaty), +7-717-2584477 (Astana), +971-4-3166572 or +971-4-3166573 (Dubai).
- Air France - Paris (03 May 2010), 5 flights per week on Airbus A330 with Premium Voyageur class (eventually), 28 December 2009 press release.
- Air India - Delhi, Mumbai (5x weekly, daily from 01 November 2010).
- Air India Express IX (budget) - Chennai MAA (30 Apr 2009), Kochi (Cochin) COK, Kozhikode (Calicut) CCJ, Mangalore (Bajpe) IXE, Tiruchirapalli (Tiruchirapally) TRZ (30 Apr 2009), Thiruvananthapuram TRV. GSA is Abu Dhabi Travel Bureau tel +971-2-6322747, +971-2-6322300 (Abu Dhabi), +971-3-7557696 (Al Ain). Air India Express flights to Tiruchi and Chennai will be cancelled from 28 October 2012 until March 2013 according to The Hindu newspaper in India (07 Sep 2012 report "Air India Express to withdraw Abu Dhabi service").
- Air Serbia (previously JAT Airways) - 4x weekly flights to Belgrade, Serbia started 28 Oct 2013. Flight JU800 departs Belgrade at 17.10, arrives AUH at 00.25 next day. Return flight JU801 departs Abu Dhabi at 02.50, arrives in Belgrade at 05.55 (WAM).
- Air Seychelles - Mahe from 12 March 2012, 2x weekly (WAM news 03 Feb 2012).
- Alitalia - Rome (4x weekly codeshare with Etihad, start date 05 Dec 2012)
- Bahrain Air - Bahrain BAH (29 Mar 2009)
- Biman Airlines (Bangladesh) - Chittagong-Dhaka, Sylhet-Dhaka
- Cathay Pacific - Hong Kong (4x weekly, start date 02 Jun 2011)
- Czech Airlines (2011) - Prague
- Elite Aviation - flights operated by Blue Wings to Dusseldorf (Duesseldorf) 3x weekly (Mon, Wed, Sat), Berlin 2x weekly (Tue, Fri) from June 2009.
- Ethiopian Airlines - Addis Ababa (started Jul 2008, stopped Jul 2009?).
- Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi, UAE)
- Garuda Indonesian - Abu Dhabi to Jakarta (possibly in 2013 - Gulf News report 04 May 2012)?
- GMG Airlines - Dhaka, first flights 28 March 2010, from terminal 2, twice weekly flights DAC-AUH (press release 28 March 2010).
- Hainan Airlines - moved hub from Dubai to Abu Dhabi (WAM 11 Dec 2012). Flight from Beijing to Luanda and return via Abu Dhabi.
- Jat Airways (Serbia) - Belgrade (06 May 2009).
- Jazeera Airways (Kuwait) - Kuwait (25 Oct 2009).
- JAT Airways - see Air Serbia.
- Jet Airways (India) - Bengaluru (01 Mar 2014), Chennai, Delhi DEL (23 Apr 2008), Hyderabad (01 Mar 2014), Kochi, Mumbai BOM (23 Apr 2008).
- Kenya Airways (Kenya) - Nairobi NBO (01 Jul 2013, 3x weekly).
- KLM - Amsterdam, Muscat.
- Lufthansa - Frankfurt (frequency increased from 6x weekly to daily from 31 October 2010).
- Nasair (Nassair) - Saudi Arabia budget carrier.
- Oman Air (Muscat, Oman) - Muscat.
- Philippine Air Lines (PAL) (Philippine Airlines) - Manila (01 Oct 2013 restart, 5x weekly). Check-in available at ADCT up to 24 hrs before departure time. Flights to the Middle East restarted after suspension of services in June 1998 as a result of the 1997 Asian financial crisis?
- Royal Falcon Airlines (Jordan) - Amman 2x weekly (01 June 2010)
- Safi Airways (Afghanistan) - Kabul (14 May 2009, T2 AUH)
- SAMA (Saudi Arabia)
- Singapore Airlines - Singapore (started 2006, halted from 26 Oct 2012 - news release 17 May 2012)
- Sun Air (Sudan) - Khartoum (16 April 2009)
- Thai Airways - Bangkok (BKK) suspended flights in 2003, restart flights 26 October 2009
- Turkish Airlines - Istanbul
- Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) (Ukraine) - Kiev (AUH-KBP 25 Sep 2009 28 Sep 2009)
- V Australia (Virgin Australia) s(Virgin Blue-Etihad partnership) - Brisbane (planned), Melbourne (planned), Sydney (24 Feb 2011)
- Yeti Airlines - Kathmandu (06 Feb 2008)
- Yugoslav Airlines - Belgrade (before 1990?)
Cargo flights and airlines
- Cargoitalia (freight airline) - twice weekly to Milan Malpensa Airport from May 2008
- Etihad Crystal Cargo - cargo division of Etihad Airways, operates 3 freighter aircraft: 2x Airbus A300-600 and 1x MD 11 (April 2009)
New flights to Abu Dhabi International Airport
- Cathay Pacific AUH-Hong Kong direct flights start 02 June 2011, 4x per week, Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft. Promotional fares available until 31 May 2011 for flights in June and August 2011 (but not July 2011?). Flight times and days not supplied (press release 29 Mar 2011).
- Jat Airways AUH-Belgrade from 06 May 2009, 2x per week, Boeing 737 aircraft with 126 seats, from Terminal 1. Arrival AUH 0655, depart AUH 0745 on Wednesday and Friday.
- Safi Airways AUH-Kabul starts 14 May 2009, 2x per week, Boeing 737-300, from Terminal 2, links to Herat, Kandahar, Mazar-E-Sharif in Afghanistan.
Abu Dhabi Airport facts and figures
- IATA airport code AUH, ICAO airport code OMAA
- Operating Times: 24 hours per day
- GPS co-ordinates: Latitude: 24° 25' 59" (N), Longitude: 54° 39' 04" (E)
- Magnetic Variation: 10 E (1990 no significant change)
- Elevation: +26.8 meters (88 feet)
- Location relative to Abu Dhabi City: 30km (18 miles) east of the city centre
- Runways (length and width):
- 13 (4,100m x 45m)
- 31 (4,100m x 45m)
- Main: 4,100m x 22.5m
- Others all 22.5m width except F,C & G at 10m, 10m and 15m respectively.
- Radar: 4 systems: 2 x 200 NM range; 1 x approach radar 80 NM range, 1x surface movement radar.
- ILS Category: Cat ll
- Navigation Aids: VOR, DME, NDB, ILS Cat lll & ILS CAT l
Shops and banks at Abu Dhabi International Airport
Abu Dhabi Duty Free
Abu Dhabi Duty Free (ADDF) first opened in 1984 with a handful of shops and has expanded substantially since then (as you'd expect). Today, ADDF operates 24 hours and has shops in all three (or four) airport terminals (T1, T1A, T2, and T3 from April 2009).
- ADDF sells the usual selection of plonk, smokes and smelly stuff divided into several sections: Beauty & Fragrance, Books Magazines & Newspapers, Electronics, Fashion, Food & Chocolate, Gold & Jewellery, Liquor & Tobacco, Photography, Souvenirs, Toys, World of Luxury.
- Fashion, luxury and other brands include Boss, Bulgari/Bvlgari, Burberry, Cartier, Chanel, Christian Dior, Clarins, Clinque, D&G, Davidoff, Emporio Armani, Escada, Estée Lauder, Givenchy, Gucci, Lancôme, Nina Ricci, Oakley, Omega, Police, Rayban, Salvatore Ferragamo, Vespucci, Yves St Laurent (YSL).
- Vision 2000 is the electronics, computers, and mobile telephones section. Also sells CDs, DVDs, stationery, men's accessories (belts, wallets, etc).
- World of Cigars - no ban on Cuban cigars in the UAE.
- Bin Sina Pharmacy - over-the-counter prescription drugs, toothbrushes, vitamin tablets, and all the other things you forgot in your last minute packing.
- Swarovski - crystal glasses and ornaments.
- Hour Choice - watches.
- Like its Dubai counterpart, ADDF enjoys holding extravagent raffles, for example a monthly AED 1 million prize draw with tickets costing AED 500 (available at ADDF, Al Ain Duty Free, Abu Dhabi City Terminal, Ghweifat Duty Free, and online at the ADDF website).
Each terminal also has a small duty free in the arrivals section where you can top up your Abu Dhabi duty free allowance.
Ghweifat Duty Free
Ghweifat Duty Free is a duty free shop at the land border between Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, operated by Abu Dhabi Duty Free. Don't expect quite the same extensive selection of caviar or Cuban cigars but it does have a range of perfume, electronics, toys etc. You can also buy ADDF raffle tickets and/or a cuppa tea and a sandwich.
Abu Dhabi International Airport
- Postal Address: Department of Civil Aviation, Abu Dhabi International Airport: PO Box 20, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
- Telephone: +971-2-5757500, fax: +971-2-5757285
- Lost property tel: +971-2-5052771
- Flight enquiry: +971-2-5757500
- Telegraph: CIVILAIR ABU DHABI
- Telex: 24406 ABUDCA EM
Abu Dhabi Airports Company
- Telephone: +971-2-5055000, fax: +971-2-5758300, email: email@example.com.
- Postal address: Abu Dhabi Airports Company, PO Box 94449, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Abu Dhabi Duty Free
- Abu Dhabi Duty Free Customer Service: T1 tel +971-2-5757818, T2 tel: +971-2-5053907 or +971-2-5758362
List of Abu Dhabi Airport plane crashes and incidents - history and timeline (not complete)
- 30 January 2012 - Etihad flight EY45 to Dublin hit lights on South Runway L31 during take-off at 03:19, due to thick fog, leading to the closure of the runway for a few hours. No injuries. The aircraft suffered some tyre damage.
- 23 September 1983 - a Gulf Air Boeing 737 flight from Karachi to Abu Dhabi crashed in the desert between Al Ain and Dubai. All 112 passengers and crew members died.
Last update Thursday 06-Mar-2014