Abu Dhabi Airports appoints Jamal Al Dhaheri as chief executive and managing director

The Midfield Terminal project is expected to be a top priority for the airport operator's new boss

Abu Dhabi International Airports has a new chief executive. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Airports
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Abu Dhabi Airports has appointed Jamal Al Dhaheri, the former head of ADQ-owned Senaat, as its chief executive and managing director as it maps out the travel hub's future growth.

Mr Al Dhaheri, who has more than 27 years of experience in top positions across several major Abu Dhabi companies, replaces Shareef Hashim Al Hashmi at the helm of the state-owned entity, Abu Dhabi Airports said on Thursday.

The long-awaited Dh10.8 billion ($2.94bn) Midfield Terminal Building, which is taking shape at Abu Dhabi International Airport, is expected to be among the top priorities for the new chief executive.

“The next-generation Midfield Terminal will increase capacity for passenger traffic and air cargo shipments that are vital to the airport’s future growth, and this will be one of the major elements in Al Dhaheri's mandate,” the airport operator said.

Mr Al Dhaheri steps into the role amid a rebound in air travel demand from the impact of the coronavirus-induced slowdown.

Passenger traffic at Abu Dhabi International Airport nearly quadrupled during the second quarter of 2022 amid an easing of travel restrictions in key markets around the world.

The airport handled 3.6 million passengers in the three months to the end of June, an almost fivefold increase from the same quarter last year. This represents 68 per cent of pre-coronavirus passenger volumes.

The airport operator now expects the Gulf hub to handle at least 13 million passengers in 2022, up from an earlier projection in February of 10.7 million.

Midfield Terminal plans

The Midfield Terminal Building is in its “final phases”, with trials being run and staff training under way, Abu Dhabi Airports chief operations officer Frank McCrorie told The National last month.

Mr Al Dhaheri is poised to take the organisation to its “next phase of transformation to become a regional leader in airport management and operations”, the airport operator said.

He brings years of experience at the helm of several industrial companies.

Mr Al Dhaheri was the chief executive of General Holding Corporation, better known as Senaat, for five years before ending his tenure in 2020 to lead Abu Dhabi state holding company ADQ’s newly formed food and agricultural technology company Silal.

ADQ's mobility and logistics cluster includes Abu Dhabi Airports. The latter owns and operates Abu Dhabi International Airport, Al Ain International Airport, Al Bateen Executive Airport, Delma Island Airport and Sir Bani Yas Island Airport.

Mr Al Dhaheri is currently chairman of the board of Dubai Cables (Ducab), chairman of Silal and vice chairman of Emirates Steel Arkan.

“Abu Dhabi Airports extends their utmost appreciation to Shareef Hashim Al Hashmi, for the fundamental role he played in reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading aviation and logistics hub in the region, as well as promoting it as one of the world’s great destinations,” the airport operator said.

Updated: September 01, 2022, 2:00 PM