Everything we know about Abu Dhabi's new airport terminal

Terminal A is now open to the public, with a phased transition

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The first passengers have touched down at Abu Dhabi International Airport's Terminal A, which may look familiar after its starring role in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.

On Tuesday, Etihad Airways operated the first commercial flight from the new terminal at the capital's airport, which is to be renamed Zayed International Airport.

Flight EY224, an Airbus A350-1000 with 359 people on board, took off from Abu Dhabi to New Delhi at 2.35pm.

As it opens to the wider public, here's what passengers need to know.

When does Abu Dhabi's new terminal officially open?

The new facilities open to the public on Wednesday, with a phased transition until November 14.

Operations are currently being conducted simultaneously from Terminals A, 1, 2 and 3.

Any passengers and those picking up or dropping off visitors are being urged to double-check information online at www.abudhabiairport.ae to check real-time flight information and make sure they go to the correct terminal.

How do I get to Terminal A?

The terminal has been added to Google Maps and Waze, as well as other popular navigation apps.

Motorway signs have also been added to the E10 and E11 as well as other locations in and around the facility.

It is a five-minute drive from Terminals 1 and 3. There is plenty of parking on site, with an air-conditioned bridge into the terminal.

Anyone taking a taxi or public transport can get dropped off directly at the terminal.

When will Etihad Airways fly from Terminal A?

From November 9, Etihad will operate 16 flights from the terminal. The national airline of the UAE encourages anyone travelling with them from November 9 to 11am on November 14 to check which terminal you're flying to and from at etihad.com/TerminalAinfo.

If you're transiting in Abu Dhabi between these dates, it's important to check which terminal your next flight takes off from since the airline will be operating from Terminal 1, 3 and A, so you might need to move to another building.

For passengers with a connecting flight to the US who are in Terminal A, they must head to Gate F two hours before their next flight to leave enough time to board the shuttle bus and clear US immigration.

What if I'm in the wrong terminal?

Complimentary inter-terminal shuttle buses are available to carry passengers between buildings.

These operate from Door 7 in Terminal A and Door 5 in Terminal 3.

If you're flying with Etihad Airways in first or business class, then you can also take advantage of a free limousine service.

When will all airlines operate from Terminal A?

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi and 15 other international airlines are now scheduled to fly from the new terminal, including IndiGo, Air India, Vistara, PIA, Smartwings, Syrian Air, Aeroflot and Pegasus Airlines.

From November 14, 10 more airlines will join.

As of November 15, all flights will take off from and land in Abu Dhabi exclusively in Terminal A.

In its first seven days of operations, the airport expects 637 flights to depart and arrive.

When will it be renamed?

Abu Dhabi International Airport is being renamed as Zayed International Airport, with the official new name to take effect from February 9.

This will coincide with the official opening ceremony of Terminal A.

How big is Terminal A?

Covering 742,000 square metres, it is one of the largest airport terminals in the world and will significantly increase the airport’s passenger and cargo capacity.

The $3 billion building is set to double capacity and manage up to 45 million passengers per year.

It's capable of handling 79 planes at once and 11,000 passengers per hour.

More than 115 flights will operate from there, significantly increasing the frequency and reach of flights to and from Abu Dhabi.

What's inside the airport?

The terminal will have nine main biometric touchpoints including self-service kiosks, immigration e-gates and boarding gates, as well as streamlined security checkpoints, Abu Dhabi Airport said.

When fully operational, it will use facial recognition technology to screen passengers and minimise waiting times. An advanced baggage handling system will be able to process up to 19,200 bags an hour.

About 35,000 square metres of space is also dedicated to retail and dining, with 163 outlets for people to shop and eat at.

It will be home to luxury brands such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Ferragamo, as well as the world’s first Muji airport store.

Jones the Grocer, Camden Food Co and TGI Fridays are among the dining outlets. Todd English will also open his first airport restaurant in Abu Dhabi.

The terminal will also feature two health and beauty spas, along with a 138-room hotel and an open-air lounge.

Its new flagship lounges – spread across three floors – offer dining options, a rooftop cocktail bar, relaxation spaces, a games room and a family room.

Updated: November 02, 2023, 10:57 AM