Countdown starts for Abu Dhabi’s spectacular new Midfield Terminal Complex

Abu Dhabi will finally have an air terminal matching the best facilities in the region. The brand new Midfield Terminal Complex at Abu Dhabi International Airport is ready to open by the end of the year.

July saw the Abu Dhabi International Airport authorities conduct full-scale operational trials at its Midfield Terminal Complex as the glitzy facility is due to open to the public by the end of the year.

Once opened, the terminal will be one of the largest in the world and will bring a true revolution for passengers flying from, to and through Abu Dhabi with enhanced comfort and some 28,000 sq m of shopping and F&B, an integrated 3-star hotel, as well as leisure facilities. The terminal will serve as the main hub for the UAE national carrier, Etihad Airways.

Spanning 742,000 sq m – equivalent to 21 football fields – the US$2.94 bn terminal will be able to handle more than 8,500 people per hour and will increase the airport’s capacity to 45 million passengers a year. Last year, Abu Dhabi International Airport handled over 26 million passengers while its current terminals have a theoretical capacity for 15 to 18 million passengers.

While the first phase of the terminal will cater to 30 million passengers, a second phase is already planned for a total passenger output of 60 million. Ultimately, the Midfield Terminal Complex will be able to accommodate up to 80 million passengers.

The terminal offers a spectacular design with a curved roof that appears to float across 18 steel arches spanning over 180 meters. It will provide 156 check- in counters and 48 self-service kiosks, 30,000 sq m of airline lounges and 65 aircraft gates along four piers starting from the central unit. The airport will guarantee a transfer time of 45 minutes for passengers and their luggage. The baggage handling system will be able to process almost half a million bags a day.

Photo: Abu Dhabi’s new Midfield terminal