Stuck on a United Arab Emirates layover at the Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)? The airport is one of the fastest growing in the world, and currently being expanded. It is located roughly 30 kilometers from the city center of Abu Dhabi which makes the city an accessible destination for those stuck on long layovers. If you’re trying to determine whether you can leave the airport during your Abu Dhabi layover, click here for useful tips.
In addition, the Abu Dhabi airport is roughly a two-hour drive from Dubai, which makes it a viable place to visit for those on very long layovers. For the full Layover Guide to Dubai, click here!
If you’re stuck inside the airport during your Abu Dhabi layover, there are many options to keep you busy during your wait. The airport has a number of amenities and facilities including 24-hour duty free retail, which permits the following allowances:
- Alcohol: 4 liters or one carton / 24 cans of beer
- Cigarettes: AED 2,000 or 2x 200 carton(s)
- Cigars: AED 3,000 (max.)
- Tobacco (other): 2 kg (max.)
- Gift items (inc. perfume): AED 3,000 (max.)
The airport also offers a business center within the Airport Hotel [Tel: +971 2 5757377], medical services and a pharmacy in terminal 1, Meet & Assist service, a post office open from 7:30am to 9:30pm in terminal 1 ground floor near staff tunnel, and telephone cards available at Duty Free outlets at AED30 and AED 40. The National Bank of Abu Dhabi is located in terminals 1 and 2, and ATMs are available in terminals 1, 1A, and 2 in the landslide and transit area. There is also free Internet access at various lounges throughout the airport.
Passengers can relax at one of the Abu Dhabi airport’s many lounges which includes the Ghazal Lounge in terminal 1, the Al Dana Lounge in terminal 2, the Etihad Premium Lounge in terminal 1, the Al Dar Lounge in terminal 2, and the Terminal 2 Premium Lounge. Most lounges allow passengers to pay an hourly rate – all rates can additional location information on the airport lounges can be found here. The Abu Dhabi airport also has a fitness center located within the Airport Hotel (non hotel guests can use for an hourly charge of AED23 per person).
If you arrive at night or are looking for a place to rest, there is a small 30-room transit Airport Hotel located in the terminal 1 transit area near the Departure Immigration Hall. If you are looking for a place to stay in Abu Dhabi, click here to find a comprehensive list of hotels of varying price points.
If you are planning on leaving the airport to explore Abu Dhabi on your layover, there are a number of transportation options. The airport offers car rental, there is a 24-hour airport shuttle, taxis and limousine taxis. Bus 901 which arrives outside terminals 1 and 2 and operates between the airport and the city at one-hour intervals at AED3 per trip.
Layover Guide’s Suggestions Of Things To Do On An Abu Dhabi Layover:
Abu Dhabi Tours
If you have a limited time to check out the sites, might want to take a tour of the city that will pack them all in a short time frame. There’s many to choose from including day tours, bus and bike tours, night cruises, dinner theater, outdoor activities, and more.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque
The largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the eighth largest mosque in the world, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is named after the first Emirates President and opened in 2007. Large enough for 40,000 people, there are 57 domes made from white marble.
Marina Mall Tower
Opened in 2009, the Marina Mall Tower offers incredible views over the city and the Corniche. At the base of the tower is a skating rink and ski slope, and the mall has over 300 stores for all your shopping needs.
Yas Marina Circuit
The Yas Marina Circuit offers a number of motorsport activities including Karting, driving race cars and passenger experiences. Race from their collection of cars including Aston Martins. To read more about the connecting hotel, the Yas Hotel, click here.
The Corniche is a stretch of 4 miles along the coast of Abu Dhabi from the Sheraton Hotel to the Hilton Hotel. Along with fountains and gardens, refreshments and many activities from wakeboarding to volleyball.
Heritage Village is a museum that shows the history of the area. With mud-brick houses, gardens, ancient tombs and camel rides, you can see how people used to live in the nomadic cultures.
None of these interest you? Click here for more things to do on your Abu Dhabi layover.
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