Zayed International Airport can cater to 45 million passengers a year. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Starting today (February 9), Abu Dhabi’s international Airport will officially be known as Zayed International Airport.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Advisor of Special Affairs at the Presidential Court and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Airports' Board of Directors, attended a ceremony to rename Abu Dhabi International Airport as Zayed International Airport, in honour of the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

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The name change is a directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, in honour of his father – the late Sheikh Zayed. The new name takes effect from February 9, coinciding with the official opening of the airport’s new Terminal A.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad said: “We are immensely proud to rename Abu Dhabi’s largest airport in honour of the Founding Father of the UAE. The unsurpassed achievements of the late Sheikh Zayed in connecting our country to nations around the world have inspired our commitment to ensuring that Abu Dhabi further strengthens its position as a world-leading hub for travel, trade, and commerce.

"I would like to thank President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed for entrusting us with carrying forward the name of the Founding Father, helping to commemorate his unforgettable legacy that impacts us to this day, and will continue to inspire future generations. Opening its gates to the world, Zayed International Airport ushers in a new era for Abu Dhabi’s aviation sector. The airport’s state-of-the-art infrastructure delivers exceptional connectivity, innovation and sustainability for an elevated guest experience while propelling regional tourism, trade, and commerce to new heights.”

Launch ceremony

The new brand identity unveiled today as part of the renaming celebrates the emirate of Abu Dhabi through shape and forms inspired by its landscape and history, as well as by the design of the airport itself. A traditional dhow boat, a date palm tree, the desert sun, the Qasr Al Hosn Fort, and Terminal A – the iconic new terminal building – served as creative sources for the new logo, showcasing Abu Dhabi’s unique identity while inviting travellers to write their own story.

The launch of Zayed International Airport’s new brand has been accompanied by video highlights of over 1,750 drones coming together in an air display to form the airport’s new logo.

Terminal A

Recently crowned the world's top airport operator at The World Travel Awards, Zayed International introduced Terminal A in 2023. A facility spanning 742,000 square meters and catering to 11,000 passengers per hour, the hub is the home base of UAE’s flag cattier Etihad Airways. The airport can cater to 45 million passengers a year.

With world-leading facilities, including biometric technology to streamline the screening and boarding process, 35,000 square metres of retail and F&B space, and 163 outlets for passengers to shop, dine and enjoy, Terminal A places passenger experience at the heart of operations at Zayed International Airport.

During the first 60 days after Terminal A became fully operational, Zayed International Airport welcomed 4.48 million passengers, with 1.21 million arrivals, 1.22 million departures, two million transfers and more than 24,000 flights. Zayed International Airport served 117 travel destinations in December 2023, an increase of 20 per cent from 100 cities in 2022, due to a rapidly growing airline network of 28 international carriers.

The first commercial flight from Terminal A departed on October 31, 2023, an Airbus A350-1000, operated by Etihad Airways and bound for New Delhi.

Arik De, Chief Revenue and Commercial Officer, Etihad Airways, said, “We take immense pride in our home, Abu Dhabi, which is the perfect hub from which to explore the world. We’re forever grateful to the vision of the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and proudly join in these celebrations as our home airport is renamed in his honour.”

To celebrate the historic occasion, Etihad Airways has launched a special offer for guests departing from Abu Dhabi to select destinations. The limited time offer is available between February 9 to 14 for guests travelling between February 19 and June 15.

Moreover, to celebrate the re-naming, Zayed International Airport will be hosting a range of celebrations from Friday February 9 to Sunday February 11 for travellers. This includes discounts and special offers on duty free, in their restaurants, shops and cafes.