The passangers waiting area at the departure building at the Midfield Terminal building in Abu Dhabi International Airport. Image Credit: Abdul Rhman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Everybody is looking forward to the open of UAE's new Dh10-billion terminal here in the last quarter of 2019.

The numbers are staggering: 84 million annual passenger capacity, 19,200 pieces of baggage per hour, 35,000 square metres of duty-free shops, dining and entertainment.

And from the looks of it, the new mega facility is immense, iconic and state-of-the-art.

For the first time on Monday, media was given a tour of the midfield terminal building project at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Construction of the new terminal, estimated at more than Dh10 billion, would boost Abu Dhabi’s aviation sector to meet a spike in demand and help diversify its economy.

The building work is now 86 per cent complete.

The under-construction terminal in Abu Dhabi is expected to open in 2019.

“This [airport] is the future … Abu Dhabi is performing and transforming to the biggest terminal airport building in the world under one roof … This [midfield terminal] is the pride of Abu Dhabi,” said Abdul Majeed Al Khoori, acting chief executive officer at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Opening the facility in the last quarter of 2019 this "is the aim between us and all stakeholders," he said.

Mega terminal

“According to the schedule and according to what we agreed with the contractor, it will be ready for operation in the end of 2019. We have confidence in our team and our contractor to deliver,” he added.

Al Khoori acknowledged the challenges of building the mega terminal.

“Everybody knows the challenges that we are facing, [from] the size of the terminal, [and] the complicity of the systems,” he said.

About 15,000 workers are building the new terminal: It will have 35,000 square metres of Duty Free shopping, dining and entertainment.

“The aim is to be number one in the world in the sense of customer service. Today, we are number one in the Middle East in customer service, last year we took the best airport in the Middle East in customer service,” he added.

Sulaiman D. Al Siksek, acting chief programme officer at Abu Dhabi International Airport, also affirmed the project was on its way to completion after being delayed.

'Once it’s done it’s going to be one fantastic looking building'.

“We are building an iconic building, this is not a simple building, it is a state-of-the-art building … Once it’s done it’s going to be one fantastic looking building, but with that comes a lot of challenges,” he said.

File photo taken in March 2017 of the new mid-field mega-terminal.

“This is where we as a project team … had to sit down with all consultants, the contractor, and all the subcontractors to keep the momentum going. Yes, we had challenges, but we were able to resolve these challenges that had some impacts on [our original] schedule,” he added. “[We are now] moving forward to the building completion,” he said.

The midfield terminal is aimed to boost Abu Dhabi’s aviation sector. 


Key Facts

Abu Dhabi Airport’s new midfield terminal

- 742,000 square metres

- Can handle a capacity of 84 million passengers annually

- Capacity to handle 11,000 passengers per hour

- 19,200 pieces of luggage per hour

- 35,000 square metres of Duty Free shopping, dining, and entertainment

- Over 15,000 workers involved in the construction