New Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal to be Ready in 2010

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi International Airport will offer as much as 40,000 square metres of retail space when it opens its new midfield terminal in late 2010, one planner said yesterday.

The airport is focused on increasing non-airline revenue and is finalising designs for the massive X-shaped midfield terminal, according to Joe Romano, an architect at Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects.

A driving factor in the design is to prevent leakage, or loss of revenue, when Abu Dhabi residents fly out of other UAE airports. To achieve this the designs factor in 1,000 square metres of retail space per million passengers. Ultimately, the airport will be able to handle 40 million passengers.

The X-shaped design will provide travellers with a centrally located shopping area, the architect said. Dubai International Airport, for example, has an estimated 10,000 square metres of shops.

The expansion plan will be executed in stages, said Ismael Al Zarouni, a project engineer at the Supervisory Committee for the Expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Increased capacity

By the time the terminal opens in November 2010, the airport will be capable of handling 20 million passengers, Al Zarouni said. The airport is currently equipped to see seven million passengers per year.

The $6.8 billion plan also includes expanding cargo capacity from 150,000 tonnes to two million tonnes, the creation of a new control tower and second runway, and a third terminal featuring eight gates large enough for the Airbus A380 superjumbo.