An opening date for the Midfield Terminal at Abu Dhabi International is expected to be announced this year, with the facility now virtually complete.
Originally scheduled to open in 2017, the 742,000 square metre terminal will revolutionise travel in the emirate.
A final process of testing and commissioning is currently underway.
The development comes at a good time for the aviation sector in Abu Dhabi, with the airport welcoming 21 million passengers last year.
When open, the new terminal will be able to handle up to 45 million passengers each year.
Ahead of the launch, Abu Dhabi Airports has awarded the Midfield Terminal’s lounge construction and management contract to a joint venture between National Aviation Services and Airport Dimensions.
It is hoped the partnership will combine NAS’ regional operational experience and Airport Dimensions’ expertise in managing passenger’s needs at international airports.
Spanning over 3,500 square meters, the new lounge will allow customers to enjoy premium lounge services, in line with Abu Dhabi Airports’ renowned Arabian hospitality and delivering a seamless and comfortable passenger experience.
The lounge will be located at the heart of the new Midfield Terminal, offering access to independent travellers, regardless of the airline they are traveling with or the class of their ticket.
It is accessible to passengers who are departing or transiting through Abu Dhabi International Airport, forming a significant part of the airport’s world-class facilities.
Commenting on the new contract, Bryan Thompson, chief executive of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “Our partnership with NAS and Airport Dimensions represents an exciting development for the future passengers of the Midfield Terminal, as the new lounge will provide an unparalleled customer experience for those travelling through Abu Dhabi International Airport.
“We are pleased to be able to work with both NAS and Airport Dimensions on the construction and management of the new lounge.
“NAS’ operations within the Middle East mean that its regional knowledge will be invaluable in bringing this project to completion, whilst Airport Dimensions’ extensive expertise in airport lounge design and management will help to create a lounge that leaves passengers refreshed,” he added.
“I offer my congratulations to both NAS and Airport Dimensions; and look forward to working with both companies as we prepare the Midfield Terminal to receive passengers from across the globe.”
Abu Dhabi Airports’ partnership with NAS and Airport Dimensions to develop and operate the new lounge represents Airport Dimensions’ first project in the MENA region, adding to its global portfolio of 22 lounges.
Airport Dimensions manages lounges at some of the world’s busiest airports, including London Heathrow and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia.
NAS currently operates 40 lounges across Africa, Middle East and Asia, including the VIP Terminal with meet and assist services at the Abu Dhabi International Airport.
At the same time, Abu Dhabi Airports has awarded two retail unit spaces in the upcoming new Midfield Terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport to the Lulu Group, a diverse conglomerate headquartered in Abu Dhabi with a strong retail presence in the UAE, the GCC and globally.
Lulu Group will develop a specialist gifting retail space and a dedicated non-food department store encompassing a total of 1,833 square meters.
Lulu has been added to an exciting line up of brands at the Midfield Terminal, which includes 28,000 square meters of retail space for duty free shopping, dining, relaxing and entertainment, catering to the diverse needs of Abu Dhabi International Airport’s passengers.
The partnership with Lulu Group is a result of Abu Dhabi Airports’ commitment to developing strategic partnerships with local industry within the UAE, ensuring that local products and services are a key aspect of the world-class passenger experience delivered by the Midfield Terminal.
Sheikh Mohammad Bin Hamad Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “The Midfield Terminal is one of the region’s most significant aviation infrastructure projects, and it is only fitting that it will now be home to one of the region’s most successful international conglomerates.
“Lulu Group will make a significant contribution to our long-term retail strategy, and we look forward to working closely with them in the coming months and years.”
To reflect the modern and new age design of the terminal building in all aspects of the new terminal, Lulu Group has brought on board leading international architects to design its ultra-modern and futuristic stores.
The retailer has also committed to stocking handpicked, high quality products, offered at affordable prices and sold exclusively at the upcoming Lulu outlets at the Midfield Terminal.