Best Airport in the Middle East at the World Airport Awards for 3 years running. Abu Dhabi international airport definitely knows how to seduce its passengers.
“It’s true, but I love Italian coffee”, he replies with a smile when we remark that it is rare to see a Greek enjoying a good espresso. We are at Lavazza Expression and the coffee is, in effect, excellent.The man opposite us has all the air of a rich gentleman on his way to some exclusive paradise, but Hektor Ninis is actually working. Always on the go, he tells us that he spends more time in airports than at home. As sales director of a Greek multinational, he travels constantly between the capitals in Europe, the Middle East and China.
He points to the lounge opposite. It would seem that he spends a huge amount of time in places like this.
“Often, between one flight and another, I need to study documents and there is no better place to do so”.
The area is without doubt perfectly equipped to allow someone like Hector to work: peace and quiet, wi-fi, Apple computers, fax machines and printers.
But business travellers are apparently not the only ones who appreciate the facilities at Abu Dhabi international airport.
Those two ladies just coming out of the Six Sense Spa look ready for an exciting afternoon in a Parisian or New York shopping street, rather than two passengers blending in with the 40,000 people who pass through here every day. Their actions confirm our guess: we watch them as they concentrate and comment on the store windows of a well-known Italian fashion brand.
I felt it on my arrival, as soon as we stepped into this sumptuous, dazzling, ultra-modern world. A world of enormous spaces and wonderful design, featuring amazing technology throughout.
But when we walk past a room that looks like a children’s playground, I finally get it. This is not just an airport.
This is part of the fun and the journey; somewhere you can lose yourself, a happy fusion of fashion street, wellbeing centre and luxury hotel.
Just a few kilometres from the capital, Abu Dhabi is one of the fastest growing airports in the world: since 2006 its figures have more than tripled and over the next few years it is forecasted to become the departure, destination or transit airport for over 30 million passengers on international and national flights.