Abu Dhabi’s Midfield Terminal Building project to set benchmark for airports for the next 20 years

Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) hosted media today to explore updates to its Midfield Terminal Building (MTB) project, which executives said will set the benchmark for all airports over the next 20 years. The comments were made on the sidelines of this week’s ACI Exchange 2019 conference being held at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi—where the global aviation industry is gathering to explore the future of airport innovation.  

Taking questions about the vast new MTB facility were ADAC Chief Executive Officer Bryan Thompson, Chief Programs Officer Sulaiman Al Siksek, and Acting Chief Operations Officer Ahmed Juma Al Shamsi.

The MTB encompasses a massive 742,000sqm floor area. By offering some of the best facilities in the world with a strong retail offering, ADAC is ensuring the airport is an attractive destination for all airlines and serves as a gateway to Abu Dhabi and the UAE. The global hub will include 154 check-in counters, 12,150sqm of food and beverage outlets, and 27,500sqm of passenger lounges once completed. Passengers transiting through Abu Dhabi can also pass the time shopping in high-end retail outlets covering 15,860sqm, or rest in the nearly 200-room transit hotel. 

“We are taking on the challenge of making the impersonal, sometimes mechanical experience of travel feel warm, human and wondrous again,” Thompson said. “In so doing, we give travelers their first real taste of our home, not merely as a hub, but as a destination. The new terminal will be a point of pride for all Emiratis and a truly exceptional building that represents Abu Dhabi’s welcoming gift to travelers arriving in the emirate.”

“ADAC is drawing on its heritage in the ultra-modern facility”, noted Al Shamsi. “We are creating an experience which is uniquely Emirati. It is envisioned as an architectural marvel and a truly iconic structure for the UAE capital.” The design of MTB is based on the beauty and symmetry of the sand dunes that define the dramatic Abu Dhabi desert landscape. 

The extensive use of recycled and locally-sourced materials will reduce the carbon footprint of the MTB as well, added Al Siksek. Its design will cut water use in the terminal by almost half compared with similar scale buildings. The Abu Dhabi Department of Municipalities and Transport  has already awarded the MTB a “Three-Pearl” Design Rating from the Estidama Building Rating System.  It is the largest single building to be rated by Estidama globally and is the highest-rated terminal in the GCC.  

The MTB project is also the embodiment of smart travel perfected, according to Al Siksek. “The facility is being built with a positive passenger experience at its core.  A stress-free process is being created at every step in the customer journey, with robust biometric, mobile, and automation technologies helping us to cooperate with security authorities for a truly seamless journey,” he said.

With international passenger numbers projected to double in the next 20 years, Abu Dhabi is ideally located to connect the major population centres of Europe, Africa, India and China – and in the case of the last three, meet the needs of their growing, aspirational middle classes. The MTB will play a key role in meeting future growth and capacity needs.

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