"avoid it at all costs"
J Song (United Kingdom)
I had to go through this airport during my flight from KUL to DUB. Inbound at 8-45pm and outbound at 2-55am - horrible. It took me 30mins from bus to the terminal and once the bus had set down the crowd of people in the bus were lost - where was the exit? The alley used to enter the terminal was also used to go on board and there were no signs dividers. We managed to find our way through by asking for directions to other passengers who were going onboard. As for the terminal itself like all reviews below avoid it at all costs. No seats and if any very uncomfortable seats plus annoying announcements every minute - it gets more annoying if you can't find a place to sit. The duty free shops are a rip-off too. It takes 10 mins to get around the airport and with its dome shape and tiles on the walls the noise echoes throughout and with the announcements its a nightmare! The security checks were over- secured and literally for every passenger they took about 5 mins to interview asking why did you transit in AUH why are you going there how long did you stay in your destination etc.
"a deeply boring place"
Pasindu Karunaratne (United Kingdom)
Hanging around in any airport is to be avoided and in Abu Dhabi all the more so. It is a deeply boring place to have to spend any time there being nothing much to do. The seating – what there is of it – is comfortable. The airport seems tiny. The mosaic dome makes a change but it allows voices to echo so is noisy. This is exacerbated by the continual – and I mean continual – announcements which are also impossible to understand. There is a Costa so you can get a good cup of coffee and pay in £ if you wish. I didn’t particularly notice the smoke that so many people have complained of. Crowd control is southern ie long queues and lengthy processes. The toilets are reasonably unpleasant. Shopping is very limited to the usual Duty Free fare of watches perfumes cigars and alcohol. There are no quiet places to sleep so if you have an 8 hour stop-over during the night as I did you are going to have little fun. You can get a little sleep on the carpeted floor in the passages to the gates. All in all an experience that is not recommended.
"a big disappointment"
S Sharma (United Kingdom)
Etihad was a pleasant experience travelling between Sydney and Manchester but the stopover in Abu Dhabi was a big disappointment. Had 2 hours to spend here in either direction and found the airport to be small crowded noisy and smelling of cigarette smoke. Finding a seat and getting comfortable was next to impossible and hearing the announcements over the humdrum was difficult too. Hopefully the new terminals and expansions will do justice to the airline that the airport serves.
"tiny and really overcrowded"
T Vincent (United Kingdom)
I flew with Etihad from BRU to BKK with a 2 hours stopover in AUH. At first sight I found the terminal quite original and nice (the green mosaic); but tiny and really overcrowded. The terminal is non smoking but this is theory as it smells cigarette smoke everywhere. In fact there are smoking areas in bars but no smoke extractor so the whole terminal looks like a smoking room. Going from the 2nd floor to the 1st one using the stairs is hazardous as smoking is not prohibited in the piano bar between the 2 floors. Toilets are on the 1st floor. There look really old fashioned and are not so clean (lot of water on the ground). So what to do when you are in transit? There are 3 bars/snacks but it's almost impossible to find a seat. Prices for drinks are OK. Not so many duty free areas. Ideal for short stopovers as it takes only 5 minutes to go from one gate to another but probably the worst airport I've ever seen for people in transit. I expected much better for a city like Abu Dhabi.
"way too cramped and crowded"
Pasindu Karunaratne (United Kingdom)
I went through this airport a few weeks back on my way to London from Abu Dhabi on Qatar Airways and to be honest it is one of the most disgusting airports I have been through. My flight was at around 11:30 pm and the airport was crowded and finding a place to sit was out of the question. It is way too cramped and crowded. It is a real shame that a fast developing country like the UAE does not have a decent airport to go through it is not as if Dubai is any better.
"unpleasant when it is overcrowded"
Steve Unsworth (United Kingdom)
I have travelled through Abu Dhabi between London and South East Asia several times over the last few months. A layover here is as recorded elsewhere deeply unpleasant when it is overcrowded (typically 10pm to 2am). Use Qatar or Emirates to their hubs rather than Etihad. The only good thing I have to report is that a critical comment left in their suggestion box stimulated an e-mail apology and promise of better things post the completion of new facilities which arrived before I got back home 12 hours later!