Iconic Abu Dhabi T1 undergoes a magical makeover

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The word ‘iconic’ is one that suffers from heavy over-use in descriptions of many of the airports, stores and brands that populate our industry. But one location that deserves the title is the unmistakeable Terminal 1 at Abu Dhabi International Airport, with its colourful domed roof and circular design.

Once one of the industry’s state-of-the-art consumer and retail arenas, in recent years it began to suffer by comparison not only with the glittering new terminals of the Middle East and other regions, but also with the gleaming new Terminal 3 at Abu Dhabi itself, which opened in 2009.

Now T1 is making a comeback worthy of its previous renown. This week Abu Dhabi Airports Company announced that a multi-million Dollar project to refurbish the facility had been completed, in a move that brings the range of services and quality of design in line with T3.

Crucially, the retail and food & beverage offer is effectively being relaunched here, with clean, bright modern lines, strong branding and good visibility throughout. The 27 commercial outlets signal the high ambition that ADAC has for non-aeronautical activities.

And the overall the consumer offer – including a dedicated area for children to play, plus premium lounges and a business centre – underline its drive to be seen as a location that sits among the ranks of the world’s leading airports. With a brand new look, Abu Dhabi’s original terminal is ready to recapture the ‘iconic’ reputation it once had.

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