Abu Dhabi International Airport in the United Arab Emirates has opened its new Terminal A and been renamed Zayed International Airport, on the instruction of United Arab Emirates President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Informed by the undulating sand dunes of the desert and geometric patterns of Islamic heritage, the airport’s design was created by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF). The terminal will be able to process up to 45 million passengers per year, doubling the airport’s capacity.
Elena Sorlini, managing director and interim CEO at Abu Dhabi Airports, said, “Terminal A at Zayed International Airport is a breathtaking fusion of modern materials, light and open spaces. Our main focus is always on our customers and passengers as we make them the center of everything we do.
“The terminal is an iconic addition to Abu Dhabi’s skyline, but also uses its x-shape design for significant operational efficiency and passenger flow. The architecture has a strong connection with the natural environment of this emirate, where each of the four piers points to and is inspired by Abu Dhabi’s desert, sea, city and oasis, making it a truly timeless piece of architecture for generations to enjoy.”
James von Klemperer, president of Kohn Pedersen Fox, added, “We are delighted to see the opening of Terminal A, our largest and most complex airport to date. It’s particularly exciting because the building represents so much of the mission of our practice. The changing scales and variety of spaces within the terminal are themes we believe are key to the design of airports, allowing them to become civic landmarks and representatives of the cities they serve. Terminal A is a showcase for Abu Dhabi, and its attention to detail, functionality and inclusive and inspiring design elevates the experience of traveling for all.”
Jochen Tombers, managing principal of Kohn Pedersen Fox, said, “It’s been a transformational decade for the aviation industry. Tectonic shifts in environmental, technological and societal demands are forcing operators and designers to radically rethink how airports work – and will work – in the future. As architectural designers and planners, at KPF we believe the future of air travel will be shaped by the integration of technology into every aspect of the airport experience; by the focus on environmental performance and on creating a seamless and vibrant passenger experience. Zayed International Airport, Terminal A is truly a masterpiece that will usher in a new era of airport terminals.”
Arik De, chief revenue and commercial officer of the UAE’s national airline Etihad Airways, commented, “We take immense pride in our home, Abu Dhabi, which is the perfect hub from which to explore the world. We’re forever grateful to the vision of the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and proudly join in these celebrations as our home airport is renamed in his honor.”
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