Sleeping in Airports

Abu Dhabi Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our Abu Dhabi Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

When I asked, the staff were more than happy for me to enter the terminal, despite not flying out from there in the morning. – rossh89

AUH Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, here is a quick run-down about what to expect during your time at Abu Dhabi International Airport (Code: AUH).

What to Expect

Abu Dhabi Airport has three terminals linked by a free inter-terminal bus service with shuttles that reportedly run every 15 minutes. While the airport has been undergoing extensive refurbishment in recent years, reviewers report that the airport is especially crowded, with long lineups during security screening. The airport also has a reputation for inadequate seating and not enough rest rooms in certain areas. All three terminals offer food concessions, duty-free shopping, banking, business services and free WiFi. There are three airside lounges, and a landside lounge located just after customs and immigration outside of Terminals 1 and 3. See Airport Lounges in the guide below for locations and rates.

Abu Dhabi Airport Guide
(Photo courtesy of a guest traveller / 29Jun2018)

Sleeping in Abu Dhabi Airport

Terminal 3 at AUH Airport has been identified as having the best sleeping spots. If you do find a sleeping nook, the terminals are described as being noisy and cold, so consider earplugs and a sweater or travel blanket. Terminal 3 also has two dedicated sleep lounges with sleeping pods available for a fee. For privacy and comfort, there is an airside 38-room transit hotel in Terminal 1, as well as a landside hotel with easy access to Terminals 1 and 3. See Airport Hotels in the guide below for more details or read some traveller reviews for more tips.

Covid-19 Update

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, all services and times listed below are subject to change. Some services and facilities may remain closed or operate with reduced hours.  Airport tips and suggestions in this guide and elsewhere on the site were written before March 2020 and may no longer be valid. If you are planning to sleep in the public area of the terminal overnight, have a back-up plan! We’ve heard from a few travellers at other airports and they were not permitted to stay overnight. We’re not sure if that will apply to this airport, until a reader lets us know the current situation. To help us keep this guide up-to-date as the airport reopens, you can add or update information or write a review and submit photos and airport tips.

For more airport information continue scrolling down to explore more in our Abu Dhabi Airport Guide.

In this guide we may refer to locations as “landside” and “airside”. Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.  For more information on Europe’s Schengen Area, click here.

Abu Dhabi Airport Hotels & Sleep Pods

If sleeping in Abu Dhabi airport sounds unappealing, there are transit hotels, sleep pods and a hotel connected to the airport from the public zone.

In Transit Sleep Pods – Location: Terminal 3, Upper Level, Airside.  GoSleep at Abu Dhabi Airport is a dedicated lounge with cocoon-like sleep capsules that can accommodate one guest each. Washrooms and showers are not available inside the lounge, but you can use the airport’s public facilities. Free public showers are located near Gate 35, a 7 minute walk away from the GoSleep lounge. Rates: unknown.

In Transit Aerotel Abu Dhabi Airport Hotel (Terminal 1) – Location: Terminal 1, Airside, International Departures Level 1, right side after passport/security control. Open to all transit passengers, this airport transit hotel offers free WiFi, luxury amenities, power shower, wake-up service, 1 hour use of Al Dhabi Lounge and more. As of August 2020, the following sample room rates include a 6-hour stay and all taxes and fees: Solo (AED 262.50) • Double Plus (AED 472.50) • Double Squared (AED 630).  A 30-minute shower package is AED 75.  » Check Rates

In Transit Aerotel Abu Dhabi Airport Hotel (Terminal 3) – Location: Terminal 3, Airside, Transit area. Open to all transit passengers, this airport transit hotel offers free WiFi, wake-up service, solo or double cabins, and more. Note: this location does not have showers.  Rooms can be booked starting at a minimum of 6 hours. As of August 2020, the following sample room rates include a 6-hour stay and all taxes and fees: Solo (AED 262.50) • Double Plus (AED 472.50) • Double Squared (AED 630).  » Check Rates

At the Airport Premier Inn Abu Dhabi International Airport – Located next to Skypark multi-story car park opposite Terminals 1 & 3. Direct access from the airport terminal via retail corridor inside of Skypark. Free shuttle service to Yas Island, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and the Corniche.  » Check Rates

To see more options, there is a list of hotels near Abu Dhabi Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

Terminal 1

Al Reem Lounge Temporarily Closed – Location: Terminal 1, Airside. Showers are available. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Lounge membership programs.

Passes  Al Dhabi Lounge – Location: Terminal 1, Airside. Showers are available. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge pass • Lounge membership programs.

Passes  Diamond Lounge – Location: Terminal 1, Airside. Showers are available. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Prepaid lounge pass • Lounge membership programs.

Airline Lounges

If you are a First or Business Class traveller with Ethiad Airways or an Ethiad Airways partner airline you may have access to the lounges listed below. For more information, check the airline’s website.

Terminal 1: Etihad First & Business Class Lounge (Airside) • Etihad Arrivals Lounge (Landside).

Terminal 3: Etihad First Class Lounge & Spa (Airside) • Etihad Premium Lounge (Airside) •  Ethiad US Premium Lounge (Airside).

Airport WiFi/Internet

Free WiFi is available at Abu Dhabi Airport. Connect to the “ADAC Free Wireless” network.

Additionally there are 50 free internet kiosks located in the Departure Lounges of all three terminals.

More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

  • Airport Service Center – Offers copying, faxing, safety deposit boxes, and more. Location: Terminal 1, Departures, Landside.
  • Business Center – Offers telephone, fax and internet access. Location: Terminal 1 Transit Hall, in the Airport Hotel. Rate: AED 15 per 30 minutes.
  • Family Services
    • Baby Care Facilities – Change and feed your baby in privacy and comfort at one of the numerous baby-changing rooms and nursing rooms located near all restrooms throughout the airport.
    • Children’s Play Area – When you want to ensure your kids burn off all their energy before their flight, take them to the children’s play area. Locations:Terminal 1, Landside • Terminal 1, Airside. Additionally, staffed play areas are available to guests of the Al Dhabi Lounge, Etihad Diamond First Class Lounge, and the Etihad Pearl Business Class Lounge.
    • Strollers – To help parents get around the airport easier, the airport offers free baby strollers. Locations: various pick-up points throughout the airport.
  • Food & Drinks – Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. Landside offers approximately 10 restaurant/cafes while Airside you will find 20. The airport mentions that a wide variety of restaurant options are open 24 hours. As of this update, we were only able to identify one: Cinnabon (Terminal 3, Airside, Main Level).
    • Supermarket – A wide variety of groceries, baked goods, souvenirs, and toys are available at Starter Supermarket. Location: Skypark, landside. Hours: 24 hours.
  • Information Desk – If you have any questions, visit one of the airport information desks. Locations: located in every terminal. Hours: unknown.
    • Travel Agencies – If you are arriving in Abu Dhabi and need local arrangements or help planning a really last minute trip abroad, there is an Omier Travel Agency (Skypark Plaza, Landside) that can probably be of assistance.
  • Luggage
    • Baggage Trolleys – Need a hand with your luggage? Baggage trolleys are available free of charge. If you would like a porter, the fixed rate is currently AED 15/US$ 4. (Rates as of April 2018.  Current rates not available.)
    • Luggage Storage & Lockers – Short/Long term storage and lockers. Location: Terminal 1, Arrivals Hall • Terminal 3, Arrivals Hall. Rates: Small bag AED 10.50 (3 hours) to AED 21 (24 hours) and AED 10.50 each additional 24 hours • Regular bag AED 15.75 (3 hours) to AED 31.50 (24 hours) and AED 10.50 each additional 24 hours. Rates are available for bulky, oversized and small valuable (keys, phones) items as well.
    • Luggage Wrapping – Protect your bags from theft and damage by having your bags wrapped in plastic. Rates: available for AED 15.75 – 50, depending on the size of your luggage. Locations: T1, T1A, and T3, landside, Check-In.
  • Medical Services – Urgent and emergency medical care is available at the Medical Services Clinic. Location: T1, airside, near the Immigration Arrival Hall. Hours: Open 24 hours. If you are a passenger at T2 or T3, call the clinic or seek the assistance of an airport staff member for access to the clinic.
    • Pharmacy – There are 3 pharmacies: Al Razi Pharmacy (Terminal 3, 4th Floor, landside) • Bin Sina Pharmacy (Terminal 1, 1st Floor, airside) • Boots (Terminal 3, 1st Floor, airside). Hours: open 24 hours.
  • Money
    • ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: Landside and Airside.
    • Currency Exchange – There are 16 foreign exchange offices/banks providing services. Hours: vary with many open 24 hours a day and access to foreign ATMs is also available 24 hours.
  • Newspapers & Magazines – The airport has a number of free magazines and newspapers available at these locations in Terminals 1 and 3: First & Business Class Lounges • VVIP Lounge • Departure Gates • Arrivals Gates • Food Court •  Arrivals Area
  • Phone – Pay phones can be found throughout the airport.  Sim cards, phone cards and headsets are sold at at the book stores and newsagents.
  • Post Office – Send your last minute postcards to friends and family from the airport’s post office. Emirates Post is located in landside in Skypark Plaza.
  • Prayer Rooms – Clearly-marked, gender-separated prayer rooms are available in each terminal.
  • Rest & Relaxation
    • Hotels – see “Airport Hotels” above.
    • Lounges – see “Airport Lounges” above.
    • Rest Zones – The airport offers areas with reclining seating for people to rest in between flights, but they are generally in open areas that might have a lot of noise for a deep sleep.

Take precaution even when sleeping in the rest zones.  In December 2019, a traveller at another airport reported that money and credit cards had been stolen from their bag even though the bag was right beside them.  Protect and lock your bags as you would sleeping elsewhere in public.

  • Shopping
    • Duty Free & Shopping – Duty Free shopping is available as well as a large selection of retail outlets, some of which are open 24 hours.
  • Showers & Spa
    • Showers – Showers are available in the Al Reem and Al Dhabi lounges. See Airport Lounges for locations. According to the airport web site, free showers are located near Gates 32 and 37; however, a reader tells us they are actually near Gate 35 (you need to go down the stairs).  GoSleep sells shower kits including a disposable towel, footwear, soap, shower gel, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste for AED 45/US$13. See Airport Hotels above for locations.
    • Spa – Pamper yourself at TOSA Spa in one of two locations: Terminal 1 location offers express foot/back treatments and body massage, while the Skypark Plaza location offers separate male and female treatment and changing rooms, relaxation lounge for females, and a mani/pedi room with TVs and newspapers. A full range of luxurious spa treatments are available to members and guests of the Etihad Diamond First and Pearl Business Class lounges at the Six Senses Spa, Terminals 1 and 3.
  • Smoking – Designated smoking booths and lounges are available in these areas: T1, airside, 1st Floor (Abu Dhabi Lounge) • T2, airside, Ground Floor • T3, airside, 2nd Floor.
  • WiFi – see “Airport WiFi/Internet” above.
  • VAT Refund – Eligible travellers can receive a refund for any VAT paid on purchases made during their visit.  The Tax Refund counters are available in 3 locations: T1, next to Ethiad Airlines Transfer Desk (Airside) • T1, next to the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (Landside) • T3, opposite Costa Coffee (Airside).

Things to do

  • Golf Course – Located a short drive (7 minutes) from the airport, the Al Ghazal Golf Course is considered one of the finest sand golf courses in the world. If you have a 3-5 hour transit, you can play 9 or 18 holes. Note: A transit visa may be required for you to leave the airport. Be sure to inquire before making arrangements to leave the airport during transit.

Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.


Abu Dhabi airport is served by the following airlines: Air Baltic • Air Blue • Air India • Air India Express • Air Seychelles •  Biman • British Airways • Egypt Air • EmiratesEtihad Airways • Gulf Air • KLM • Kuwait Airways • Middle East Airlines • Oman Air • Philippine Airlines • PIA • Royal Jordanian • Saudi Arabian Airlines • Sudan Airways • Syrian Arab Airlines • Turkish Airlines • Turkmenistan Airlines.

Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport


The airport is served by several lines of Abu Dhabi’s economic public bus system. Buses are air-conditioned and green and white in color. Bus stops, clearly marked by blue/white signs, and are located at the lower curbside outside of each Terminal. Departures are every 40 minutes, 24 hours a day, and take about 45 minutes to travel between the airport and city (depending on traffic).  At the time of this update, a one-way bus fare is AED 4.00. If you are flying economy class with Etihad, you may be eligible for free coach service whether you are arriving or departing from Abu Dhabi International Airport. Connections are available to Dubai and Al Ain. The Etihad Coach service can be reserved online up to 24 hours prior to the flight.

Car Rentals

Car rental service is available 24 hours a day at Skypark Plaza, located opposite Terminal 3 and just a short walk from Terminals 1 and 3. Skypark Plaza is accessible from Terminal 2 via free inter-terminal shuttle bus. The following car rental agencies are available onsite: Avis Budget • Dollar • Europcar • Fast • Hertz • Payless • Thrifty.

Hotel Shuttles

See Airport Hotels above.

Inter-Terminal Transportation

Temporarily Unavailable.  It takes 20 minutes to walk between any two terminals – AUH airport offers a free shuttle service, which runs in 15 minute intervals between Terminals 1 and 2. Shuttle stops are located outside of Terminal 1 at Entrance 5, upper curbside, and Terminal 2 in front of the Departures Hall.


Metered taxis are available 24-hours a day at the airport. Terminals 1 and 3 are served by late-model six-seater Mercedes Vito vans. These luxury taxis are equipped with GPS and have extra baggage space and multilingual male or female drivers. Multiple currencies are accepted for payment. Terminal 2 is served by metered Toyota Camry taxis from taxi ranks outside of the Arrivals Hall. At the time of this update, flag drop is AED 25.00 with a AED 1.60 charge per km up to 50 km (9 fils per km above 50 km).

Last updated: 2021-10-20

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, are subject to change at any time without notice.   The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide: update the airport guide or  write a review.