Metered taxis are a safe and comfortable way to get to both cities. Journey time into Abu Dhabi is 35-50 minutes, and to Dubai, 50-70 minutes.
Cost: Around AED 60-70 to Abu Dhabi, AED 300 to Dubai
Location: Clearly signposted taxi pick-up areas at the lower level outside Arrivals in all terminals
Bus to Abu Dhabi
The A1 city bus leaves every 40 minutes, 24-hours a day, and takes you to the Old Fish Market on Al Nasr Street (near NYU Abu Dhabi) in around 45 minutes.
Cost: AED 4
Location: Outside Terminals 1 and 3 (lower level, where the Etihad buses stop), and outside Terminal 2
Free Etihad shuttle buses
If you're flying with Etihad Airways, you can take a free shuttle bus to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Al Ain. Just make a coach request at least 24 hours before your flight. The coaches are clearly signposted at the lower level of the Arrivals hall. The journey to Dubai takes around 75 minutes, and drops you off at Etihad Travel Mall.
Car hire offices are located at Skypark Plaza, opposite terminal 3. Skypark is accessible from terminal 2 via free inter-terminal shuttle bus. The following car rental agencies are available: Europcar, Hertz, Dollar, Budget, Thrifty and Payless.
Abu Dhabi International Airport lies around 30km east of the city centre. It serves mostly Etihad Airways, the second largest airline in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after Emirates.
The airport has three terminals:
Travelling between terminals
Terminals 1 and 3 are beside each other, with a 20-minute walk in between.
Terminal 2, however, is 2km away from Terminal 1. You can take a free shuttle between the terminals, running every 15 minutes. The stops are outside Terminal 1 at Entrance 5 (upper level) and Terminal 2 in front of Departures.
Check-in before you leave the city
To save time, you can check in in the 'City Terminal' in downtown Abu Dhabi before you head to the airport. It's an airport-like facility, with lounge and transport to the airport. Once you've checked in here, you can arrive at the airport just one hour before you fly. If you're flying with Etihad, you can also check in at the Etihad Travel Mall on the outskirts of Dubai.
If you want to drop-off your luggage or secure a particular seat 24 hours before your flight, using a remote check-in kiosk is a great option. There are four remote check-in sites: City Terminal (across from the Abu Dhabi Mall), the Abu Dhabi International Airport Expo Check-In (at ADNEC on Al Khaleej Al Arabi 30th Street), the Park Rotana Hotel Abu Dhabi, and the Crowne Plaza in Abu Dhabi Yas Island.
There is a fee of AED 30 (USD 8) per adult and AED 20 (USD 5.45) per child for check-in at the City Terminal and the International Airport Expo for luggage delivery. There is no charge for self-check-in at the hotels. After checking-in here, you may arrive at the airport just one hour before your flight.
Bring home a piece of the UAE in souvenirs inspired by local art and culture. Here you'll find local crafts, from jewellery to clothing and porcelain pieces.
Terminal 1, airside, upper level
Hours: 24 hours
First and Business Class passengers have access to premium shower facilities in all airport lounges. Travellers can pay to access any of these lounges but there are free public showers available near Gate 15 in Terminal 1, Gates 32 and 37 in Terminal 3, and near Gate 58 next to the prayer room. You will need your own shower gel and towel.
Enjoy tasty Iranian foods, from hummus to grilled meats and seafood, mixed rice, and stews.
Skypark Plaza, opposite Terminal 3, landside, main floor
Hours: 24 hours
Café culture in the UAE is an important one. This cozy café serves delicious coffee and pastries. Breakfast is a highlight here.
Terminal 1, landside, ground level
Hours: 24 hours
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Platinum, gold, pearls, and diamonds - here you'll find high quality and affordable precious stone jewellery.
Terminal 1, airside, lower level
Terminal 2, airside, main level
Terminal 3, airside, main level
Hours: 24 hours
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