Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Advisor for Special Affairs at the Presidential Court, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Abu Dhabi Airports, has attended a ceremony to rename Abu Dhabi International Airport as Zayed International Airport, in honour of the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Paying tribute to Sheikh Zayed’s remarkable legacy and history of accomplishments in introducing the UAE to the world, the new brand encompasses the richness of Emirati culture and Arabian heritage.
Designed to provide an innovative and seamless airport experience, the renamed airport meets the highest standards of quality and traveller expectations.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoon said, “We are immensely proud to rename Abu Dhabi’s largest airport in honour of the Founding Father of the UAE. The unsurpassed achievements of the late Sheikh Zayed in connecting our country to nations around the world have inspired our commitment to ensuring that Abu Dhabi further strengthens its position as a world-leading hub for travel, trade, and commerce. “I would like to thank President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for entrusting us with carrying forward the name of the Founding Father, helping to commemorate his unforgettable legacy that impacts us to this day, and will continue to inspire future generations. “Opening its gates to the world, Zayed International Airport ushers in a new era for Abu Dhabi’s aviation sector. The airport’s state-of-the-art infrastructure delivers exceptional connectivity, innovation and sustainability for an elevated guest experience while propelling regional tourism, trade, and commerce to new heights.”
Abu Dhabi Airports hosted the unveiling of the new name, Zayed International Airport, at an event attended by key stakeholders, including staff and partners. A number of activities for passengers travelling through the airport are also taking place throughout the weekend, including live performances by international artists, digital showcases, personalised travel giveaways and offers and promotions from partners. Elena Sorlini, Managing Director, and Chief Executive Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports, said, “Zayed International Airport is a gateway through which we share Abu Dhabi and its heritage with the world, welcoming travellers by articulating the values of connectivity, innovation and sustainability. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our employees, partners and everyone else involved, 2023 has been an overwhelmingly positive year for Abu Dhabi Airports. I am particularly proud that since its opening, Terminal A‘s operations have been very successful. Passengers are given an authentic, inclusive, and seamless traveller experience rooted in the Emirati heritage of hospitality and powered by state-of-the-art technology. We are excited for what lies ahead for Zayed International Airport as it embarks on the next chapter of its journey under the cherished name of the Founding Father of the nation.”
The new brand identity unveiled today as part of the renaming celebrates the emirate of Abu Dhabi through shape and forms inspired by its landscape and history, as well as by the design of the airport itself. A traditional dhow boat, a date palm tree, the desert sun, the Qasr Al Hosn Fort, and Terminal A – the iconic new terminal building – served as creative sources for the new logo, showcasing Abu Dhabi’s unique identity while inviting travellers to write their own story. The launch of Zayed International Airport’s new brand has been accompanied by video highlights of over 1,750 drones coming together in an air display to form the airport’s new logo.
With Terminal A, Zayed International Airport features one of the world’s largest terminals, capable of welcoming up to 45 million passengers per year and marking a new era for transport and aviation infrastructure in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. During the first 60 days after Terminal A became fully operational, Zayed International Airport welcomed 4.48 million passengers, with 1.21 million arrivals, 1.22 million departures, two million transfers and more than 24,000 flights. Zayed International Airport served 117 travel destinations in December 2023, an increase of 20 percent from 100 cities in 2022, due to a rapidly growing airline network of 28 international carriers.
With world-leading facilities, including biometric technology to streamline the screening and boarding process, 35,000 square metres of retail and F&B space, and 163 outlets for passengers to shop, dine and enjoy, Terminal A places passenger experience at the heart of operations at Zayed International Airport. Since the terminal’s opening in November 2023, numerous operational milestones were achieved, including delivery of an enhanced level of service for travellers and the attraction of a growing roster of international airlines.
Overall, Abu Dhabi Airports’ passenger traffic results for 2023 show a significant increase in passenger demand. A total of 22,935,316 passengers flew through one of Abu Dhabi’s five commercial airports over the period of 1st January to 31st December, marking a 44.5 percent increase in demand compared to 2022. The year also saw growth in other critical business areas, including Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) across the five airports. The total number of ATMs, referring to the landing or taking-off of an aircraft, reached 226,362, surpassing the 2022 figure of 194,666and reflecting a 16.3 percent increase year-on-year. In 2024 and beyond, Abu Dhabi Airports expects further growth in passenger and cargo traffic, with Zayed International Airport’s enhanced aviation offering central to this positive outlook.