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Abu Dhabi International Airport Unite Arab Emirates


Abu Dhabi International Airport


Abu Dhabi is well on its way to becoming a regional industrial center, investing over $3 billion to develop its petrochemical base and increase its upstream gas handling capacity alone.
Abu Dhabi is also pushing to establish itself as a leading transit center and tourist destination, upgrading and expanding all elements of its infrastructure and transport facilities.

Abu Dhabi International Airport is playing a key role as the major entry point to the emirate; passenger arrivals are increasing year by year.

Khaled al Mohairbi, Abu Dhabi International Airport's director, says overall traffic through the airport in 1998 reached 3.4 million, an increase of 8 percent over 1997. This included a 7 percent increase in departures, a 10 percent increase in arrivals and an 8 percent increase in transit passengers.

Of the total, 33 percent were from the Middle East, 19 percent were from Gulf Cooperation Council countries and 25 percent were from Asia, including 13 percent from India. Another 11 percent of passengers were from Europe, with a variety of other nationalities making up the final 12 percent.

Mr. Mohairbi says more than 40 airlines now operate from the airport, linking it to more than 90 international airports. Over the past year a number of new airlines were attracted by the airport's strategic location and first-class facilities. ''During 1998, we signed agreements with two charter airlines, Britannia and LTU, under which they will utilize Abu Dhabi for their technical stopovers and as a transit point during flights between Europe and the Far East, '' he says.

A number of new airlines also began operations out of Abu Dhabi during 1998. These included Shaheen Air, Air Maldives, Air Afrique and Czech Airlines. Their entry has added northern Pakistan, the Maldives, West Africa and Mauritania to the countries and regions connected to Abu Dhabi and increased the choice and flexibility of routes available to passengers.

Mr. Mohairbi is confident that the major expansion under way in all aspects of the airport will confirm Abu Dhabi's role as both a major transit point and a major destination for the Gulf and the wider Middle East region well into the 21st century. ''Once our airport expansion program is complete,'' he says, ''Abu Dhabi International Airport will be offering services in keeping with the promise of the new millennium.''


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