Informed by the undulating sand dunes of the desert and rich geometric patterns of Islamic heritage, Zayed International Airport’s new Terminal A is a civic landmark for the emirate and a gateway for the world, connecting East and West on a global scale. Formally Abu Dhabi International Airport, it is now called Zayed International Airport, Terminal A – following directions of the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, at the end last year.  

The airport’s design was conceived and executed entirely by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) to deliver an unrivalled travel experience. As one of the world’s largest airport terminals, it will process up to 45 million passengers per year—more than doubling the airport’s current capacity.  

Recently featured in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, it is already established as a point of local pride and a worldwide landmark. 

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, Kohn Pedersen Fox, commented: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 to an inclusive and inspiring design, elevates the experience of travelling for all.” 

Jochen Tombers, Managing Principal, 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.”