In September 2014, Etihad opened its arrivals lounge at its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH). We stopped by to freshen up after an overnight flight.
We’ve previously written about how Etihad puts a lot of emphasis on the style of its products in the air and fails to deliver when it comes to service on the ground. We are pleased to say that those comments don’t apply to this arrivals lounge – which is excellent.
Advice online suggests that finding the entrance to this lounge is obvious after customs. That was indeed the case.
Entering the lounge we were welcomed by staff, who were keen to arrange our complimentary chauffeur pick-up, and invited us to relax.
What we will say about this lounge is that it is small. It would only take one noisy guest to ruin the ambiance. Also, because of its size only business and first class passengers are allowed in (no access for status cardholders flying in the back, nor guests). It is basically one room and looks bigger in the photos on this blog because they are taken from many different angles.
In the corner was a selection of newspapers.
The buffet had a nice selection of breakfast foods, although we found the bread items to be stale.
The main draw-card of an arrivals lounge is of course as a place to freshen up after a long flight. The lounge offers ‘SHAVE by Etihad Airways’, with barbers to provide a complimentary wet shave.
Approaching the counter, we were promptly assigned a shower room. We found this a bit warm (a common problem with shower rooms in airports).
The shower water flow was great.
What is particularly interesting about these facilities is the way they do the complimentary steam press & shoe shine. Visitors put things in the storage compartment in the corner of their shower room and swipe the keycard to lock the compartment, which is then accessed from the outside by the staff to take your clothes, steam them and return them.
The lounge also has a single computer terminal and unlike our previous visits to the (presently closed for renovation) Etihad first class lounge, the wi-fi was fast and reliable.
The Etihad arrival lounges in Abu Dhabi make for a very pleasant place to refresh after an international flight before continuing on the sometimes long journey by road to your final destination in the United Arab Emirates.