If you have a long layover at Abu Dhabi Airport you can rest in some of the airports’ finest airport hotels. A few years back there were talks of sleeping pods being introduced and we’ll discuss more in this article.
Heathrow, JFK, Singapore Airport and many others have recently installed airport rest capsules meant to assist customers to get some sleep during layovers. In 2013, reports of Abu Dhabi installing the pods made rounds in the press.
What is a sleeping pod?
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A sleeping pod is a capsule where you can take a nap, relax, or even work with your laptop if you have an outlet inside the pod. They are becoming increasingly popular in airports as they provide travelers with a place to rest during long layovers.
They are designed to look like mini-rooms and usually have a comfortable mattress, pillows, and blanket inside. Some even have a TV! Unlike traditional hotel rooms that you can book for a night, most sleep pods can be rented by the hour. This airport located in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is the only one in the Middle East as per Gosleep’s website. The other airports with these pods closer by are Amsterdam and Helsinki airports.
In 2013, Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) announced an exclusive introduction of the ‘GoSleep’ sleeping pods at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH). See the snapshot of the press release on ADAC’s website below. You can read the entire ADAC press release here.
In the press release, ADAC announced that the Gosleep sleeping pods would cost passengers AED 45/hour which can be paid using a credit card. IN USD, AED 45/hour translates to about $12.30/hour for the pods in both Terminals 1 and 3.
A bit about Abu Dhabi Airport and sleep options during a layover
Abu Dhabi International Airport (IATA: AUH, ICAO: OMAA) is the second busiest airport in the United Arab Emirates.
The facility is located 19 miles (31 km) east of Abu Dhabi city. It serves as the hub for Abu Dhabi’s flag carrier Etihad Airways, as well as a secondary hub for low-cost carrier Air Arabia.
Abu Dhabi International Airport is spread over an area of 8 square miles (21 km2).
Abu Dhabi International Airport has three terminals:
- Terminal 1 – Opened in 1982, it handles around 24 million passengers per year and is Etihad Airways’ main hub. The terminal has a capacity of 28 million passengers per year.
- Terminal 2 – Opened in 2007, it handles around 18 million passengers per year and is home to the majority of Abu Dhabi’s low-cost carriers such as Air Arabia and flydubai.
- Terminal 3 – Opened in 2009, it is Etihad Airways’ secondary hub and handles around 22 million passengers per year.
In addition to the three main terminals, Abu Dhabi International Airport has a dedicated cargo terminal and a general aviation terminal.
Abu Dhabi Airport is served by over 60 airlines operating to and from over 120 destinations across all continents.
Can I sleep at Abu Dhabi Airport during a layover?
If you want to sleep when you’ve got several hours to wait for your connecting flight. You have a few options. You can find hotels near Abu Dhabi Airport, sleep at any lounges, sleep at the newly installed sleep pods or near the gates.
Below are nearby hotels;
- Abu Dhabi Airport Hotel – Premier Inn (inside the airport)
- Abu Dhabi Aerotel Hotel(within the airport)
- Abu Dhabi Yas Island Hotel (10 mins shuttle drive from airport)
- Centro Yas Island by Rotana (6.4 km/4 miles)
- Yas Island Rotana Abu Dhabi (6.4 km/4 miles)
- Staybridge Suites Yas Island Abu Dhabi (6.5 km/4 miles)
Are there Sleeping Pods at Abu Dhabu Airport?
The Abu Dhabi Airports Company(ADAC) announced the introduction of Gosleep sleeping pods at Abu Dhabu airport in May 2013, but as of 2018, customer reports and inquiries revealed that the pods were not operational. As of October 2022, we have not received any confirmation that the sleeping pods are operational. From our assessment, it appears that the pods stopped operations around January 2019 and they haven’t resumed operations as of this writing in Q4 2022.
Below is a snapshot of a message left by a passenger confirming that the pods wen’t operations by mid 2019;
Read more reviews about Abu Dhabi’s sleeping pods on TripAdvisor here.
Sleeping pods were located on Terminal 3, the Upper level on the airside. Abu Dhabi Airport has secured the GoSleep rest pods that have the appearance of cocoons and are very well designed. Each sleeping pod can accommodate one guest.
How much does it cost to use a GoSleep sleep pod?
The cost of using a GoSleep sleep pod at Abu Dhabi Airport is $12.5 for one hour. This is as per the press release in May 2013 announcing the opening of sleeping pod facilities in the airport. As of 2022, it appears that you won’t get any response about the pricing of sleeping pods at the Abu Dhabi airport as they stopped operations.
About the Sleeping Pods at Abu Dhabi Airport – Gosleep
Abu Dhabi Airport had partnered with Gosleep, a Finnish company that manufactures and sells sleeping pods. Gosleep claims to be ‘the original sleeping pod’ brand and is leading the way in developing best-in-class resting spots that allow passengers to rest & recover in full privacy using pods similar to the one shown below;
The company was founded in 2007 by two university students, who were looking for a way to take a nap during their long layovers at the airport.
The GoSleep sleep pods are made from a lightweight, breathable material that is designed to be comfortable and provide privacy. The pods are equipped with a pillow, a blanket, and an eye mask, and they have a privacy curtain that can be pulled closed.
Each pod has an outlet and a USB port so that you can charge your devices while you sleep. The pods also have a reading light and a vent so that you can control the temperature inside the pod.
There are stories from 2013 and 2014 of Abu Dhabi Airport having procured the Sleep pods but there seems to have been an upgrade with some of the latest brands by GoSleep.
Below is a list of all airports that have installed sleep pod technologies to enable passengers in transit to get good sleep;
What are the hours of operation for the GoSleep pods?
The GoSleep pods at Abu Dhabi Airport were available 24 hours a day from 2013 to around 2019. You could, however, book for a minimum of 6 hours at a time.
Where are the GoSleep pods located at Abu Dhabi Airport?
The GoSleep pods were located in Terminal 3, the Upper level on the airside.
How do I book a GoSleep pod?
You could book a GoSleep pod at Abu Dhabi Airport by visiting the GoSleep website or by using the GoSleep app.
Can I bring my own food and drink into the sleep pod?
Yes, you can bring your own food and drink into the sleep pod. There is a small table inside the pod where you can place your belongings.
Other sleep options at Abu Dhabi Airport:
Aerotel Abu Dhabi Airport Hotel (Terminal 1):
Aerotel is located inside Terminal 1 of Abu Dhabi International Airport and offers rooms that can be booked for a minimum of 6 hours. The rates start at $71 for 6 hours.
This hotel is open to all transit passengers with varying hours of wait time for connecting flights. If you choose this hotel, you’ll also get free wifi, showering facilities, and up to 1 hour to use the Ai Dhabi Lounge.
Check the current price for Abu Dhabi Aerotel prices here(Booking website).
Aerotel Abu Dhabi Airport Hotel (Terminal 3):
Another option to catch some sleep at Abu Dhabi Airport is to go to the Aerotel in Terminal 3. Rates start at $71 for 6 hours, and you get the same amenities as the ones offered in Terminal 1. Check the current rates of T3 hotel here.
Premier Inn Abu Dhabi International Airport:
Opposite Terminal 1 and 3 is the Premier Inn Abu Dhabi International Airport which is next to Skypark’s multi-story car park. A standard room with a double bed starts at $63 per night
– A family room with 2 double beds starts at $93 per night. Check Premier Hotel’s rates today here.
Both room types come with free wifi and an en suite bathroom. You can also add breakfast to your stay for an additional cost. Check current prices and availability here.
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