Visitors' first experience of shopping in Abu Dhabi is the superb Duty Free area at Abu Dhabi’s International Airport, which is one of the leading Duty Frees in the world, both in terms of quality and price.
Since it opened in 1986, the retail complex has won countless awards for marketing, quality, efficiency, advertising and business enterprise. Brilliantly researched and designed, Abu Dhabi Duty Free pioneered the shop-in-shop concept with branded corners for various prestigious international brands such as Gucci, Versace, Christian Dior, Yves St.Laurent and many more, their open layouts making it easy for customers to browse and choose. There are no counters, no queues and no aggressive sales people.
As for the merchandise, the range is vast and exciting with gold and electronic items being the biggest sellers. Local antiques and souvenirs are sold here too, sharing the space with international branded goods, including watches, fashions, cameras, toys, perfumes and leathergoods. Small purchases are equally well covered- a book to read on the plane, confectionery to take home to the children, or necessities like pharmaceuticals and toiletries, all displayed in a spectacular setting.
Another facility at Abu Dhabi Airport is the Golden Class service which offers a comprehensive Meet-and-Assist service with fast track through check-in and immigration, and access to the luxurious VIP lounge, business centre and health club. Golden Class is available to all passengers, regardless of flight ticket class, at very reasonable prices. Annual memberships are available for frequent flyers offering good savings on the use of the service. Golden Class also offers luxurious Mercedes E200 cars, strikingly branded with the Golden Class livery in royal blue and gold colours, to transport passengers from the terminal to Abu Dhabi City.
Some travellers receive more than they bargained for when they win the famous Abu Dhabi Duty Free raffle. The raffle began in 1992, the first of its kind in the world by an airport retailer, with tickets priced at Dh500 ($138) offering a chance to win Dhs500,000 ($138,000). A second raffle is also available with tickets priced at Dh1000 going into a draw to win Dh 1 million. The Win Dhs500,000 is very popular amongst all travellers via Abu Dhabi International Airport and it is also available to all travellers via Al Ain International Airport and the City Terminal.
Airport Hotel & Golf Club
Transit passengers who are short of time find Abu Dhabi Duty Free very convenient with its numerous facilities. In addition to the comprehensive shopping complex, there are various restaurants and cafeterias, an airport hotel with well-appointed rooms, a luxurious lounge with comfortable sofas, massage chairs and a bar, a business centre with Internet access, a fully fitted health club with gym, jacuzzi and sauna, and even an 18-hole sand golf course with a traditional English clubhouse and terrace, swimming pool and tennis courts. The golf club also boasts a teaching academy fitted with the most advanced and innovative golf teaching technology in the world, the Royle Golf Visual Communication System, through which swings can be professionally assessed on monitors which allow overlaying of graphics, enabling students to compare their swing with those of some of the game’s greatest players.
This technology is complemented by Durnian Frames - unique metal frames which correct the swing plane, enabling the student to feel the correct movement.
In June 1999, Abu Dhabi Airport launched the first ever City Terminal in the Middle East. yet again leading the field in innovation and expansion. The city terminal eases travel pressures on passengers and makes travelling out of Abu Dhabi International Airport a pleasant experience. Passengers can proceed to the City Terminal up to twenty four hours prior to their flight. Once the passenger has checked in at the City Terminal, he can arrive at Abu Dhabi International Airport up to 35 minutes prior to the departure of his flight. Luggage is screened through a security system and transported to the international airport and on to the aircraft. Once the passenger has checked in his luggage, he receives his boarding card and he can proceed to the Duty Free counter to purchase a wide range of Duty Free products through a catalogue, which will then be ready for collection at a specially designated “City Terminal Duty Free collection point” upon arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
A VIP lounge is available for the City Terminal travellers where they can enjoy a relaxing atmosphere and delicious meals.
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