This Review of the Etihad Arrivals Lounge, Abu Dhabi is part of a trip report from Sydney, Australia to New York JFK. For the prior Australia-related posts, including Etihad A380 First Apartment, Emirates A380 First Class and Qantas A380 First Class, please see:
Location and Access to Etihad Arrivals Lounge, Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH)
The Etihad Arrivals Lounge is the only arrivals lounge in the UAE (since Emirates does not offer an Arrivals Lounge to arriving passengers) and is exclusively available to passengers flying Etihad First Apartment, Etihad First Class or Etihad Business Class, and Etihad's The Residence. It's not open to any Etihad Guest or other airline frequent flyers that are not flying Etihad in first class or business class.
The lounge is clearly signed after exiting baggage claim and customs from Terminals 1 and 3.
Etihad Arrivals Lounge Abu Dhabi Amenities
Arrivals Lounges are rarely impressive compared to the best first class lounges for departing passengers. One of the larger ones, the British Airways Arrivals Lounge and Concorde Room at London Heathrow Terminal 5, does provide hot breakfast items and table service in the Concorde Room, but the much vaunted 15 minute Elemis Spa massages usually entail a long wait, and the massages are frankly not worth waiting for. But I digress.
While not large, the Etihad Arrivals Lounge is pleasant and has everything you need to refresh, if going from the airport to a meeting. There is luggage storage for everything you don't need to access while in the lounge, as well as the expected seating areas:
There are 10 shower suites, which are nicely designed with sink, toilet and a rain shower:
Shampoo, conditioner and shower gel are in dispensers, and clean towels, packaged, are in the cupboard:
If you've forgotten your toiletry kit in your stored luggage, no worries: there's a dental kit with toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving kit, comb, and deodorant:
There's even a two way closet where you can hang the clothes that you would like steamed, to get out any wrinkles and creases from transit. There is a liability disclaimer for anything that happens to delicate fabrics or expensive garments, which is pretty standard.
For men needing a shave, there's even complimentary Etihad Shave Salon service (sorry fellow women travelers, no spa-like manicure treatments here, unlike in the Etihad Premium Lounge for departures).
The Etihad Arrivals Lounge Staff were also helpful in arranging for an Etihad Chauffeur transfer to our hotel. This is something I should have arranged in advance, but hadn't gotten around to, since I decided on our hotel rather last minute.
Etihad Arrivals Lounge Abu Dhabi Food and Drinks
I wasn't hungry when we arrived in Abu Dhabi, thanks to dinner and the delicious almond and orange flourless pudding I'd enjoyed in Etihad First Apartment, but my son is almost always ready to eat something. We were among only about 5 guests in the lounge, so the light buffet was well stocked.
Savory items included sandwiches, wraps and cheeses, and there were also croissants, other pastries and muffins:
My son had some orange juice, and I also noticed fresh mint for the Dilmah tea:
My favorite items, even though I only had a bit of my son's servings, were the fresh fruit and yogurt parfaits. We both enjoy yogurt for breakfast and snacks, so my son had about three of these little parfaits.
There was also an espresso drink machine, for anyone needing some caffeine to get going:
Personally, I would love for more airlines to offer an Arrivals Lounge for arriving first class and business class passengers. It provides an often needed chance to take a shower and freshen up for day ahead and a place to catch up on any urgent emails or calls while having a quick bite to eat. The Etihad Arrivals Lounge satisfies all of these needs and is especially conducive to business travelers, with its garment steaming service and, for men, a complimentary shave. The light buffet doesn't have any hot options, but that's not surprising given the relatively small size. I would, however, like to see more whole fresh fruit options, since the small fresh fruit plates wouldn't last long if the lounge was more crowded than it was during our visit.
Have you visited the Etihad Arrivals Lounge in Abu Dhabi after an Etihad flight?
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