Micro-hotels for weary travellers
The next time you transfer through Abu Dhabi International Airport, don’t be surprised to find a bizarre collection of futuristic “sleeping pods” lined up like eggs in a crate.
Ten of the $12.25-per-hour pods now reside in Terminal 3, along with 10 more in the Al Dhabi Lounge at Terminal 1.
Inside each capsule, travelers with a penchant for napping right in the middle of the terminal can find a fully enclosed chair, which converts into a private flat bed, along with sliding shades that cut out airport noise, light and crowds.
Three-dozen more “GoSleep” pods are to be fitted across the airport later this year, and, once installed, all will be upgraded with Internet access, storage space for luggage and valuables, and a power source for laptops, mobile phones and other electronic devices.
“We find the rates a little expensive, but if you’re in need of a couple of hours of much-needed sleep or just want to escape from the noise and hustle and bustle, it will definitely be cheaper than a hotel room in this pricey city,” Amy Tokic of the blog Sleeping in Airports noted.
Abu Dhabi Airports Company, or ADAC, called the Finnish-designed sleeping pods an exclusive “world first.”
“ADAC is proud that it is the first airport in the world to have secured an agreement to install the very latest passenger experience that embraces the latest technology,” ADAC CCO Mohammed Al Bulooki said. “The installment of these innovative new convertible chairs highlights ADAC’s commitment to using the latest technologies to improve airport facilities, ensuring that passengers have the best experience.”
Skytrax recently awarded Abu Dhabi International with a four-star rating, a first for the region, while Airport Council International named Abu Dhabi the “Best Airport in the Middle East” last month.
Yet, the UAE hub is not the only airport toying with novel ways to please weary travelers burdened by agonizing layovers.