Guide to Abu Dhabi Airport Sleep Pods and Alternatives

Abu Dhabi Airport was among the first Airport to embrance innovative compact sleep pod innovations with installations of 50 GoSleep pods. This airport has also made significant investments in upgrading the general rest areas within its terminals. In this Abu Dhabi Airport Sleep Guide, you’ll find all you need to get comfortable with layover sleep in this airport.

AUH is the 10th busiest airport in the Middle East behind Dubai (1st) and Hamad(3rd) and the launch of GoSleep pods in November 2014 was seen as an upgrade to the airport’s services to provide relief to its 15 million annual customers.

Overview of Sleep Situation in Abu Dhabi Airport:

Abu Dhabi Airport offers a variety of sleeping options that cater to the needs of diverse travelers, as detailed in numerous flyer reviews. Terminal 3 is frequently highlighted as the best terminal for rest, especially near the Children’s Play Area and the gates in the vicinity of Gate 28 and 29, where travelers can find quieter spots with reclining seats and dimmer lighting.

The area around Gate 3 is also recommended due to its proximity to shower facilities, enhancing comfort for overnight stays. For those preferring a more open environment, the Airport Garden near Terminal 1 provides a peaceful outdoor setting.

Despite these provisions, it’s advised to be prepared for cold temperatures due to heavy air conditioning throughout the terminals, and travelers should consider bringing a blanket or wearing extra layers. Overall, while some areas like Terminal 1 can get crowded and noisy, Terminal 3 generally offers more favorable conditions for sleeping with several secluded spots that remain quiet throughout the night.

Here are All the Locations to Sleep in Abu Dhabi Airport:

Gates Near the Children’s Play Area

Located in Terminal 3, this area features about 30 reclining seats with dimmer lighting and quieter surroundings, making it ideal for sleeping. It’s conveniently positioned near toilet and shower facilities, enhancing comfort during a layover.

Gate Areas in Terminal 3 After Hours

Post the last flight around 2:40 AM, Terminal 3 becomes very quiet, offering many deserted gates with reclining seats that remain available until flights resume around 8:00 AM. This area, especially near the duty-free, is suitable for uninterrupted sleep.

T3 Gate 28 and 29 Area

Noted for its low traffic and quiet environment, this area is separated from the main terminal activities. The spot is carpeted and often almost empty, providing a comfortable space for laying down with a travel blanket.

Highlighted for its spaciousness and calm, this area allows travelers to spread out a bit, especially if equipped with a sleeping bag or mat. The carpeting adds an extra layer of comfort compared to harder flooring found elsewhere in the airport.

Near Gate 58 in Terminal 3

This location is initially noisy but quiets down later, offering a good spot for resting if earlier options are taken. It combines accessibility with a gradual reduction in foot traffic as the night progresses.

Outside Comfort in the Airport Garden

For those who prefer sleeping outdoors, the Airport Garden near Terminal 1 provides a peaceful setting with soft grass and minimal disturbances. It’s an unconventional option but can be delightful in good weather.

Carpeted Floor Near Gate 35

Recommended for its comfortable carpeted floor, this area suits travelers who bring a mat or prefer not to sleep directly on hard surfaces. Proximity to Gate 35 also ensures close access to necessary airport services.

Public Showers Area Near Gate 3

Primarily noted for its shower facilities, the area around Gate 3 in Terminal 3 doubles as a potential sleeping spot. It’s advantageous for those who might want to freshen up upon waking without moving too far from their resting spot.

Corridor Leading to Premier Inn

Located landside, this corridor offers seating areas that are less frequented at night, providing a quieter environment suitable for resting, especially when the typical sleeping areas inside the terminal are full or noisy.

Airport Library in Terminal 1

For a more secluded and unique environment, the airport library on the lowest floor of Terminal 1 offers a quiet place conducive to rest. This area is a bit removed from the busier parts of the terminal, providing a tranquil atmosphere.

Terminal 3, Near the Duty-Free Area

Some travelers prefer staying near the duty-free area for the occasional hustle and bustle that can be reassuring for solo travelers. After the shops close and the area quiets down post the last flight, it becomes a good spot to catch some sleep.

Terminal 1, Airside Near Gate 56

This discreet niche offers privacy and seclusion from the general terminal traffic. It’s suitable for travelers looking for a quieter corner away from the main areas.

Gate E & F in Terminal A

These areas provide several loungers and couches for comfortable sleeping, particularly noted in the newly opened sections of the airport. They are less frequented and offer a relatively peaceful environment for travelers to rest.

Are there Sleep pods in Abu Dhabi Airport?

I’m excited to announce that after a brief hiatus, the GoSleep pods are back at Abu Dhabi Airport! These cocoon-like sleep pods, located near the children’s play area in Terminal 3, offer a private and comfortable sleeping option. Accessible by paying with a credit card, these pods provide a basic but cozy area for rest. Additionally, free showers in Terminal 3 enhance the convenience for travelers seeking to freshen up during their layover.

These pods were previously located in Terminal 1, Airiside before the massive renovation that this Airport underwent. Read about the renovation that added 780,000 sq ft to Abu Dhabi Airport transforming it from a dumpy airport to a lively one.

Abu Dhabi Airport Midfield Terminal after renovation
Abu Dhabi Airport Midfield Terminal

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.

customer review indicating that abu dhabi sleep pods are no longer available at abu dhabu airport.

What are GoSleep Pods?

GoSleep Pods are innovative sleeping pods designed for travelers to rest and relax while waiting for their flights. These pods come equipped with a comfortable mattress, a sliding cover for privacy, charging sockets, and a safe storage space for luggage. The pods also have adjustable lighting and can even be transformed into a chair if needed.

The GoSleep pods were introduced as a way to provide travelers with a comfortable place to rest, recharge and work in privacy while waiting for their flights.

GoSleep pods were conveniently located in Terminal 3. If you had just arrived at Terminal 1, you had to simply follow the signs to Terminal 3. Once there, go up one floor and pass the security check next to Duty-Free. If already at Terminal 3, you could just follow the long corridor past the Etihad transfer desk towards Arrivals.

What are the hours of operation for the GoSleep pods in Abu Dhabi Airport?

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.

About the GoSleep Company:

GoSleep is a Finnish company that manufactures and sells sleeping pods. 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.

What Fliers Like About Sleeping In this Airport:

Travelers have shared various positive aspects about sleeping at Abu Dhabi Airport, highlighting several amenities and features that enhance their layover experience:

  1. Quiet Areas: Many flyers appreciate the quiet zones found especially in Terminal 3, where there are areas with less foot traffic and reduced noise levels, making it conducive for sleeping.
  2. Reclining Seats: Several reviews mention the availability of reclining seats in parts of Terminal 3, such as near the children’s play area and certain gates. These seats allow passengers to rest more comfortably compared to standard airport seating.
  3. Proximity to Amenities: The convenience of having facilities such as toilets, showers, and food services nearby is highly valued. Areas like the ones behind the children’s play area are favored for their easy access to these amenities.
  4. Dimmer Lighting: In areas like those near the children’s play area, dimmer lighting helps create a more restful environment, which is particularly beneficial for travelers looking to catch some sleep.
  5. Outdoor Sleeping Option: The Airport Garden offers a unique outdoor sleeping experience for those who prefer fresh air and a more natural setting. The tranquility and soft grass provide a pleasant alternative to the indoor airport environment.
  6. Carpeted Areas: Spots like the Gate 28 and 29 area are carpeted, providing a softer and warmer surface which is preferable for lying down and resting, especially when equipped with a travel blanket or sleeping bag.
  7. Less Crowded Spaces: Some travelers seek out less populated areas for more privacy and space, such as the discreet niches near certain gates, which are quieter and away from the main hustle and bustle of the airport.
  8. Availability of Sleep Pods: Although they were more expensive, the cocoon-like sleep pods offered a more private and enclosed space for rest, equipped with amenities like a mattress and TV, contributing to a more luxurious resting experience.

Consider these 8 Drawbacks Fliers Identified About Sleep in AUH:

Fliers have pointed out several drawbacks concerning the sleeping conditions at Abu Dhabi Airport, which include:

  1. Cold Temperatures: Many reviews highlight that the airport can be extremely cold due to the air conditioning, making it uncomfortable for sleeping without adequate warm clothing or blankets.
  2. Hard and Uncomfortable Seating: Some areas of the airport have seating with armrests or hard surfaces, which are not ideal for resting or lying down.
  3. Noise Levels: Despite some quiet zones, noise is a common complaint in other parts of the airport. This includes the sounds from ongoing airport operations, announcements, and foot traffic, which can disrupt sleep.
  4. Limited Access to Sleep Pods: The availability and affordability of sleep pods are a concern. While they offer a more private and comfortable option, they are not always accessible to all due to their cost and sometimes limited number.
  5. Bright Lighting: In many parts of the airport, the lighting is quite bright, which can interfere with the ability to sleep comfortably.
  6. Crowded Areas: Especially in Terminal 1 and during peak times, the airport can become very crowded, making it difficult to find a good spot to rest or sleep.
  7. Lack of Amenities: Some travelers have noted a scarcity of amenities such as free water fountains and sufficient charging ports, which can negatively impact the overall comfort during a layover.
  8. Inconsistent Facilities: Although there are showers and toilets near some of the recommended sleeping spots, the cleanliness and maintenance of these facilities can vary, affecting the convenience and comfort of travelers trying to rest.

Hotels to Use Instead of Sleep Pods at AUH

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;

For additional relaxation, consider refreshing yourself with a shower at Abu Dhabi Airport. The shower facility is conveniently located at the Pearl Lounge on Level 4. Kindly note that a fee is applicable for using the shower facilities. You can get more details from the Airport’s website here.

There are also smoking rooms, prayer rooms, strollers, WIFi and more. Check out all AUH facilities on the airport’s website here.

Read more reviews about Abu Dhabi’s sleeping pods on TripAdvisor here.

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.

Snapshot of Gosleep offers to airports. Image Credit: Gosleep
Snapshot of Gosleep offers to airports. Image Credit: Gosleep

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;

Read in detail here about all the airports with sleeping pods or nap capsules that charge per hour.

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.

Image of Nathan Kip Rotich

Nathan helps travelers find the most comfortable sleep setups during layovers, from cozy airport hotels to futuristic sleep pods. His insights aim to transform layovers into rejuvenating sleepcations, offering travelers an alternative to costly hotels and uncomfortable benches.